The World Cup and soccer in general remind me of Brazil and Pele’. In my youth I traveled to Brazil as an exchange student as a fresh-faced 17-year-old American girl. One of the highlights of my stay was meeting Pele’ at the American Ambassador’s Independence Day celebration. Fourth of July parties are common in the various American Embassies worldwide, and local celebrities are often present, as were McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Local Americans who are registered at the Embassy get an invitation. Simple as that. It was merely a party for about five thousand guests with American fast-food and the most famous Soccer player in the World!
Upon arrival, I took the opportunity to meet our Ambassador, who cheerfully urged us exchange students to drink up, as there was plenty of beer! He winked when I pointed out that we were under age…hey…it’s a party, and this is American soil, kids. Feeling less interested in beer than in the guest of honor, I asked “Where is Pele’?” The Ambassador pointed to a large group mobbing someone on the lawn; so I trotted over, invitation in hand, already signed by the Ambassador. Soccer was just starting to gain popularity in the US, and I knew Pele’ was important to the world as a “Soccer Ambassador”. I learned to love soccer in Brazil, and here was the beloved Brazilian GOD of soccer in the middle of a writhing mass of humanity. Gulp.
In Brazil, people tend to touch each other more than we do in American culture. When an American girlfriend and I took the bus together, we would often play a game we devised called “How Many People Are Touching Me Right NOW?” We kept a running tally, and my record was 8. People were pressed tightly against us, but in haphazard ways that often involved random erections. Lurching random dickery. Bleh. So tiresome, but we girls got used to it, as a part of the culture that creeped us out, just as surely as the weird sucking sound men would make when we passed. We laughed about it, but it was scarier being a girl in Brazil because of the lurching dickery and mouth suckery for sure. To get that autograph, I had to steel myself a little.
So Pele’ was in the middle of a writhing mob of humanity, mostly Brazilians. When I say a writhing mob, I mean a fairly large group comprised of hundreds of people surrounding a person on all sides and pressing in CLOSE. The man had no bodyguards, you simply slithered toward him as best you could, running a gauntlet of random dickery. My companions were too cool to crowd plunge for an autograph, so off I went. My persistence paid off when ten minutes later, I was plastered against Pele’s back. The man was clearly fit, rock hard, healthy and signing autographs as fast as he could. I saw him write over and over “Do Amigo, Pele’”, meaning: “Your Friend, Pele’”. When he saw me over his left shoulder, he signed one more autograph and turned around to face me. He kept me there for several minutes as he signed autographs, smiling. He kept me there longer than entirely necessary, but when he finally signed my invitation, he signed it “1 Beijao, Pele’”, meaning “A Big (tongue) Kiss, Pele’”.
Wow! Plastered against Pele’ I had connected in a tangible way with a living legend whose brilliance, leadership and humility has ensured his continued “Icon” and “Ambassador” status today as we watch the World Cup in Brazil. It is humbling to think that I was literally touched by greatness: full frontal greatness! Instead of merely being my friend, the gentleman would indeed have perhaps given me a passionate kiss had the situation been less mob-like. Ahhhh Brasil…
Despite the dicks I had to ignore to get it, I still have the invitation as a sweet memento of success. I am so grateful to the Universe that I have a personal tale of persistence and success when faced with constant and relentless dickery. Sometimes you have to keep your eyes on the prize and ignore the dicks and potential dicks that could frighten you or hold you back in the first place.
Enjoy the World Cup!
I was greeted with an unsolicited and probably well-intentioned magazine subscription today: Weight Watchers. I have nothing but praise for this magazine that promotes a “Brand”, a “Lifestyle”, a “FOCUS” if you will, for those who are seeking more information on products, fashions and ideas for weight loss. Magazines in general ensure that people inform themselves with cutting-edge recycled tips to maintain a certain baseline neurotic self-consciousness about the human form. I do not prefer the “BIG BOX” pop-culture offerings over a focus on my unique dietary and exercise needs and preferences.
Unsolicited advice (or magazine subscriptions) that focus on one’s weight and dieting infers so many assumptions about a person and their daily routine or reality that it becomes hard to know how to react. Wow. To the person who purchased this subscription: simply fuck off, please…but since you asked….
I’d have preferred to select my own magazine subscription. Choice matters. Actually asking a person what they might prefer to motivate or inspire them toward a positive goal is truly appreciated, charming and compassionate.
If you’re a woman in the US, you probably have felt “overweight” regardless of your actual size or shape. It seems that no matter what you have done, are doing, or will do, your actual weight is measured right alongside the weight of your character or any challenge you may face. I’ve always been on the higher end of the spectrum by any standard measurement of averages such as weight, IQ, creative outputs, etc. Oddly but not uncommonly, for most of my life it seemed that I was always on some “diet” or another, instituted by my parents or other family members, or because of some personal notion that I needed to be slimmer for my health and comfort. It has been a recurring theme throughout my life.
