Thousands of Brazilians have protested in several cities over the past ten days, and organizers are planning for another march in Sao Paulo on Monday night.
Rising prices for public transportation was the original cause of the the protests, organized by Movimento Passe Livre. Since then, Brazilians have joined protests for various other reasons, including rising crime, income inequality, and corruption.
The protests are quickly becoming a sign of a weakening public confidence for Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The protest’s nickname “Salad Uprising” was coined in response to the arrests of those who carried vinegar with them as an aide against police tear gas.
Tumblr blog Salad Uprising is reporting to collect stories and pictures from demonstrations across Brazil (Reuters cannot confirm individual posts on external blogs; please message the Reuters on Tumblr if you seek more information on any news).
When police tried to disperse the crowd on Thursday in Sao Paulo, violence erupted, injuring dozens and leading to nearly 200 arrests.
Photo: posters read, “Dilma, we are the ones who pay for your housing” and “Communities exist.” REUTERS/Alex Almeida
Many people have asked me about this, because 1. there are a lot of Brazilian nerdfighters, 2. I am a huge fan of Brazil and see the last 20 years of its history as a model for other nations in the developing world, and 3. I like soccer a lot.
My honest opinions may be unpopular with Brazilian nerdfighters, and that’s okay. I might be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. Also, I don’t know much about Brazil, and I don’t want to pretend otherwise. But since you’re all asking:
1. 100% of the protesters’ concerns are legitimate.
2. I think the World Cup (and the Olympics) will happen regardless of whether they are a net economic good for Brazil. (I think they’ll be a net negative, but it’ll be closer than many people are saying.) Brazil has already spent more than 3 billion reals to prepare for the World Cup; yes, that is a ridiculous number, but making the World Cup a failure will not make it a less ridiculous number.
2a. Given that, I think non-Brazilians who are planning to go should go and spend a lot of money. The time to have the conversation about whether it was a bad idea to host the World Cup has passed: The cost of abandoning the World Cup (or the Olympics) at this point would be prohibitive and more damaging to the Brazilian economy than going through with it and hopefully getting a reasonable windfall from foreign tourists spending a lot of money.
3. I understand that money spent by tourists will be unevenly distributed, but that’s been the case for decades, and in Brazil at least, the rising tide really has lifted all boats: after decades of rampant inflation and extremely high poverty rates, absolute poverty has fallen by half since 1994.
3a. That said, poverty is still much higher in Brazil than it should be, and corruption remains a huge problem. (Compare Brazil’s corruption levels to Chile’s, for instance.) Income inequality is extremely high. Crime is a vexing problem, and a very complicated one. Public transportation costs should not have gone up (for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it amounts to a tax on non-rich workers, who are exactly the wrong people to tax).
4. HOWEVER: It is important to note that real and important economic progress had been made in Brazil in the last 20 years. For that progress to continue, corruption, income inequality, and crime must decrease. These protests are important because they remind the government that all is not well and that progress is fragile and only counts if it continues. They hold the government accountable to the people. But as far as the World Cup goes: Most of the money that will be spent on the World Cup has already been spent. It is gone. Let us hope that the crowds are large and that most of that money can be recouped.
50 Ways to Pretend to Be Smarter
In which Grace teaches you how to fake being smarter than you are in 50 easy steps. Some of them might possibly involve cheese. Maybe.
Today’s paternity leave video is brought to you by the delightful: http://www.youtube.com/dailygrace
A+++. Who needs me when there is Grace?
(Alice is doing great. Thanks for all your kind wishes.)
You will know much too much about me and some things about the book by the end of this blog entry.
Don’t forget Superman, John. He was an immigrant too. All Americans have a connection to immigration, share your story with us.
The U.S.’s current immigration system is byzantine, cruel, and benefits neither American citizens nor anyone else. We need comprehensive immigration reform to bring highly skilled workers into the United States to help our economy grow and to bring security and stability to the lives of immigrants living in the United States today. Nikola Tesla was an immigrant. So were Joseph Pulitzer and Albert Einstein and Igor Stravinsky. Rational, compassionate immigration reform is needed so that the next Teslas and Einsteins are not denied access to educational or entrepreneurial opportunities in the United States. The time has come. - John Green
Hank Games with Hank will be returning soon….
