Repeat with me for the last time: It’s Friday again!
That’s right, people. After several years, many months, many columns and a shitload of bullet points, the Weekly News Roundup has come to an end.
I’m gonna give you a few seconds for that to sink in.
Really? I thought you’d be more distraught. Anyway, this is it.
And no, I haven’t been threatened with deportation by the Government. No, I haven’t been fired from the Independent. Sometimes, however, you just feel that it’s time to move on to other things and I must admit that for me the time has come.
Now, I don’t want you to think I’m going away. Because I’m not. So to all the haters out there heaving a sigh of relief, thanking the Argentine gods that I wasn’t going to be around anymore to challenge their ill-acquired truths safely stored inside an impermeable bubble, I’m sorry to say that you’re not getting rid of me. On the contrary, my next task is to directly attack that bubble. But that’s another story and you will soon understand what I mean.
Back in 2010 I began writing this column after some guy I met in a bar told me he had been living in Argentina for two years and “he didn’t know or care to know who the president was”. Things got even worse when I mentioned Cristina and he replied: “Dude! The president has a girl’s name?!”
OK, so he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he still got me to think that many expats living in this country (not all of them, obviously), be it due to the language barrier or just the fact that they didn’t give a shit, were experiencing Argentine reality from behind a Plexiglass. They could see everything that was happening around them, but they were not able to join it.
So on a rainy Friday, more specifically on August 20th, 2010, I wrote this piece of crap.
Thirty months later, this column has become a primordial aspect of my life. It has become my signature, my voice, my shrink. But above all, it has allowed me to connect with all of you who looked for a place to engage in collective catharsis and blow off some steam. And I’m immensely thankful for your buena onda.
Yes, even you haters. Your regular hate mail has managed to make my days brighter many times, so come here you rascals and give me a hug.
And like I said before, this isn’t goodbye. This is just an “I’ll be back in a few weeks in a different way“. Until then, you’re on your own.
Scary, isn’t it?
This is what you need to know:
- That thing with Iran keeps dominating the news this week (and by “thing with Iran” I mean the signing of a bilateral accord between Argentina and Iran that would create a Truth Commission in order to investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing) and people aren’t happy. Specially because the Kirchnerite party, with a majority in both houses of Congress has decided to pass a bill authorizing it despite the fact that the entire Jewish community in the country is against it. The Senate passed the bill yesterday and sent it to the Lower House, where they expect it will be debated as soon as next week.
- But since we know that what we really crave as human beings are anecdotal politics, here is Kirchnerite Senate majority leader Miguel Angel Pichetto, who in the heat of the debate made a distinction between “Jewish Argentines and Argentine Argentines.” Oops!
- The Jews, affable but with deadly ninja moves, were not amused by this. So now they are suing him for discrimination.
- But wait! Pichetto says he’s sorry for discriminating on the Jews, specially because he’s gonna get sued and all. So there, problem solved. Moral of the story: don’t fuck with the Jews.
- You have probably heard about this since it has been all over the news for the last few days, but I still need to address it. First, this happened last Sunday.
- The problem with that story is that, since the person who was driving the car is the son of a prominent Government-friendly journalist named Eduardo Aliverti, the polarized media is giving us two choices of reality, and as usual we can choose the one we like more:
- Pro-Government media: Oh, that poor boy (the driver, of course). How unfair to accuse him of hitting someone with his car and not giving a shit about it. Despite being extremely drunk, he still picked up the body of the (clearly reckless) cyclist and drove him to the closest toll both where he asked for help. Verdict: Obviously innocent. It’s all of us who must be blamed for living in such a judgmental society.
- Anti-Government media: The driver is clearly a monster who hit the cyclist and carried his dead body for as long as he wanted because he didn’t care, because he’s the son of a journalist who likes the Government so he gets special protection so nothing is going to happen to him so he deserves to rot in jail because clearly he is a serial killer. Verdict: Obviously guilty. Also, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner should resign because somehow this is all her fault.
- Get it? Just like Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons said once: there’s the truth… and the truth. Deal with it.
- Speaking of car accidents: Damn it, kids! How many times have I told you to always look both ways when you’re crossing the street? If you don’t learn the easy way then it’s time for you to learn the hard way. Watch please.
- Oh, stop covering your eyes. No one died! In fact, they barely got hurt. Which means those two girls are either superhuman or a couple of crash test dummies that came back to life at night, like those toys in Toy Story 3 did, and got run over while they trying to get to a bar.
- Also, you gotta love the creepy bastard who spent five hours in front of his computer editing that footage, providing us with the same shocking images over and over again.
- And dude, a soundtrack? Really?
