Three reasons why Brazilians own the tour…
(Editor’s note: Travel with a Brazilian troupe and you’ll be privy to the secret of their success. Every wave, every sunset, every afro-beat is celebrated as if they were starving men chewing a crust of bread. For the past week, I’d travelled with Filipe Toledo and his filmers Bruno Baroni and Erick Proost through Mexico and was continually saturated in their awesomeness. In the water, Filipe broke into applause at the tomato sunsets. After dark, MC Delano got ’em all dancing. This morning when I landed back home, I woke to an email from the writer Giancarlo Guardascione who must’ve read my mind. Why does Brazil own surf? Three reasons.)
1. We (you) Will Never Know Paris (Brazil)…
Henry Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer (originally called Crazy Cock! ’cause he, was, like, having sex with everything in The City of Lights). He was living in Paris when his girlfriend came to visit him. She told him, “Show me the Paris you write about.” His answer? “It was impossible. It is a Paris that has to be lived. That has to be experienced each day in a thousand different forms of torture. A Paris that grows in side you like a cancer, and grows and grows until you are eaten away by it. ”
It’s easy to scoff and roll our eyes at two-dollar surfboard sob stories and starving families in favelas when your quiver runs from a fish to a step-up and hits craigslist after two pressure dings. We will never know, to quote one Brazilian Pro, “The sound of my father crying because he could not buy me a soccer ball.” And, contrary to western belief, a favela does not constitute a third-floor walk-up with only two flat-screen TV’s, a paltry 200-channel selection and wall unit ACs that you have to get up off the couch to turn on. Ever ask a war veteran to describe his time in battle, a mother what it’s like to birth/raise a child or a Kardashian to explain long division? Like explaining life in Brazil to someone who doesn’t live it. Incomprehensible.
2. Dance (airs)
Show your typical white guy a dance floor with a thumping techno track in the background and watch him wilt like Trump at a Cinco de Mayo party, desperately praying that the fist-pump corner is alive and pumping. Just mentioning Samba, Carimbo or Capoeira is enough to make a stiff pale man from the north shiver in nervousness. Does this confidence and sexual self-awareness translate to surfing? Look at Filipe shoot the stars. Sexy as hell.
3. Celebration! (Claims)
Ever been to Carnival? Colors that could blind a rainbow goblin, outfits that’d make Ron Jeremy blush and a horny beat that’ll coerce a Nordic grandma in a walker to swing her hips. We have parades with bagpipes that induce walking comas and ticker tape like candy from a broken piñata to distract us from the sad truth that we’ll never gyrate our midriffs. Consequently, every claim and fist pump is a whip-crack at the desperation and poverty wolves snapping their teeth at every Brazilian pro’s heels. One point of Brazilian culture is a powerful sense of camaraderie built around the fact of just being Brazilian. In America, we build fences around our property lines and make sure our neighbors are at least three football fields away from our front door.
Americans’ IQ about other cultures could be rounded to the nearest single digit number, as long as it doesn’t go above ten. And that’s fine with Brazilians as they have plenty of tens coming their way…