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About Comfort, Cracudos and Rio de Janeiro

According to stereotypes, I got into 2022 learning to recognize rifle fire. Things from Rio de Janeiro. Before that, I thought that the militia area was much better than the Zona Sul in this regard. When a friend of mine who lives in Copacabana said that she heard gunshots in the favela from home, I commented that in an area dominated by the militia in Jacarepaguá there was nothing like that. My friend replied that she wanted to be comfortable.

A little later, a plainclothes security guard at the cafe where we were, came out to hit a slug who had entered there. This in Ipanema. The attendants explained that Cracuda was a recidivist and had broken each and every pot of coffee plant. Already expelled, the toothless barnacle screamed at the top of her lungs at the security guard in a flowered blouse who immobilized her.

“What comfort?!” I asked my buttons, while looking curiously at the shack on the sidewalk. Passersby did not stop; maybe they were used to it. My friend wasn’t interested either. I never saw it, not even on the street of cabarets in Cachoeira, Bahia. I also didn’t see this in the Jacarepaguá militia area, in Rio de Janeiro. I’m the one who won’t complain about the security: bad with him, worse without him. In Jacarepaguá, bad with the militia, worse without the militia.

And in poor Cachoeira, with its “average” HDI of 0,70 ( against the “high” HDI of 0,647 in Rio de Janeiro), there is neither militia nor police, but none of that. The cracudos there are humble beggars; they don’t have that aggressive behavior of the cracudos of the metropolises. Rio is superior in HDI and comfort. The HDI is measured based on money, education and life expectancy. I don’t really understand how people in the metropolis judge what comfort is, but I suspect they confuse it with price. If it’s nice and comfortable, it can only be expensive; if it’s expensive, it can only be nice and comfortable. Comfort for me includes not having crashed on the door of my house making a shack. For them, it should include the cost of security to shake the bad guys, as well as the cost of having a car so as not to be bothered by pickpockets. pay for a gym or go hiking outdoors. I don’t know if there are gyms in Cachoeira; I suspect not. There are no urban buses, no shopping, no iFood, or Uber. I do everything on foot, with no traffic jams, no fear of pickpockets and bumps, and I call that comfort. This metropolis mentality is just like that of the technocrat.

As I am a far-right antiscience obscurantist, I believe the human development index (sic) should include the non-use of illicit or psychiatric drugs. As the HDI includes life expectancy, money and study, it follows that if you have a modest and balanced life on a rural property, your “human development” is inferior to that of a graduate snorter who works a lot, earns a lot, spends a lot on cocaine , he has a thousand psychiatric disorders and he can’t live without Rivotril.

Here with my buttons, I think that the naughty people in the street are the most visible part of a collective decision to live stoned spending money. There’s the middle-class grimace who does it with Rivotril, there’s the wealthy one who does it with straight cocaine, and there’s the cracudo – sometimes an ex-middle-class user of Rivotril and an ex-rich snorter. But I can only guess, since I don’t have the means to test my hypothesis that the visible presence of aggressive barnacles is linked to the use of Rivotril by the middle class in the same city.

On the other hand, the association between the presence of snorters among the wealthy and the naughty people making a scene is an elementary triviality. After all, both groups’ money moves the same criminal business institution. If there had been no snorter in years 70, there would have been no drug trafficking. If there were no drug trafficking (and if Brizola had not removed the police from the favelas), there would be no militia. Anyone who complains so much about the militia without complaining about the traffic could well stop snorting.

Subway would be good in Rio das Pedras

Let’s go back to comforts of Jacarepaguá versus Ipanema. Jacarepaguá is located in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, which, apart from the tacky part of nouveaux riches which is Barra, is more to the Far West. In the case of Jacarepaguá in particular, there used to be a lot of condominiums of houses and buildings, separated by lots of greenery. The population of the area grew with the migration of Paraíba and Ceará. The flat slums were surrounded and insulating the condominiums. This results in a huge traffic jam.

Before, for example, there was a bucolic single-lane Estrada Velha de Jacarepaguá, and on its banks there are favelas like Rio das Pedras, with houses built by the people themselves. residents, footsteps to each other. Before the militia started building buildings, the residents themselves were already adding pavements to the houses. There is then a noble area, which is the one that overlooks the already existing street – the Estrada Velha de Jacarepaguá itself – and a mountain of exposed brick buildings, one balanced on the other, sometimes separated by claustrophobic alleys. The noble part of the favela has a thriving trade. In the single lane, every now and then there are trucks loading and unloading, buses break down, garbage trucks crash, the driver decides to catch up with the pedestrian friend he saw from the window. The favela’s traffic is unpredictable, and the middle class picks up.

So, meditating on the comforts of the South Zone compared to the West Zone (except for Barra), I thought of the subway – a veritable anti-jam spell . But if the well-heeled use it, that’s another story. After all, “having comfort” is riding in a car, even if it is in a traffic jam. Riding a car is more expensive than taking a subway, so getting stuck in a car is better than riding the subway. Etc.

Anyway, it is certain that life in the West Zone would improve a lot if the subway went beyond Barra. For a Jacarepaguá resident to reach his neighborhood from the subway, he will find an abundant number of buses and vans, which will cut through the Muzema and Vila da Paz slums, with traffic jams similar to that of Rio das Pedras.

Every carioca is aware of the conflict of interests that exists in the transport sector in Rio de Janeiro, and the “transport mafia” was a common topic in the local news. The name of Jacob Barata Filho became sadly notorious; it even won an entry in Wikipedia. This type of entrepreneur is interested in lobbying against the expansion of the subway towards the West Zone.

There are also vans, which every Carioca in the West Zone knew to be militiamen. (Looking for news on the subject, we see that the traffickers decided to imitate them.) Van in Rio de Janeiro accepts a bus card and is regular – which only means that the militia had the support of the State in the regularization of one of its you prescribe. That’s why the militias are another interest group that will not, under any circumstances, want the subway to enter the West Zone.

In the end, thanks to the snorters in the South Zone and Brizola, the West Zone wastes a lot of time with traffic jams and spends money on vans to get to the subway.

Association with traffic

How the rich don’t stop snorting, it was even to be expected that the drug dealers would have heavy enough economic power to buy the militia. Note that the militia extracted their wealth from the dominated population. Not the drug dealer: he dominates the favela population with the rich population’s money. For better or worse, the militia had to consider the wishes of the local clientele. The drug dealer, on the other hand, can act in the favelas as a foreign soldier during a war.

For some time now there has been talk of the phenomenon of militiamen selling their protection services to drug dealers. I hadn’t seen this firsthand yet; the Rio das Pedras was quite stable. But then, the rumor began to circulate that the militiamen sold a small piece of the poor to the drug dealers, who now have a mouth there. And behold, the death of a child in Rio das Pedras comes out on TV: the militiaman acted just like the drug dealers when the police appeared and shot at random, without any consideration for the lives of his “subjects”. A bullet went through a child’s chest.

And in the regular condominium next door, drug dealers are now admitted. With the pandemic, people started to make an extra rent by renting houses. And from the rented house came a flurry of rifle fire into the air, along with the fireworks. An authentic Rio experience. From the house of the militiaman who goes in and out of jail, on the other hand, only fireworks came out. And no loud music.

Maybe the people in the condominium should sell the Rio experience to wealthy uspians. Thus, local income grows and the HDI increases.

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