Jair Bolsonaro, the hard-right president of Brazil, has caused controversy by tweeting a short clip of a degenerate street scene at Rio’s Carnival. Here’s the tweet (warning: NSFW). It shows two male weirdos dancing on a balcony, one scantily clad in some sort of bondage gear. Bondage Boy bends over in front of the other, and the standing guy pulls out his weenis and urinates on the head of the Bondage Boy, who revels in it, and pretends to be washing his long hair.
This is what is called a “golden shower” by advance love-winners.
Bolsonaro commented (translated from Portuguese):
I do not feel comfortable in showing it, but we have to expose the truth so that the population knows and always decides its priorities. This is what has become of many street blocks in the Brazilian carnival. Comment and draw your own conclusions.
In Brazil, the president’s tweet is being taken as his attempt to discredit the festival, which featured crowds making fun of him. Here’s the NYT’s coverage of the controversy.
Bolsonaro is technically a Catholic, but he’s married to an Evangelical, attends an Evangelical church, and came into office with strong support from Brazil’s growing Evangelical minority. Bloomberg opinion columnist Mac Margolis said all this foofarah is Protestant prudery. Excerpt:
Consider Rio de Janeiro’s anti-carnival mayor Marcelo Crivella, a devoutly Evangelical Protestant whose metaphorical contribution to the festivities was to cross-dress as a fiscal paladin. An evangelical pastor to whom the storied pre-Lenten celebration falls somewhere between a distraction and a debasement, Crivella didn’t condemn the holiday outright. Instead, he slashed funding for the pageant, denied permits to dozens of street parades, and kept his distance from the ritual merriment that countless mayors before him have taken part.
The aversion of Rio’s ranking authority to its most adored holiday clashes with the culture of a land where Carnival — more than a national brand — is part of the zeitgeist. Yet Brazilian sensibilities are shifting. Crivella is part of a popular revolt by an angry conservative, Bible-clasping, gun-in-every-home demographic that put a right-wing outsider in the presidency and has little patience for the messy multiculturalism of the international liberal order and its merrymakers. Carnival, he argued, is a “big baby” and needs to be weaned from the public bottle.
It sounds like good fiscal management. In fact, this is denominational righteousness in drag.
What would we do without messy multiculturalism (to say nothing of shampoo and conditioner to get the uric acid residue out of your locks)? If you don’t like seeing a freak washing his hair in the urine of a fellow freak on a balcony, you might be one of those horrible fundagelicals who doesn’t know what fun is, and who hates the international liberal order. Nothing is more life-affirming than standing under the balcony at the Hotel Seehof in Davos and watching George Soros relieve himself on the heads of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund.
This actually strikes me as a clever political move by Bolsonaro. Though it’s hard to see how attacking Carnival gets you very far as a Brazilian (it wouldn’t get you far in New Orleans, I can tell you), the fact is, the guy has his political opponents defending (or appearing to defend) a disgusting public act of perversion. The hysterical reaction from Bolsonaro’s Brazilian critics no doubt reminds the continent, non-pervy majority of Brazilians why they voted for the law-and-order Bolsonaro in the first place.
Again: it’s important that Bloomberg’s man in Rio finds Evangelical politicians criticizing lascivious aspects of Carnival to be an example of hating multiculturalism and the liberal international order. Is there any sexually perverse act that the left-liberals won’t defend as a civic good? I’m serious. Bolsonaro might well be a prude, but this episode only underscores his claims that his opponents are deeply decadent. If supporting liberalism and multiculturalism means affirming golden showers on public balconies during Carnival, well, like Bolsonaro said, draw your own conclusions. That’s some pretty expert trolling.