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TheDrifterWithin
Brazil
I'm a graduate in Cinema and I enjoy writing screenplays, editing and taking pictures of unique moments (look at me... talking like a professional photographer!).
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Paraglider by TheDrifterWithin

Another carnival passes – the third I feel like reporting here in DeviantArt. As Rio makes 450 years of history, the city felt events like such should be celebrated on a different level of importance: the carnival shouldn’t be seen just as a celebration, but an indelible part of the Carioca culture. Oh yes: what represents us, what makes this city what it is. But when I see the chaotic street blocks, when I see people drunk over the curbs, I question myself: is this something that really should speak for us? Is this event something that we should be proud of? Not to be a grumpy old man at my 20’s, but the Carioca Carnival is the moment when people let go, revealing their most intimate moments, and some of these moments are intimate for a reason. The Carnival became an excuse not merely to celebrate: this alone became too
puerile. Carnival is a certain time to get drunk, to litter our streets (even more), to stop the streets in massive traffic jams. And I’m not saying the Carnival should be abolished, but some people - usualy the elders from carnivals past - declare it used to be better when people celebrated just for the sake of celebrating. Today, this 90's/00's generation see carnival as an “everything goes” event. And yet, this speaks loads for this generation's Rio, in its 450 years of existence. There were several Rios in these many years, and they were shaped accordingly with those who came before. Some things remained the same: there are things that remain untouched about the culture of Rio de Janeiro. But other things changed drastically, such as the carnival.

http://www.rio450anos.com.br/wp-content/themes/rio450anos_v3/images/logotipo_big.jpg
This logo is basically screaming: "I AM A GRAPHIC DESIGN GENIUS!".

I always liked the Parade of the Samba Schools. Last time, I gave no sh*ts about the Academy Awards, and instead, I spent a night in Sapucaí: the world-famous lane where the event is set. However, there’s a difference between what happens in Sapucaí to what goes on in the streets: the Parade is a spectacle, a show, something to be enjoyed, and maybe a time capsule of different times. In the streets, it’s something to take part of: the carnival goes from the hands of image authors to those of proud street amateurs. Back in the day, when people didn't have as many options of entertainment as today, the carnival meant a lot: to go to the saloons, the streets, and enjoy the music, the spirit. In our internet age, just to follow some people making street music can be quite boring. So, to make everything funnier, the rule is: bottles up! And this is how we get people vomiting and pissing on the streets, the massive littering, or the impolite brutes itching for a fight. The carnival became - once again - an unique moment of letting yourself go wild, without a proper judgement on character. "Oh, but carnival has always been about letting yourself go!", some would say. Yes, but letting yourself go was quite different from then to now: different mentalities. What was pleasant then became boring now. Add cheap beer to it and let the magic happen.

The reason we usually associate old age with grumpiness is because, when you are old, you have much more information than the newest generations. You have a bigger cultural load, which can be perceived as wisdom. But at the same time, your information can be irrelevant to the kids of today, with a new set of morals. Therefore, you end up complaining about how "everything was better in my age", and that "you punks today don't know anything!". You become a grumpy person, incapable of accepting that the world has changed, and that you may have become irrelevant. In fact, by the rate of the world, you can be grumpy even at a young age, as "South Park" wonderfully pointed out in one of their episodes, featuring PewDiePie. However, there are two circumstances: one is when the individual in question carry morals that are dubious and questionable for our day and age, but you forgive him because it was how he got raised (the old story of that homophobic grampa some people claim to have). The other circumstance is when indeed, the world got worst in relation to not the individual's point of view, but indeed to his reality, and I guess this is the case of our carnival. Maybe this is an idyllic vision I have of carnivals past, and I myself can't say it for sure: the carnival we just read about, and is told to us by the elderly and the wise. But even with all the obscure details revealed, it still appears to be a superior experience than today's, for again, what it was became too
puerile for this generation, cynical forever a day.

