Let there be cake

And of course there was thanks to the wonderful Selminha.

70 years ago today I had the privilege of of being born in this house, now a guest house and restaurant in one of the prettier and unspoiled parts of an England of which I now not unsurprisingly feel little or no part of.
Unique from past generations my life has not been marked except periphally by warfare. The European Union was part of this reason.

I have seen many norms challenged and defeated – mostly for the better, but the authoritarian,  privileged and mainly male dinosaurs continue to expound their unreason and bile and are allowed or encouraged by the outlets of infotainment as news has now become.
Todays wars are cultural and as important as geographical territory if not more so as they are fought for the territory of the mind.
I’m right you’re wrong. To many, dissent is the most heinous crime and to this extent if in power they attempt to limit education, thought and speech while vilifying any so called deviation from their far right, racist, homophobic and misogynistic and frequently priviliged agenda.
Beware the lure of the Soft Fascism within.

Plague was not on my Bingo card. Nor it seems was it in the foresight of so many that it should have been.
Disimulation, obfuscation and outright denial and lying seem to be the accepted ‘modus operandi’ for many of those in power.
Hopefully in democratic regions however sketchy the people will not forget and punish the offenders accordingly, removing them from power when their mandate is over and never letting the populaces forget that these people decided that theirs (the populaces) lives did not matter. I can but dream.

The insectionalism of the Evangelists, Trumpism, Brexidiots and Covid denialists is a frightening reminder that however modern we pretend to be with our technologies,that beneath it all we are still the apes around the monolith.
Which in a rather round and about way brings me to Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Maravilhosa and my home.
Last Sunday’s municipal election has seen the back of Crivella the Evangelical mayor of the city, defeated in every single district and whose only interest seems to have been the pursuit of his evangelical mindset. He is a bishop in the Universal Church of God and nephew to the billionaire Edir Macedo, a despicable snake oil salesman of the highest order.

Now we have Eduardo ‘Dudu’ Paes, the populist Man of the People. Not really the best choice for voters, but the left and just about everyone else is unanimous in getting rid of the puritanical, homophobical, misogynistec dominionist Crivella who made Rio de Janeiro into a miserable city.

However Rio de Janeiro’s politics are more than complicated as a recent article by Damian Platt explains, and even more so in his most recently published book Nothing by Accident: Brazil on the Edge.
Crime and Milicias and illegal gambling money being are all intertwined in this difficult city. Many Milicias are openly evangelical and intolerant of Umbanda or Afro-Brazilian religions. Meanwhile the samba schools are financed by the vast illegal gambling operations. Complicated.

“Zé Pelintra” – Whoever drinks from my glass, sits at my table and takes shelter under my panama, helpless will never stay.

As for the bigger picture, the political climate is possibly changing.
The fascists lost in Bolivia but promise to return, Chile has voted to reform it’s constitution away from the Pinochet era and The Bolsonazi’s hero in north is gone, even though he has yet to admit it although he is now busy distancing himself from the loser.

Meanwhile one of the Bolsonazi sons continues to upset Brazils largest trading partner which is China, this was after he blamed the Covid-19 virus on Beijing earlier in the year.
I can’t see the agribiz and mining backers being very pleased with that.
Then there are background rumours that the Disenvironment Minister Ricardo Sallas, he who lies about his degree, is possibly leaving, but we have heard that rumour before. Behind the curtain the Military stay quiet for the moment.

Europe is taking note of the ravishing of the Amazon with a fifth of its Soy import linked to deforestation which is heading to a 12 year high.
and UKs largest supermarket groups Tesco, Lidl, Asda, McDonald’s and Nando’s all source chicken fed on soya from the Cerrado tropical biome region.
The countries, which are part of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership group, sent an open letter to Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao expressing concern that the country was backsliding on a previous strong record on environmental protection and it is warned that Brazil must reverse deforestation trends before EU finalises Mercosur trade deal. Money talks.
May be Biden can help
Apart from deforestation for agriculture there is another environmental problem of illegal mining situated close to the Venezuelan border and the devestating pollution caused to the rivers by mercury pollution and also where slavery is still rife.

But meanwhile in Rio de Janeiro we wait to  continue to Samba again (Spotify) when the plague allows.

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