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Flip-flops and fragments

May 4, 2009


Harddrive crash, several Brazilian national holidays in a row, redlines and deadlines mean a this-and-that summary post of the May Day weekend:

-In addition to banning Facebook, youtube, Orkut and other sites, the prominent named-after-a-dictator center where I work also bans Havaianas (founded 1962). Since these rubbery slippers are probably the world´s most democratic footwear invention, I bill this as just another instance of meaningless and tacky prohibitions here.
-According to Wikipedia, the Indian manifestation of the flip-flop, the chappal, ´has been known to be deployed as a weapon, both as a truncheon and a missile, although it is more commonly merely a threat. It is not unheard of for people to whip off their chappals in the heat of an argument, in order to make their aggravation more palpable to the other party.´ Nice fact-finding: only in India have shoes been hurled in perturbation.
-Yesterday was the biggest fútbol day craze of the year in Rio, with Flamengo beating Botafogo in penalty overtime. I know how many goals were scored only because I counted the times my neighbors created minor indoor riots and howled at their televisions. Six.
-Time not spent on the game that 99% of the city watched was poured into reading Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success by Christopher M. Davidson. Review forthcoming.  
-The ´Viva a Heróica Resistência do Povo Palestino´ (Long Live the Heroic Resistance of the Palestinian People) graffiti, sprayed on public walls all over Rio during the Israeli winter assault on Gaza, still stands.
-Every time I watch a film in Rio I am reminded of Tehran, because Iranian and Brazilian audiences have more than just road rage in common. They are both incessant chatterboxes during movies.
-Panic in the outhouse: apparently the aporkalypse is headed toward the southern hemisphere.

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