daniels day2day in garanhuns

Friday, June 16, 2006

its peanut butter jelly time!!

best news ive had in a long time.. (my boss) andy and his family will live here for the next year to resolve issues with the school and get this project really moving.. they brought down a huge tub of peanut butter and jars of grape jelly.. im gonna eat peanut butter jelly sandwiches like theres no tomorrow.. its one of the things i really miss..

Thursday, June 15, 2006

ronaldo health scare

right now, the entire country is talking about this.. same thing happened before the world cup finals in 98.. no one is too happy with ronaldo at this moment, for a perceived lack of effort last game, and this isnt helping

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

you just cant win

ok guys im loaded with work, so you need to make do with two posts that i saved for an occasion just like this, when i was crunched for time, like today.. yes, brasil won, but the fans and media are NOT happy, especially with ronaldo fenomeno, as seen in this article (its in english)..

The Soccer Wars

The Soccer Wars

Bono Says the World Cup Is a Peacemaker. Not Quite.

By Daniel W. Drezner

Sunday, June 4, 2006; Page B01

The World Cup is coming, which means a flurry of desperate attempts by tournament promoters to excite Americans about an event that electrifies the rest of the world. This year is no different. ESPN, which will broadcast most of the games in the United States, is airing a series of ads with members of the rock band U2. In one, Bono says that the World Cup "closes the schools, closes the shops, closes a city and stops a war."

If stopping a war seems like an exaggeration, another ad explains soccer's peace-building qualities in more detail: "After three years of civil war, feuding factions talked for the first time in years, and the president called a truce. Because the Ivory Coast qualified for the World Cup for the first time. Because, as everyone knows, a country united makes for better cheerleaders than a country divided."

Does the World Cup really put a stop to war? Does soccer, known for its dangerously rowdy fans, have the conflict-reducing powers that ESPN and U2 proclaim? To be charitable to the World Cup, which this year will be held in Germany starting June 9, the evidence is mixed. It is undeniable that soccer has the power to unite -- but its power to divide should not be underestimated.

The belief that sports can be a source of peace dates to the start of the modern Olympic movement. But social scientists are split on whether competitive sports reduce or inflame conflict. A 1973 article by Richard Sipes in the journal American Anthropologist distilled the debate into two simple, but contrasting, arguments. One is that combative sports and war are substitutes for aggressive behavior -- that the presence of sports is a healthy way for people to discharge their competitive urges. The other is that sports induce a warlike attitude, abetting conflict rather than reducing it.

Sipes tentatively concluded that sports foster aggression. It is possible, however, that the worldwide appeal of soccer (well, minus the United States and Canada) has a pacifying effect. Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer recently declared that once the tournament starts, "a football will become the symbol of our One World."

There are certainly tangible examples of soccer soothing the savage beast of war. What did the British and Germans do during the famous 1914 Christmas truce across the trenches during World War I? They played a soccer match (the Germans won, 3-2). During the peak of popularity for Brazilian soccer phenom Pele, the combatants in the Biafran war in Nigeria declared a two-day truce so they could watch him play. Of course, in both cases, the cessation of conflict was only temporary.

Soccer has also functioned as a useful outlet for postwar grievances. For generations after World War II, the conflict resonated in soccer matches between the Netherlands and Germany. Franklin Foer, editor of the New Republic and author of "How Soccer Explains the World," argues that the Dutch did not fully recover from the war until Dutchman Frank Rijkaard spit on Rudi Voller's mullet during a 1990 second-round World Cup match. Rijkaard's loogie was the only shot fired in restoring Dutch pride.

Successful teams have also provided the occasional boost for national comity. The Ivory Coast example cited in the ESPN ad works here. Since 1999, the country has been mired in coups, rebellions and ethnic conflicts. When the national team -- the Elephants -- qualified in October 2005, the head of the Ivory Coast Football Federation pleaded with President Laurent Gbagbo to restart peace talks. Elections are scheduled for October of this year. While a truce is in place, however, Human Rights Watch warned in May that both government and rebel forces were devoting their energies to terrorizing civilians.

The problem is that historically, soccer has been just as likely to be the trigger for war as the trigger for peace. The best-known example took place in June 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras. Immigration and border disputes between the two countries had reached a boiling point at the same time that a three-game elimination match between the two national teams was taking place. Rioting during the second game led the two countries to break diplomatic relations. Two weeks later, the 100-hour Soccer War took place, resulting in about 2,000 casualties.

Soccer also played a role in the run-up to the Balkan wars of the 1990s. In March 1990, Red Star Belgrade, a Serbian team, faced Dinamo Zagreb, a Croatian team, in the Croatian capital for a league title, a scant two weeks after Croatia elected nationalist Franjo Tudjman as president. According to Foer, that day was the first time in a half-century that Serbs and Croats openly fought each other. Red Star and Dinamo fans became so violent that the Serbian team had to be taken away by helicopter. Fifteen years after the match, the Zagreb daily Vecernji list observed, "The game that was never played will be remembered, at least by the soccer fans, as the beginning of the Patriotic War, and almost all of the contemporaries will declare it the key in understanding the Croatian cause." The leader of Red Star's ultranationalist fans -- the Delije -- was the notorious Arkan. He later recruited from the Delije to form the paramilitary force that engaged in ethnic cleansing of Croats and Muslims during the war, and ultimately was the victim of a gangland-style killing.

While success at the World Cup can bolster national pride, losing can reap the whirlwind. A working paper by business professors Alex Edmans, Diego Garcia and Oyvind Norli finds that "losses in soccer matches have an economically and statistically significant negative effect on the losing country's stock market." Some individual players suffer consequences worse than that. Colombian defender Andres Escobar, responsible for an own goal in a 1994 World Cup loss to the United States, was killed upon returning to his hometown of Medellin.

