What will be the consequences of Brazil losing 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup? Photo: Getty
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What comes next for Brazil after crashing out of the World Cup so spectacularly?

Maybe, in the months to come, there will be the quiet, sober reflection that football means too much in Brazil. 

Where next for Brazil? The morning after the national team's 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, an unprecedented footballing humiliation, it is of course far too early to tell. At present, as the roar of jet engines echoes across the Rio hills, there is still a hollowness, a disbelief. The country threw a party for the planet, but instead of being the belle of its own ball it has ended up looking like the class dunce. Yet what, in the long term, will this all mean, and will the ramifications go far beyond football?

Following the game last night, there was a fear outside Brazil that the nation would erupt, with this loss acting as tinder to resurrect the protests seen last year. Yet those protests, as suggested by the journalist Juca Kfouri in the BBC World Service documentary The Burden of Beauty, were more of an historic awakening than anything else. They were a catharsis, a sign of a people shaking off some of the weightiest emotional shackles of military dictatorship. Revolutionary fire of that intensity is unlikely to arise this time around.

Make no mistake: this defeat was a trauma. In retrospect, Brazil might have preferred a dramatic last-minute demise at the hands of Colombia in the previous round. At least then, they could have departed the tournament with a sense of romance, of tragedy. But this - this was brutal. It was as sickening and shocking as Red Viper's death at the hands of The Mountain in Game of Thrones. At a time when Brazil's economy has started spluttering after years of growth, when so many issues of infrastructure and public service remain unaddressed, this summer was meant to provide a temporary respite from national problems. Yet the country, it seems, can no longer count on football as its Great Escape.

This was the plan, wasn't it? Host a football tournament; win it or at least get to the final; add to Brazil's burgeoning football legend; and dance along the beachfront and down the streets as FIFA leaves town under the haze of glory. But now the bar bill has arrived; and whilst everyone else is giddily drunk, it is Brazil who, through a splitting headache, is fumbling miserably for the tab.

It is often said that the worst defeat in Brazil's footballing history is the World Cup final of 1950, when the host nation lost 2-1 to Uruguay in an event referred to as "the national tragedy". Yet what happened last night may surpass even that. The events of 1950 took place at a time when hosting an international tournament was far more readily accepted as an entirely reasonable use of public funds. We are now firmly in an era where such grand shows are frequently and scathingly critiqued as colossal vanity projects. With the 2016 Rio Olympics to come - another potential white elephant-in-waiting - only a World Cup win could truly justify success.  Against such a hubristic backdrop, Brazil's players felt an unprecedented pressure to deliver; and, horrifyingly, they did not. This sense of failure was particularly evident in the tearful post-match words of David Luiz, the team's spiritual leader, yesterday evening. "I just wanted to see my people smiling", he said, on the verge of sobbing. "Brazilians suffer so much and I just wanted to make them smile."

This burden, of providing happiness where their country's own politicians could not, ultimately proved overwhelming for the national team. In 1970, the country was firmly under the heel of generals who were driving the nation into economic ruin; then, though, they had players of the calibre of Pele, Rivelinho, Jairzinho and Gerson, whose World Cup triumph that year provided respite and perhaps unwitting distraction from domestic ills. But this squad of footballers were not nearly as good, not nearly as mentally robust. And, in the long run, one significant positive may emerge from this debris.

Maybe, in the months to come, there will be the quiet, sober reflection that football means too much in Brazil. Maybe it has served too long as a projection of drama and fantasy, as a diversion from too much else that matters more. Elsewhere, other countries are coming to the understanding that, of itself, sport cannot always be a salvation. In April, Vietnam withdrew as the host of the 2019 Asian Games, considering that it would be financially irresponsible to proceed with the tournament. Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung, in a statement on his government's website, explained that "hosting this could help us promote our economy, society and the country's image. However, if we did not prepare carefully and successfully, it could have the opposite effect. State budget is limited and has to focused on investing in other very urgent tasks."

