The Politics of Carnival

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO - Here it is. The world-famous, five-day blowout of overindulgent, extravagant fun, featuring thousands of beautiful bodies, some exotically adorned and (to many Americans) shockingly exposed, all dancing and singing and parading up a storm till the break of day. Every day. The annual national catharsis, where the world stops and everybody gets off.

So, you ask, what could possibly be politically controversial about that? As it happens, a lot! The Curmudgeon will deal with only two questions—crime and religion.

First, Crime! Putting aside the traditional costume balls and the street . . .

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The Curmudgeon moved to Rio over forty years ago, and remained there until late 2018. He's been writing political commentary for The Rio Times for nine years. He once referred to himself as a WASP (look it up) but doesn't any more because it embarrasses him.