The Cost Of Entertainment

It’s amazing the things we’ll overlook for the purposes of entertaining ourselves.  There’s a quote that says, “Spend money on making memories, not material things to be happy.”  And in some instances that’s what we’ll do to satisfy our desires to capture those moments that’ll linger with us forever.  Here in Miami, the “On The Run Tour” featuring Jay Z and Beyonce’, appeared before a sold out house at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  To see your favorite superstars and attend the biggest venues, we’ll often in affect “rob Peter to Paul” just to be a part of the most happening events.  To quench our thirst for entertainment, often times we overlook what mechanisms take place to allow those events to happen.  This year’s World Cup is no exception.  Thousands of Brazilians are living illegally on land near World Cup Stadiums and the impoverished people are blaming the construction of these venues for rent increases that drove them out of their homes.  The Homeless Workers Movement, an organized group to combat these measures and fight for residents rights, has participated in helping families set up tents.  However, this is nothing new.  Homelessness has been an issue during the past twenty (20) plus year at Olympic locations: (Seoul/1988; Barcelona/1992; Atlanta/1996; Athens/2000; Sydney/2004 and Beijing/2008); as well as during Super Bowls or Political Conventions.  When a city, state or country is scheduled to be showcased, the “powers that be” will remove the riff-raff off the street, increase the cost of living and disenfranchise their own residents for the sake of presenting a magnificent image of the host location.  According to a report, more than two million residents, mostly poor, were displaced by Olympic development in the past two decades, including 720,000 in Seoul and 1.25 million in Beijing.  “In Barcelona, some commentators claim new house prices rose by 250 percent between the 1986 announcement of the election of Barcelona as Host City and the actual event in 1992. In Sydney, real estate speculation led to the eviction of long-term tenants throughout the greater city, and the number of homeless nearly tripled over a five-year period.” (COHRE, Fair Play for Housing Rights, 41.) Today, Americans both domestic and abroad, will either be in the stadium, watch from home, stream online or a local tavern, to see if the United States can qualify for the “Knockout Round” against Portugal at 12 p.m.  All the while, unaware of what steps took place to allow them to be able to champion their patriotism.  We pride ourselves on being a forgiving society; willing to sacrifice for the greater good and for human kind.  Although it’s a lofty tasks, as you continue to watch the competition with the country of Brazil being the world’s stage, keep the unfortunate in mind as you cheer your team to victory.  “I believe that we will win!”  In the broader scheme of things, under these circumstances, humanity loses.   “We Are The Change!” I’m gone! (b)

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