- This week, in the department of “No shit, Sherlock“, Infobae tells us that when it comes to internet download speeds, Argentina is ranked number 109 in the world, between the Reunion Islands, which you didn’t even know existed, and Barbados, a place you only know because an episode of Friends took place there once. Now you know why people aren’t much into internet porn around here. It’s not because we’re puritans, but because by the time the video is done downloading, the excitement’s worn off.
- A crane fell in a construction site in Puerto Madero, killing one person and injuring two others. Don’t worry, nothing happened to the Faena Hotel.
- Today marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic Once train accident and society is up in arms (as it is every other day, to tell you the truth). This morning, relatives and friends of the 51 people who perished in the terrible crash attended a ceremony at the Once railway station and issued some strong statements against the National Government that included insults against Cristina, Planning Minister Julio De Vido and other Government officials, and a full rejection of the President’s message last night, in which she offered her condolences to the families of the deceased. In a predictable outburst of anger, the families exorcised their demons by hurling the worst possible insults to a National Government that last year handled the death of 51 people in the worst possible way.
- Even one of the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo organization said she disagrees with the President.
- Meanwhile, in Dubai, Diego Armando Maradona was back to his usual hijinx when he decided to appear via telephone on live television and discuss the trials and tribulations of having to deal with a new offspring with his daughter Dalma in front of 40 million people. Yeah, that’s right. We jump from the somber platforms of the Once train station to the never ending stupidity of Maradona in a single bullet point. It’s my last column. Let me be.
- Anyway. Dalma, who despite being like 100 million years old is behaving like a spoiled brat who is jealous of her newborn sibling, went to a TV show to cry on camera and say waaaah waaaah waaaah. Maradona, who at the time may or may have not been drunk/high, made a surprise appearance via Skype or something, and began asking everyone why his daughter had left the set even though she hand’t left the set. “I’m right here!”, the little Maradona spawn said like a million times to no avail.
- Then he greeted everyone again with a slurry “Good evening, everyone” and once again wondered why his daughter had left.
- “Damn it, I’m right here!” she said again. Now it was just sad.
- After a series of semi incoherent ramblings about who knows what, he finally said he was tired of the putos periodistas (faggot journalists) who are willing to do whatever is necessary to find a story. “Ricardo Fort isn’t the only faggot in Argentina,” he warned. Classy! Because the conversation wasn’t bizarre enough, now Ricardo Fort becomes a part of the equation. So there he is, everyone. That’s your role model. That’s the kind of person you idolize. Feel good about yourself?
- This of course, caused some of those journalists to take offense.
Particularly tabloid and yellow press kings Jorge Rial and Luis Ventura, who replied one day later by detonating two nuclear bombs in the hearts of those who worship Maradona as the God of all things football. Ventura, clearly hurt, revealed “some information that he had allegedly kept secret until now”: A) During that infamous drug bust in which he was arrested, Maradona was caught in bed with another dude. B) He likes boys who dress like girls (transvestites). C) He’s a pedophile.
- You know what’s worse? Football and the tabloid press are two things I despise. And yet, here we are. Ironic, isn’t it?
- Well aware that I was retiring from the Weekly News Roundup business today, Cristina didn’t waste any time and decided this was the perfect time to launch a new network suspiciously named DeporTV. The ceremony inaugurating the new channel, which is aimed at promoting sports (meaning football), featured all mandatory Government cliches, including:
- Football as the catalyst for human redemption: “I have heard from many neighborhood leaders how Fútbol para Todos changed lives in the neighborhoods, because the kids, and the husband too, stay at home,” Cristina said. “They no longer have to go to the gas station or bar to watch but can instead watch the game all together, eating torta fritas at home.” I know you can’t see me right now, but you have no idea how fast my eyes are rolling.
- The dictatorship: ”The event was also used to honor athletes that were forced to leave Argentina during the 1950s and forced to “disappear” during the most recent Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s.” Because anything in this country that fails to explicitly and directly address the dictatorship = fascist.
- Maradona (Seriously): “Football legend Diego Maradona spoke at the presentation via videoconference from Dubai.” How touching! Was that before or after he called several gay journalists “fags”? No, really. I just want to know.
- The press sucks: “We are going to have a channel that is not going to lie to us,” Maradona said. Well, finally we see eye to eye on something! I mean, can you imagine if the local press had decided not to look the other way when you scored a goal using your hand, effectively winning the Mexico 86 World Cup? Remember, hmmm? Shut the fuck up and stop insulting our intelligence.
- Seriously, if this is going to be my last bullet point ever… if this is going to be the epitaph carved on the cover of a future “Weekly News Roundup Greatest Hits” then let me say it again: for once and for all, please, stop insulting our intelligence.
I love you, kids.
Have a great life, everyone!
Send Adrian your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono