Brasil is the beautiful game. It's all about taking the ordinary, eating it whole, and making something extraorinary. (You fancy people may have heard the term cultural anthrophagy used in sociology and philosophy. Brasilian origin, from Latin roots.)
Before the critique of urban poverty, income inequality, crime, and domestic violence, let me list a few things Brasilian that make the world a better place:
Brasilian football (or soccer, for Americans) -- Graceful, improvisational, impossibly skilled, the Brasilian national football team created the beautiful game. Even playing against the Germans in the last World Cup, Brasil proved they define the game of football. They rise to the occassion, adapt, and overcome.
Feijoada -- the Brasilian national dish. Black beans plus meat, cooked for a loooonnng time, and served with collard greens (couvee), rice, and orange slices. I wish I could say feijoada is healthy for the body (I'll spare you the gory details of my recipe), it sure as hell is comforting.
Brasilian music -- Bossa nova. tropicalia. music popular brasilero (MPB). Antonio Carlos Jobim. Caetano Veloso. Joao Gilberto. Gilberto Gill. Danielle Mercury. Carmen Miranda. Chico Science. Maria Bethania. Bebel Gilberto. Baden Powell. DJ Dolores. Virginia Rodrigues. Tom Ze. I can go on but I don't need to. Beauty, sadness, skill, invention, humanity, humour: it’s all there.
Renewable energy – 20% of Brasil's vehicles run on domestically produced ethanol. Now there’s moving to produce biodiesel.
And it’s more that just vehicles. Following some spectacularly wrongheaded hydroelectric development in the 1980s and 90s, Brasil is following a sustainable path. Enough said.