Public Service Announcement: Are YOU Affected by Capoeira-Coloured Lenses?

6 03 2008

Does capoeira influence your first impressions of people? 

“Whoa, you went to Nice on your own?”
“Yeah, because I was going for capoeira.”

“But weren’t you scared going to Amsterdam by yourself?”
“No, because I was meeting capoeiristas there.”

“Did you know them from before?”
“Never met them, but it’s fine because we’re in the same group.”

Did the above bits of conversation make perfect sense to you? If so, then you, my friend, may be under the influence of capoeira-coloured lenses.

Capoeira-coloured lenses, like their close cousin the well-know rose-coloured lenses, are known to shift or alter the wearer’s perception of people or situations towards a decidedly positive light. Complete strangers are welcomed with open arms; homes and hearths are opened to any in white or black and yellow; and ordeals otherwise known as travel headaches, major hassles, hardships, pain, or annoyances are often relegated to a rather large category titled “worth it”.

Authorities (parents, friends, and the like) are unable to explain the effect these lenses have on their loved ones. Those struck with capoeiryopia (also known as CCLS, or Capoeira-Coloured Lenses Syndrome), rather than displaying anxiety or worry in the presence of self-proclaimed “obsessed addicts” who are often “high” or “drunk” on mysterious substances such as “axé” or “malandragem”, on the contrary go out of their way to meet such individuals, and display great joy and delight if they happen to come across such individuals accidentally.

This syndrome, which many fear is contagious, is a new trend sweeping the globe, as persons of uncertain motive (do they dance? do they fight? who knows?!) burn through gasoline, plane fuel, and Puma or Adidas sports shoes in order to take advantage of this popular phenomenon. To anyone wearing capoeira-coloured lenses, you are automatically a wonderful, open-minded, awesome, and fascinating human being by virtue of an affinity for the sound of wood hitting a taut steel wire in repetitive patterns.

Will this trend continue? Will CCLS take over the world? Will YOU know what to do when the time comes?

Stay tuned for further developments! (For now, I’m off to tune my steel wire.)

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10 responses

7 03 2008
Coruja

Actually, this brings up a good point. During my first two years of capoeira I had the colored lenses on and thought that everyone and everything capoeira was great. Often, when hanging out with others from class I thought ‘I am having such a good time with these people. Can this be too good to be true?’. Well it was. Capoeiristas are human. Mestre’s are human. As humans we can be fallible. Be careful not to put capoeristas and Mestres up on pedestals and find yourself very disappointed.

7 03 2008
Joaninha

Hey Coruja,

I’m so glad you got the point; that was the inspiration for the entire thing in the first place! Although, I arrived there from a slightly different angle…not exactly thinking that the people I hung out with were better/nicer/etc. than they were, but automatically liking people I had yet to meet! The quotes that started the post were real conversations between me and my friends, and having been thoroughly learned in the “don’t talk to strangers” doctrine, I sometimes have to stop and really wonder what it is about capoeira that automatically gives me so much faith (because really, that’s what it is—and I’m not religious) that every capoeira-touched person I will meet is, well, like I said, a good, open-minded, virtuous, nice, friendly person. Of course, this theory has been both mundanely debunked and yet never drastically disproven, so it still mystifies me.

Definitely agree with what you said though. I’d also add, be careful not to let other capoeiristas or mestres put themselves up on pedestals in front of you and just taking it all in unthinkingly.

7 03 2008
xixarro

I’m wearing those lenses as well 😀

7 03 2008
faisca

I know exactly what you mean; I think we all do. The first batizado I ever went to out of state found me sleeping on the floor of a stranger’s house next to other strangers. I highly doubt I’d go do that to some guy on the street (though, we also do it with new roommates in college, etc.).

I think it’s because there’s an implication that the people you’ve just met are good people because you get that sense from everyone else and people you already know (i.e. “I know this guy, he’s a good guy, you’ll like him”).

What I mean is… I think we tend to feel secure and open around other capoeiristas because nobody wants to hang around with a jerk, pedophile, or axe murderer. If they were one of the above (or another unsavory character) I doubt anyone else would hang out with them either, and they wouldn’t be welcome in the group.

Also (and this is just the cynic in me talking) I think it’s a product of our society (well, at least US society) to see every “stranger” as “guilty as a murderer until proven innocent.” We always see bad things on the news, and people are always telling us to look out for frauds, schemes, and evildoers, that we tend to believe it all and think everyone “out there” is evil and out to get us. Personally, I tend not to believe it all.

