Telenovelas and Futbol

Posted by: | March 23, 2009 | Comments Off on Telenovelas and Futbol

In this response I want to switch it up and talk about the second article first “Big Snakes on the Streets and Never Ending Stories: The Case of Venezuelan Telenovelas” by Nelson Hyppolyte Ortega. In this article, Ortega talks about the telenovela phenomenon that is so central in Latin American popular culture and how it has evolved over the years. He talks about how the radio novelas that were prevalent in the early 1900’s were most likely the historical ancestor to the modern day telenovela. One aspect of the essay that I found intriguing is how Ortega compares soap operas and tlenovelas saying that soap operas are for entertainment and represent the upper class, while the telenovela’s “mission is show reality and to teach about the affective, social, and political problems of contemporary society” (Pg. 65), while appealing more to the working class. The article focuses a great deal on one specific telenovela called Por estas Calles and its direct influence on Venezuelan Culture. This particular telenovela uses plots that are based on actual issues within the country, or as Ortega puts it “successfully exposed the national reality” (Pg. 72) such as scandals, corruption, drug trafficking, and money laundering etc. It has been heavily criticized by many scholars because of how real it is and how it can often depict powerful people within the country in such a negative manor. For example, there was an episode that had a a metropolitan police officer rented his revolver to certain delinquents in exchange for drugs. This telenovela is a great example of how the public consciousness has changed throughout the years in Venezuela. Overall, it was an interesting read and had some person elements for me because my Abuelita loves telenovelas and is hooked on them watching everyday.

In Alex Bellos’ article Futbol: The Brazilian Way of Life, all that is football in Brazil is discussed. I have always known that football was a big deal in Brazil but I had no idea just how big! It is larger than life in that nation and this essay does a fantastic job of depicting that reality. The article focuses largely on the 1950 world cup that Brazil hosted and were favorites to win. They built the worlds largest stadium called the Maracana that could hold an excess of 180,000 people and the entire nation was envisioning watching their home squad capture the world cup on home soil. In the end they came up short, losing to there neighbours the Uruguayans by a score of 2-1. Some people were said to have jumped off the second story balcony to there death due to the outcome of the game. Bellos does an excellent job of relaying the feelings and emotions of the people after the loss, basically stating complete disbelief. The people even spread the rumours that team Uruguay “used the tactical system of Sao Goncalo’s Carioca” (Pg. 44), a former Brazilian coach and a Brazilian style of play. This was a very long essay that tackles many different issues pertaining to Brazilian football, but one issue that really stood out for me was that of racist discrimination. All the scapegoats of the 1950 Brazilian football team were Black including Barbosa, the goalkeeper that let in the decisive goal. “Barbosa suffered most. Journalists voted him best goalkeeper of the 1950 world cup, yet he only played once more for the national team” (Pg. 56). It is amazing to me that a nation is so passionate about a sport that they could completely ostracize a player simply based on a performance in a game. One thing I know for sure is that the pressure on those players must be incredible and it is both a blessing and a curse to suit up for the Brazilian national team.


Comments are closed.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

Spam prevention powered by Akismet