You see, this "proud" view on the carnival is part of the celebration of culture. And as everybody should know by now, culture means a lot. That part of a people that can’t be pinned down to paper, that immaterial object that defines a nation, or in our case, our city. As I said, some morals change in relation to the generations that come, but some others stay the same, and these are part of the immutable culture... the Almighty Culture. Cariocas take a lot of pride for their culture, for this is what differ them from other cities. Wonderful beaches and natural monuments, everybody has, so it’s up to the “culture” to declare what makes us unique. One of the complains I hear about the Americas is that we don’t have a culture of our own, and that is partially true: this is still “the new world”, and whatever happened here – our roots – is based in what the colonizers did. Nevertheless, 500 years later, and we mixed cultures enough to come with something of our own, an unique personality.

Here is the Almighty Carioca Culture: we would be carefree, an irreverent people, beaming with good humour and optimism, having a delightful sense of fun, and always wanting to solve problems with “the little Brazilian way”. It’s a people with a considerable liberal view, in contrast with the Christian conservative rest of the country. Such characteristics are not so far away from reality, for better or worse. And more than that: this is not idyllic, for it's out there for all to see. Yes, there are exceptions, and not everyone is like that around hee. But in gereral therms, this is an actual stereotype, an immutable personality, that can have added elements with time or different interpretations, but that ultimately can't be touched. The stony rules, sometimes joined with generational trends.



That’s our culture. That’s what would make us Cariocas, besides simply where we were born. Some come to our city because they identify themselves with our culture, and they wanna be part of it. They see themselves as “Cariocas who were born in the wrong place”, so they take their vacations in Rio, or even move to live here. There’s now being a great increase of people coming to our city, and this makes me think that they all have this picturesque view of the city that I don't because I live here for all my life, and I got too used to my city to have this paradisiacal outlook of it. However, if I lived somewhere else, I would also have this illusory view: illusory not in the sense that the culture is false or idyllic, but in the sense of the city being genuinely wonderful, a little piece of platonic heaven in our mundane earth. Hell: when I'm away from Rio for like a weekend, I start to have this view.

In the end, what I'm saying is that these cultural stereotypes exist, and it's foolish to deny them. But that doesn't mean all individuals from that time and place are like that: you're reading the essay of a very weird Carioca, that in much escapes from the Almighty Culture stereotype. And the thing that bothers me the most is when people go into conclusions about us as individuals, basing themselves into these cultural stereotypes, without taking into consideration these very often exceptions. I don’t imagine that someone from Buenos Aries naturally loves tango music and thinks Diego Maradona or Evita Perón must have been canonized by now. I don't imagine that someone from Alabama is automatically a homophobic Christian that despise secular views. Of course I take the stereotypes into matter, but not so much when it comes to individuals: I take the stereotypes in matter in general terms.

But then, again, some traces of the culture can be traced to me, I like it or not. I love carnival… that is, when it’s civilized and fun. People pissing in the streets, fighting each other… that’s not civilized. And definitely not fun. My appreciation for our carnival limits itself to its history – spamming from many years – and to the Parade, which once again, is a show, and not a demonstration of controlled calamity. I love our reveillon, and our Independence Parade. I love football, although I'm not a stadium-visiting man. I love our beaches, and I hate red semaphores when I’m in a vehicle. I love the sun, I love blue skies, I love watching the girls at the beach, and I love warmth. Those are characteristics I have that are part of the Carioca culture. I may not have all the characteristics, or most of them, or half of them, but there's something of the culture in me. And that’s what makes it a big, almighty culture: the fact you can’t run away from it wholly. There's always a little bit of it in you, even if you can be seen as an exception.

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:iconfitzoblong:
FitzOblong Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
Thanks for the :+fav: . :icondweebdanceplz:
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:iconthedrifterwithin:
TheDrifterWithin Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
You're welcome, Fitz.
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:iconallentowndarkwater:
AllentownDarkWater Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
There is a God in Heaven after all! Sorry, I wanted to leave a comment on your journal entry, but the comments were disabled. I HATE the Nostalgia Critic too. He's so annoying and more than half of what he bashes doesn't deserve it! And another thing I hate is when people who do like him read my posts about how I don't like him and attack me and say shit like I have no right to say negative things about him. I hate Spoony and Linkara too. You sir are okay in my book! :)
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:iconwaltonzoo:
WaltonZoO Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
Happy Birthday!!!Have your cake and eat it too Party 
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