“The giant has awoken,” went the catchphrase. Last June, more than a million Brazilians took to the streets, initially to challenge a bus fare hike. The image of a once dormant, now dynamic colossus became one of the primary metaphors for the country’s 2013 protest cycle. One year later, as Brazil hosts the largest single-event sporting competition on earth, these masses are nowhere to be found. As one street vendor told me, “We Brazilians are anesthetized.” And futebol, it seems, is the opiate of choice.
July 7, 2014