In the meantime, you can watch the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers experience an existential crisis as I, like Gatsby, attempt to repeat the past with disastrous consequences.
Have you completed the Nerdfighteria Census yet? Answer these 30 or so questions to let us know how we can best move forward as a community and how the stuff nerdfighters make can be useful to you. Thanks so much!
John and I were talking yesterday and we realized that, though we have a somewhat distinct and ever-changing image of what Nerdfighteria is and who it is composed of, we aren’t precisely sure whether or not that image is correct.
Basically, there are a lot of things we don’t know about the people who watch our videos and the people who consider themselves Nerdfighters. We want to change that, so we’ve put together a 30-something question survey.
- It is not required that you answer all of the questions, but we would like as many people as possible to respond so that we can better understand the world we inhabit
- We will, of course, not sell any of this information to anyone. We choose to ask you for information rather than attempting to collect it without your knowledge (through cookes, or whatever.)
- Your responses will be confidential and not tied to any name.
- We may, however, make public information about Nerdfighteria, but it won’t be connected at all to your name and there won’t be any way to trace it back to you.
Here’s the link again!
This is really important for us as we try to think about how best to move forward as members of the nerdfighter community and also to understand who you are and how the stuff we make can be useful to you. CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY. Thank you. It will really help us better understand how we can best decrease suck/increase awesome.
I’m always excited when I get to announce a new artist signing with DFTBA. But today’s announcement is particularly exciting. Starting today, DFTBA Records will be teaming up with the Harry Potter Alliance to become the exclusive online merchandise outlet for the HPA.
DFTBA has grown into our new 8,000 sq ft warehouse quite quickly, and we’ve gotten really good at sending out a lot of orders very efficiently. For most other organizations, or individual artists, this is a huge headache that we can relieve for them. So we hope that this new partnership will allow the HPA to focus more on fighting world suck, and less on restocking envelopes and filling out international customs forms.
To celebrate this new collaboration, the HPA have launched three new shirts, which you can find, along with a lot of their familiar stock, now available at dftba.com/hpa
If you haven’t heard of the HPA before this post, please head over to thehpalliance.org and read up on some of their success stories of over $100,000 raised for sending life-saving supplies to Haiti, or donating over 120,000 books around the world to readers in need.
You can get involved directly with the HPA. Or you can show your support by purchasing any item from the HPA’s new store on dftba.com, as, in our continued effort to support charitable organizations/causes, we’re fulfilling all HPA merch orders at half of our standard rate, ensuring as much money as possible spent on HPA merch goes directly to decreasing world suck levels via the HPA’s efforts.
YA Books About Transgender Characters
There haven’t been a lot of young adult books published about transgender characters. This list is not meant to be a “best of” list — it is simply a list of the titles that we are aware of, and we are sure there are more we aren’t aware of. This list is limited to titles published specifically for a young adult audience, which means titles published for adults that teens might still enjoy aren’t included.
- I am J by Cris Beam (Little, Brown)
- One in Every Crowd by Ivan E. Coyote (Arsenal Pulp)
- Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Flux)
- Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis (Knopf)
- f2m: the boy within by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy (Ford Street Publishing, Australia)
- Being Emily by Rachel Gold (Bella Books)
- Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Knopf)
- Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher (Delacorte)
- Luna by Julie Anne Peters (Little, Brown)
- Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster)
Do you have a favorite YA book about a transgender character? Please tell us why you loved it!
I want to give special shout-outs to Luna and Parrotfish, two of my favorite YA novels.
I’d also add that Every Day by David Levithan is, in a way, a really good book about a non-binary character. Part of what makes A and Rhiannon’s love story so unique and compelling is that it exists outside of binary constructions of gender and sex identity.
It is important to follow Josh Boone (the director of TFiOS) because he knows everything, and also is really good at tumblr.
You are going to love his movie Stuck in Love, which comes out later this summer. It features Logan Lerman, whom tumblr loves, and Nat Wolff, whom tumblr will soon love.
A note about casting: You might think that casting stuff happens months before it is publicly announced, but in fact generally everything is agreed to like FOUR SECONDS before I tell you about it, so I promise we are not keeping any secrets from you.
(And now back to paternity leave.)