Last night I watched the movie City of God, a scathing drama directed by Fernado Meirelles that takes place in the Favela, Rio De Janeiro's infamous slums. I immediately feel like an asshole because both Friday and Saturday nights last weekend I went to a Brazilian dance club in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris; it was called Favela Chic.
Oh, chic slums? Cool. Somehow I don’t think de Beauvoir would approve. People in Brazil - a place kind of like where I’m from in that I’m part Portuguese and they speak the same language - are shooting each other because they have to sell drugs to feed their families and I’m paying a 10 Euro cover to grind with the hot doctor/professor I'm getting with while having my hair tugged on by countless married guys and getting so drunk I apparently think I’m Paris Hilton and dance on tables.
I like being slapped in the face with perspective sometimes. It is often times quite necessary.
I also watched the documentary that is in the special features, which touches on the realities of the situation: people addicted to the drugs the dealers have to sell to pay for food, incredible poverty and violence, illegal gun trading, a neverending war between the police and the people: it seems to me like if the government figured out programs to help end poverty, drug addiction and hunger, then these problems wouldn't be so pronounced. It seems to me if the government stopped spending money arming the police with AK-47s and instead used that money to implement programs that would help the people live and not die, then the problems might ebb a little. But I'm always on the side of the impoverished because I grew up in a place where most people were impoverished. Not even close to those in Brazil, but also not New York or Paris either.
This is just another example of there being too many things wrong with the world and I get incredibly overwhelmed and can't decide where to concentrate my efforts. Just when I think I've zoned in on one problem that could be the root cause of all the others, something else nabs my attention. Of course, in the end I do nothing but write about it, and ultimately words alone could never save us.