Pedro Ávila

Indeed, reader, indeed.

Interesting places have eluded me for some time now. I have been entrenched in São Paulo for the summer and I didn’t know how to get out. And just as I was plotting my escape I ran into an obstacle so cock-blockingly aggressive that I had no chance. My one hope was to sit through it, ride it out and hope for the best.

Really… it’s not my fault. The world cup was happening in Germany.

As the only country to have participated in every single world cup since the inception of the games in 1930, Brazil goes crazy no matter where it’s held. With games being held twice, sometimes three times a day, the gridlock of the city, the traffic of the Beast became intolerable. Every day at 11 in the morning and then again just after lunch, it didn’t matter who was going home or who was going to work, who was picking up their children or who was going grocery shopping…STAND BACK! Stay indoors at all costs lest you be caught in the whirlwinds of the streets of São Paulo during a world cup game. If you get stuck out there you won’t come home for 7 hours, and that’s when neither of the teams are good.

And if Brazil was playing, forget it. Don’t even bother getting out of bed unless you want to watch the game. Accomplishing anything else is impossible while the ball is in play.

Because it’s not about good. It’s about emotion, excitement. Soccer — or Futbol, for them — is about more than watching their team win. With such humble lives, sometimes that victory is the only one they’ll get all day.

I’m managing to find some balance to myself in this world of extremes. Expensive dinners and drinks with the boss, fancy hotels and a 12th story view have not turned me into an animal yet. Neither has life and all its unruly injustice and ostentatious flirting with the disaster that may be just around the corner. And how have I managed to do it? What have I needed to keep grounded in this elusive existence?

A weather eye on the horizon.

So it is that another unethical government program is thrown into the open, leaked, burst forth into the airwaves, or whatever you wanna call it. There’s nothing really new about this particular unethical government program; it shares all the same attributes as the others: hugging the edge of the legal blade, carefully researched and interpreted by the right minds and endorsed by the right faces, it shines into the heart of the ignorant as the tough choice – ergo, the right thing to do.

So it’s legal. Ok, so what?

No, really. So what?

It’s still wrong. It’s expensive. It’s immoral. It’s intrusive. Most importantly, it’s useless. The only thing different about this one is that Attorney General what’s-his-face is now slandering the media because they published national secrets. That’s a new twist, Mr. Gonzales, and bravo for going down a route where Satan gets a little finicky. You truly are the future of evil. And Dick: watch out for this kid; he’s coming for you and you may have to shoot him in the face.

Idiots. So far, nobody seems to give a damn, and that sucks for us. Who knows? What I do know is that it seems pretty silly to call something a national secret if you guard it so well that the New York Times can get their hands on it.

Think about it. What does the NYT want? Readers. An audience. Why? because it equals dollars. People who are out to hurt the US – assuming we need to refer to them as if they were some sort of organized group — will uncover the same shit. They have a much more profound je ne sais quoi… oh yeah, drive: they think they’re right.

Which is a powerful thing that we here haven’t really known in a while, probably since World War Two. It’s probably why they’re winning the so called struggle against extremism — and they are, they are…don’t kid yourself. The American Government is pathologically finding ways to come out with a good image, at least until the end of the current administration’s run. That’s their thing, as it were. Image. It equals those dollars we discussed earlier.

Even in the movies, most bad guys do what they do because in their own skewed view of reality, they were doing the right thing, at least for themselves. It’s true that they may not have followed their own arguments to the very ends of logic, but until wherever they got with it, they considered themselves justified. Foolish were the ones who wanted money and the real looneys were those guys that just wanted to take over the world because, well, what the hell does that mean, you know? Can you imagine the administrative hell that would be?

But we’re not dealing with only slightly twisted minds like Lex Luthor. That guy had a vision: real estate. Acquiring the property was just the means. The end goal was investment. Business. Growth. Power was just a consequence and killing off most of California was the price he felt justified his gain. I’m not going to convince him he’s wrong and that’s not just because I have a profound love affair with California.

But what we’re dealing with in the real world today is not a rogue mind bent on achieving a stated objective. There is no end solution for them. The means is the end, and we’re playing right into their game.

Which leads me to… Bush. Oh man. The man has no substance, and any of the arguments I have against his blatherings turn into rants without direction, sort of like arguing with a child. I think I’ve made my point to those of you smart enough to understand by now. To the rest of you…sorry. I’m just not really into sympathy for retarded decisions. Just don’t vote for the dumber or two evils next time you decide to take the time to do it. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic and you still want to ruin the world in a disastrous kind of way, feel free to exercise your right not to vote. We’ll all thank the stars that we live in a country which gives you that right.

While you’re at it, feel free to not reproduce either, and if it’s too late for that, consider letting others raise your kids. Move to Antarctica, where your air conditioning bill will decrease dramatically. I promise you that it will.

Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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