Come for the Medina family tantrums, stay for the pop history!
Oh Gabriel Medina and his step-father Charles have been begging for it this entire contest, haven’t they though? Just pleading for a thorough tongue-washing from the peanut gallery. First Gabi cried and whispered about hardships then there was a veiled threat of lawsuit for those misinterpreting his whispers then there was his step-father Charles calling the judges a confederacy of demagogues.
And the righteous laughs poured from the heavens upon them both. Ha! Hahahaha!
Except let’s stop for a moment and examine Brazil’s terrible, horrible, no good very bad past. Did you know that South America’s largest country was the last to ditch slavery? True! The United States put an end to the practice (in theory) in 1863. Brazil, over two decades later in 1888.
That, also, it accounted for over 40% of all slaves brought over from Africa making it, by far, the largest consumer? True! Estimates put the United States slave total at 388,000 over the course of slavery’s run. Brazil had well over 4 million toiling in far worse conditions.
Did you know that Brazil suffered under a brutal military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985? So many people were disappeared, tortured, forced to falsely confess to strange crimes! There was no freedom of speech! No avenue in which to criticize the iron fist of steely-eyed generals!
Now, I’m not saying that Gabriel Medina feels like a slave to the lily-white World Surf League lords, dancing when told, ordered to perform with a smile on his face or massa won’t like it. Nor am I implying that the Word Surf League judges appear awfully similar to a hardened, unelected junta with care only for their own survival.
Or am I?
I guess I am!
Does this make you think differently about the week’s histrionics? Do you find yourself drying your eyes and donating to the Brazilian arm of the Salvation Army in Gabi and Charlie Medina’s name?
And God bless.