Ironically, a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a few years back confirmed what I had already observed: I have a glandular metabolic disorder that ensures that every calorie consumed is hoarded for the potential famine to come. You skinny fuckers will die, and mutants like me will thrive and carry on in the post-apocalyptic times of scarcity.
Sometimes that’s just the way it goes, so one learns to adapt. I’ve always known I need to eat very little to survive; the rest is just what’s for dinner, so I consciously eat less. There is a medication that I could take that would speed up my metabolism, but it has less than pleasant side effects that involve never emerging from the bathroom. Of course exercise is important to healthy, vigorous living, and I’m mindful of that as well. We all know what we know, after all! Or we should probably remember something about exercise if we are (indeed) an adult. Low impact, stretchy dancing, yoga-ish workouts are my favorites, along with walking, hiking and anything that tends to get my heart rate up.
I stopped “dieting” and focused instead on the quality of my food. I’ve steadily lost weight gradually living by a few maxims:
Quality versus quantity.
The less “refined foods” the better.
Moderation in all things.
Margarine = Death.
Letting go of things, ideas, and connections that don’t actually support my worldview or well-being has been a gradual transformation.
For those who struggle against lurching disapproval, ignorant judgements, unsolicited drivel or harmful assumptions: it helps to distance oneself from well-intentioned people whose perspectives of us as human beings are so limited that they lack the capacity to view us as more than an Icon, character, or archetype from a remote distance. People only KNOW you if they do.
When we “idealize” a person’s life condition, we make assumptions based on our own perspective and ideas and proceed accordingly.
When we “realize” a person’s life condition, we ask questions, acknowledge the person’s difference from ourselves and tune in to their perspectives and viewpoints with empathy.
Thank you for reading this rather personal glimpse into weighty topics. I love real people, and of course everyone and anyone is free to comment. Fair warning: prodding the opossum at this point might prove snarly.
Just a Cheery little Cheer for the Eccentric Underdogs. 🙂
Some might say “the struggle is LONG” but to me it’s continuous. Some people can’t celebrate life without dragging someone else down to puff themselves up. The idea that someone or a group of people have no right to live un-tormented by the harmful actions and ideas of another group has PASSED . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/29/harvey-milk-stamp-anti-gay-group_n_5412295.html
We can clearly see the harm and describe the tactics haters use, but it makes us uncomfortable sometimes to speak out against supposed “good people” who are coming from an ideological perspective that promotes of a false sense of superiority over other human beings. Any “religious” group that seeks to shun the LGBT community, people with darker skin than pallid, and insists that their “way of life” is threatened somehow by people who seek to simply live life free of harm from their neighbors is a group based on HATEful ideas, and promotes hateful activities.
It would amuse me if it didn’t directly affect the quality and health of our culture as Americans. Our human body of thought is always populated with a few cancerous ideas. Let’s shine our lights of progress and positivity into the dark corners where this cancer seems to thrive? Wikipedia has a great definition of this nonsense, including specific religious groups that practice “Shunning” as a means of social control:
Any group that can’t appreciate the value of Harvey Milk as an American Icon of Human Rights is a “hate group” or “church full of idiots” or perhaps “a group of lost souls” themselves. Bless their hearts, they know not what they actually DO to people who don’t deserve their oppressive bullying.
I prefer to celebrate Harvey Milk as the sort of courageous American who inspired us to think of the opportunity and safety of ALL people who live in our communities. It’s about RESPECT for diversity.
I’ve started a “Church” of sorts for all of the Misfit Tools and Toys and Furniture in our American culture? Let’s laugh and focus on inspiration and improvisation? It’s called the “Church Of Comedy Kids”! Won’t you join my C.O.C.K. Army? I want YOU…to “JOIN” or “Like” or “Follow” along if you want to…It’s not a draft, and we’re not recruiting…we just ARE who we ARE…aren’t we? Let’s get outta this mess we’re in…Us “Misfits” tend to need inspiration when times are tough.
Please enjoy a snippet of my parody lyrics (with photography) of Total Coelo’s 80’s Hit “I Eat Cannibals.” It’s one of those earworms that keeps on giving in Parodyland…Please feel free to add a quatrain in the comments and think outside the boxing!
I speak metaphor
It brings out the silliness in me
I speak metaphor!
I tell silly jokes
I point out the DICKERY I see
I tell silly jokes.
Star Trek focused me
On the Galaxy
It still somehow inspires me, you see?
The Star Trek-ery…