...but creating pretty great media to express the discontent.
"Are you going to the World Cup?!"Brazilians have been getting this question more than any other -- even more than "are there monkeys on the streets" and "do you speak Brazilian." The country that loves soccer is finally hosting the World Cup. As exciting as it may seem, however, the 2014 World Cup has caused quite a commotion among Brazilians. "It's important that people understand the dissatisfaction with the World Cup," says Tamires Alves, a political science PhD student residing in Rio de Janeiro. "The exorbitant public expenditures estimate between 28 and 32 billion reais [approximately between 14 and 16 billion US Dollars]." A country that struggles with its lack of infrastructure, healthcare, education, and abundance of poverty and corruption, could use these billions of dollars for so much before deciding to build new stadiums and renovate old ones.
In the midst of angry protests and annoyed rants, Jeitinho Carioca, the Brazilian series about Rio de Janeiro and its people and lifestyle, decided to take a different and funnier route. The group put some fun and sarcasm into their protest and made the video below -- where actors from the series dance happily to Pharrell's "Happy" tune, while showing issues Brazilians have to deal with on a daily basis: trash on the beach, awful traffic, absurdly high prices for gas, never ending and expensive construction projects, lack of infrastructure and safety, and more. The video even offers a satire of the thief who was stripped naked and tied to a lamppost in Rio last January.
"All of us from Jeitinho Carioca are in love with Rio de Janeiro, but we are upset by the way the politicians are governing the city, with overpriced constructions and ineffective solutions. So we had the idea of making the music video for Pharrell's "Happy", being ironic, given how Cariocas [people from Rio] are not happy at all with the problems of their city, right before the World Cup"
-- Director Marcelo Feijo.
"And the costs are not the only problem. The World Cup had a very large negative social impact in our country. Around here we call it 'The Cup of Removals' because thousands of removals were made to host the big events - the World Cup and Olympics. (...) The ANCOP (National Coordination of Popular Committees for the Cup) estimates that a total of 250,000 people have been or will be removed from their homes due to these mega events. 'They treated us like trash' -- said Michel Souza dos Santos, a former resident of Restinga, after being expelled from his home.
So we ask ourselves: what kind of event is this? An event that is removing the poorest population from their homes, where we are not seeing investments that will improve our country, where the stadium -- one of the few places all classes could attend -- became an elitist arena with exorbitant prices only the wealthiest can afford... This is the World Cup of large corporations, and not an event that brought benefits to the Brazilian population."
-- Tamires Alves, Political Science PhD Student at UFF, Brazil.
WATCH: Filmmaker Carla Dauden explains, in detail, why she isn't going to the World Cup.
WATCH: How prepared Brazil actually is for the Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Follow Nathalie Vassallo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nathvassallo