Of course, football will remain the national passion for years to come. But – and though this sounds spectacularly trite, it is sometimes the trite things that must be said – it is only a game. It is only a game, and it is a drug on which the country is no longer guaranteed the most satisfying of hits. Because rest assured: whilst Brazil's national team may well bounce back in 2018 at the World Cup in Russia, given that they have an excellent group of young players to come, the country's politicians will never be allowed to forget this moment: where they quite literally mortgaged the nation's future in anticipation of a victory parade that never came.

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Women aren’t supposed to blame their foulest moods on their hormones. It’s time we did

It’s our job to play down the, “I’m pissy and want chocolate because I’m getting my period” thing as much as possible.

“NEVER CALL ME AGAIN. EVER,” I bellow at some hapless cock dribble called Brian or Craig who is sitting in a call centre somewhere. It’s too bad we haven’t been able to slam down phones since 1997. No matter how hard I jab my index finger into the red “end call” icon on my iPhone, it doesn’t have the same expulsive effect.

I’d put hard earned cash on Brian/Craig’s next thought being this:

Someone’s time of the month, eh?”

And if so, he’s bang on the money. I’m about to period so hard, the shockwaves from my convulsing uterus will be felt in France. Maybe Brian/Craig shrugs too. Right now, it kills me to think of him shrugging. I need to have ruined his day. I need for my banshee shriek to have done, at the very least, some superficial damage to his eardrum. I need to have made this guy suffer. And I need a cake. A big cake. A child’s birthday cake shaped like Postman Pat. A child’s birthday cake that I’ve stolen, thereby turning his special day into something he’ll have to discuss with a therapist in years to come. I’d punch fist-shaped craters into Pat’s smug face, then eat him in handfuls. All the while screaming unintelligible incantations at the mere concept of Brian/Craig.

Brian/Craig works for one of those companies that call you up and try to convince you you’ve been in a car accident and are owed compensation. Brian/Craig is a personification of that smell when you open a packet of ham. I’ve told Brian/Craig and his colleagues to stop calling me at least twice a week for the past six months. Unfortunately for Brian/Craig, this time he’s caught me at my premenstrual worst.

There’s an unspoken rule that women aren’t supposed to blame their foulest moods on hormones. Premenstrual hysteria (literal hysteria, because wombs) is the butt of so many sexist jokes. It’s our job to play down the, “I’m pissy and want chocolate because I’m getting my period” thing as much as possible. It’s the patriarchy that’s making us cranky. It’s the gender pay gap. It’s mannequins shaped like famine victims silently tutting at out fat arses. And we’re not “cranky” anyway – babies are cranky – we’re angry. And of course I’m angry about those things. I’m a woman, after all. But, if truth be told, I’m cranky too. And, if even more truth be told, it is because of my hormones.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is PMS cubed. For years now, it’s been making me want to put my fist through a wall every time my period approaches. Take the sensation of watching a particularly jumpy horror film: that humming, clenched-jaw tension, in preparation for the next scary thing to happen. Now replace fear with rage and you’ll have some idea of what PMDD feels like. Oh and throw in insatiable hunger and, for some reason, horniness. For at least a day out of every month, I feel incapable of any activity that isn’t crisp eating, rage wanking or screaming into a pillow.

And if, like me, you also suffer from anxiety and depression, trying to detect where the mental health stuff stops and the hormone stuff starts becomes utterly Sisyphean. Then again, the extent to which the hormones themselves can fuck with your mental health tends to be underestimated quite woefully. It’s just a bit of PMS, right? Have a Galaxy and a bubble bath, and get a grip. Be like one of those advert women who come home from work all stressed, then eat some really nice yoghurt and close their eyes like, “Mmmm, this yoghurt is actual sex,” and suddenly everything’s fine.

For too long, hormone-related health issues (female ones in particular) have been belittled and ignored. There’s only so much baths and chocolate can do for me when I’m premenstrual. I wasn’t kidding about the Postman Pat cake, by the way. And, Brian/Craig, in the vastly unlikely event that you’re reading this – yeah, it was my time of the month when you called. And if I could’ve telepathically smacked you over the head with a phone book, believe me, I would’ve done.

Eleanor Margolis is a freelance journalist, whose "Lez Miserable" column appears weekly on the New Statesman website.