Soccer will never bring about peace on its own. The flip side is also true -- by itself, soccer cannot start a war. The World Cup, like the Olympics, suffers from a case of overblown rhetoric. Bono's assurances to the contrary, the passions inspired by the World Cup embody both the best and worst forms of nationalism.


Daniel W. Drezner will be an associate professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University starting in the fall.


there are some words and phrases here in brasil that are taken from they way they sound in english, but written the way they sound in portuguese.. there is a chain of juice bars here called amazonia mix.. they have some really delicious combinations of fruits, most of them not readily available in other countries.. i have lunch there maybe twice a month, and get juice there maybe once a week.. last week they introduced a "new product" called "SMOOTY".. i got curious and wanted to try it.. i just hadnt had the time, with the copa event and all.. ever since they introduced it, all you saw were signs and banners around town, and radio spots, promoting this new, exciting, delicious drink at amazonia mix.. so today i finally went in and got my "smooty"..know what it was? a smoothie.. kinda like the crumpets incident (inside family joke, but if someone wants to know, ask me or my mom or annette..)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

big day is here

in a matter of hours brasil makes its debut in the world cup.. the whole country is like little kids on christmas eve.. im really excited about being here for the world cup.. today will be the first real test for our event, and we expect a really nice crowd.. the success of the event hinges on how well brasil does in the copa.. the further they go, the longer the event runs, the more $$$ we can raise for the school.. got to run out and set up the bar, but i will check in later tonight and post how everything went.. peace and love to you guys..

Monday, June 12, 2006

last chance

ok today is our last chance to work out the kinks before the first brasil game tomorrow against croatia.. todays first game is japan versus austrailia, and even though those these teams are in the same group as brasil, we dont expect much of a crowd.. today also happens to be dia dos namorados, brasils version of valentines day.. we decided against opening the bar up for the early game.. the first game we are going to show today is usa versus the czech republic at 1300, and the last game today is at 1600, italy versus ghana.. ghana is a team i think could surprise people in this world cup.. its gonna be a bit hectic, cause everything needs to be fine tuned for brasils debut tomorrow, which is another holiday here in garanhuns.. its festa de santo antonio, saint anthony, who is the patron of the town, its only a holiday here.. thursday is yet ANOTHER holiday, this one national, corpus christi, so we expect lots of traffic for the games.. ill keep you guys posted on how things go..

the water donkey

ok i mentioned to some of you that a donkey brings drinking water to your house.. in case you wanted to see it, here it is.. this is the way it works.. there are a few posts around town that sell filtered or spring water.. every morning several carts like this one line up, fill the big blue tank, then they go around town asking people if they want (or need) water.. people then fill up those 5 gallon (19 liters) water bottles and other containers.. this routine happens every day.. one of the drawbacks of using donkeys to deliver water is they sometimes leave big huge pieces of poop.. not fun stepping into those

Sunday, June 11, 2006

whats in a name?

in brasil, most everyone is known by their apellido, or nickname.. ask people who edson arantes do nascimento is, or maria da graça meneghel, and you will probably get blank stares.. but say pelé or xuxa, and everyone knows who you are talking about.. i havent read up or studied on why this is and how it came about, but i probably will at some point.. but just to share, here are some of the nicknames ive picked up here so far, in no particular order:
gaginho (gago means stutterer, in brasil, porky pig is called gaginho)
miami (and one person calls me mi-to you guys it would sound like my, which sounds alot like mãe in portuguese, which means mom, i kinda think thats funny..)
baiano (this means someone from bahia, another state here in brasil, this is because i once wore a jersey of esporte clube bahia, and people just assumed i was from there)

how soccer transcends politics

ok those of you that know me know my political views.. pretty much further to the right than franco and the john brich society.. but when it comes to soccer, its different.. i can put politics aside to watch and enjoy the games.. i know that if cuba was playing id be rooting for them to go all the way, regardless of who is in charge.. back in the cold war days, i would love to watch the big red machine of the soviet union play.. wouldnt happen in the olympics..i can still remember papa getting mad at me cause i laughed my ass off and cheered when a soviet diver tried to do a backflip and cracked his head on the cement platform.. in 98 when iran beat the us 1-0, all i could think of was "wow, they played a freakin awesome, tight, solid game.." such is the case today, ironically enough, with the iranians again.. at 1300 brasil time (12 in miami, 6pm in nuremberg) the iranians square off against mexico.. two teams that can play a brand of soccer exciting and enjoyable to watch.. when it comes to copa, i dont root on political lines, but on the teams themselves, the players, the style of play.. i never cared what the italians did in the olympics, but i cant stand the style of soccer they play.. i like boca juniors in the argentine league, one of my favorite teams in the world, but as a national team i cant stand the argies, they dive too much.. there is alot of talk and controversey about iran in this worldcup, mainly because of their president mahmoud ahmadinejad and comments he made about israel and the talk of their nuclear capabilities.. there are rumors he was part of the student group that stormed the us embassy and took the hostages.. but for the copa, and ONLY for the copa, i see him as a fan of the game, i happen to think its cool when the national president goes off to see his team play in the copa and take part in training.. apparently, mahmoud is a big time soccer fan, as was kadaffi from libya.. to sum it up cause i got to get to the copa event, if you guys want to understand how much i love this game and this event,think how important it must be to me if i can put politics aside for one month, and just enjoy the games for what they are.. for those who care, the early game is serbia montenegro v holland, the middle game is mexico v iran, and the late game is angola v portugal, a game that raises political implications, back to the colonial days.. enjoy them!!