7 03 2008
cenoura

It’s interesting that you mention assuming that strangers are guilty until proven innocent, faisca, because actually, that’s exactly the kind of ideas from capoeira that at least my mestre tells us to take from the roda out to life-that we don’t know what someone else intends, and we should be prepared for harmful intentions(though not start aggression, just be prepared to deal with it if someone else does), or are trying to trap us. You are kind of right about the word of mouth thing, though-you’ve got at least one reference for said stranger, usually. I’m curious-are you alone in sleeping on the strangers floor? All of the events I’ve gone to have been sharing said floor with at least someone I know-I guess so at least there is a witness if said person I don’t know turns out to be a serial killer? and good point about the college roommate. I never thought of it that way but you’re too right.

8 03 2008
Joaninha

Xixarro: Haha yup, like Faisca said I think we all are!

Faisca and Cenoura:

Yeah, the word of mouth thing makes sense, but when I went to Amsterdam, for example, there were no connections WHATSOEVER (unless you count an unknown six degrees!). I think the concensus idea still works though, how since they’re in a group and presumably welcomed there, they can’t be all bad. XD

Exactly! (About the guy on the street.) Originally I was going to have a line like “now replace capoeira and capoeirista in those conversations with gaming and gamers, or bartending and bartenders; does it still make perfect sense?” Then I started thinking about replacing it with other sports, and it actually did make a bit of sense still, like with roommates. So then I realized that with capoeira, it’s still sketchier because you have people from SUCH a WIDE variety of backgrounds, whereas you and someone else at your university have more chance of having fairly similar backgrounds, compared to you and any other given capoeirista. So then the capoeira lenses phenomenon is still more interesting, because it’s sketchier and yet—hey, you know what, come to think of it, I was more nervous about meeting my roommate last semester than I was about meeting capoeiristas in Amsterdam!! That about sums it up. XD

And heh, yeah…like I said, “Don’t talk to strangers!”

Cenoura, that’s such an interesting point, and it just sparked a whole new direction of thought for me…it’s true, my group also teaches us to always watch out and be careful and wary of people, other capoeiristas, etc. But come batizado time, we hear nothing but how all these people need are a place to sleep, and that they’re all good people, etc…and it’s not the most reassuring to hear “…and if they do steal from you, you can kick them out.”! And the capoeira paradox bug strikes again…

10 03 2008
Pipoca

Great piece! I loved it! It’s so true.

10 03 2008
dyzyy

Yeah, I think a lot of these issues are cultural. I am by no means an expert on Brazilian culture, but have made two trips to Brazil, and also understand Afro-Latino culture because I am a member of this culture. I have noticed that Brazilians (and many cultures around the world) are very open with people they don’t know. In Brazil, strangers will come up to you and strike up a conversation. People who don’t know each other will share cab rides. When I went to Bahia, a woman who was selling dresses on the beach trusted my friend to find her and pay her later. A former capoeira teacher would trust us to use the honor system and pay her later for classes. So there’s trust given to strangers but within a system that can provide for repercussions. The woman who trusted my friend to pay her back knew she would see my friend on the beach again. My former instructor knew who owed money and there were definitely repercussions if we took too long to pay. The stranger I shared a cab with was also with her boyfriend, so if I were crazy, her boyfriend would be able to protect her. When you host people for batizados you know that your Mestre will support you if anything goes wrong.

But, there are also times when you trust people and the ‘cultural system’ fails to protect you. There was a student in one of my capoeira classes who borrowed money from everyone in the class. We all loaned him money because he was a former graduado (but new to the current member of the group) and we assumed he was ‘trustworthy’. Well, as far as I know, he never back. To this day, I don’t know if the teacher knew about it or did anything about it. . The shady graduado still comes around from time to time but we all know he is not to be trusted.

So I would say ‘be open’ but make sure someone you trust has your back.

14 03 2008
Joaninha

Thanks, Pipoca! 😀

Hey Daria,

Those are some really good points there. The one about it being cultural (you know a culture is close when it’s normal to kiss someone on the cheek and THEN introduce themselves–and needing to be asked to do it!), and also about how there are still repercussions if someone takes advantage of such generosity, benefit-of-the-doubt-wise.

I agree with your last line too, but even more than making sure someone has your back (since that’s also not always possible), just always keep an eye and mind out for yourself, to prevent getting into a situation where you need someone at your back in the first place!

5 02 2012
Iolanda

Le 28/10/2009 à 22h08 ecxatement, a la limite on se fout de la pub non? Lyli Allen fais bien ce qu’elle veut ,argh ce que cet esprit je me mele de tout m’exaspere! Laissez la donc vivre sans la juger tout le temps, elle sait ce qu’elle fait, pas vous donc je pense que le debat s’arrete la. flute, rappelons que le principal ba c’est le sac, oui oui, c’est bien le sac! le publicitaire a surtout travaillé sa mise en valeur, essayez au moins de lui faire honneur!!

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