It’s Friday again!
And today is of course a very special day for all of us!
No, I’m not talking about today being another holiday to commemorate the death of Argentina’s forefather José de San Martín (which, by the way, was moved to Monday to make it a long weekend for some reason. Wouldn’t Friday be the same thing?).
No, the reason is that this column is turning two years old this week!
It was almost two years ago that out of a drunken epiphany I decided to create a weekly summary of Argentine news for the average (i.e. lazy) expats who took pride in claiming that they didn’t care who the president of this country was.
Hence the first Weekly News Roundup (seen here) was born on a cold, rainy morning of August 20th, 2010.
It was a short, unfunny, half-assed attempt at writing something different that only got two comments, one of them from a friend of mine (meaning it doesn’t count) and the other from some guy who congratulated me for being “very optimist” (I assume he meant optimistic). And look! I hadn’t even adopted the name “Bono” as my nom de plume!
But despite the public’s intentional indifference I persisted because I pretty much had nothing better to do with my life, and a few years, a lot of practice and a lot of hate mail later, this column evolved naturally into the beautiful, stylistic piece of
shit prose that it is today.
So even though it’s only 9 AM, I raise my glass and salute you, my loyal readers/detractors who week after week come to this column to laugh/become infected with rage.
This is only the beginning.
And remember to like our Weekly News Roundup Facebook page so you can keep up with the coming changes.
Oh! And I almost forgot: I’m going away on vacation this weekend so don’t expect a Weekly News Roundup next Friday.
I know, scary right? It’s like when you were little and you lost your mom in the amusement park. You knew she would come back eventually because it’s a closed environment, but in the meantime it was up to you to survive.
Well, that’s you next week. Make me proud.
This is what you need to know:
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who never lets a photo op go to waste, welcomed in Casa Rosada the Argentine athletes who competed in the London 2012 Olympics and, flanked by new national hero and only gold winner Sebastián Crismanich, boasted that since the Kirchners took over in 2003 Argentina has won a total of 16 medals. Sure, when you say it like that you naturally go “That’s it?”, but considering that in the 44 years before the country had only obtained fourteen, she was proud to congratulate those that with perseverance, honor, courage and self-confidence had brought joy to their nation.
- Then of course she fucked it all up by applauding the women’s national field hockey team for kicking the UK’s ass in the Olympics. “When you defeated England, it was like winning a gold medal. It’s a good thing you won! Otherwise I would have been so upset!” she laughed. Hah! Nothing like some healthy incitement to xenophobia in the hands of a charismatic leader. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Rio 2016.
- Everyone’s favorite mischievous Vice-President Amado Boudou had the dubious honor of being included in a list of trouble-making veeps from around the world published this week on Foreign Policy. Along with Boudou are four other VP superstars, including Sierra Leone’s Samuel Sam-Sumana and Sudan’s Ali Osman Taha. It’s like the international affairs version of The Breakfast Club, in which Boudou is obviously Emilio Estevez and Sam-Sumana is a machete-wielding Judd Nelson. I don’t know about you but I would totally pay to go see that.
- Now, I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about what was probably the biggest story of the week, involving the Indec national statistics agency and their infamous report saying that you can eat with only $6 pesos a day. Even though most of the media coverage surrounding that story was not entirely accurate, everyone knows their inflation index is nothing short of a joke. So the Argentine chapter of the hacktivist group Anonymous, obviously not amused but such a blatant display of disregard for the public’s intelligence, decided that it was fair game to hack the Indec’s website, just for shits and giggles.
- After the most nightmarish and paralyzing week to have ever been experienced in Buenos Aires since the Toddy cookies disappeared from the shelves, the subway workers came to a “feeble” agreement with the City Government and Metrovías after ten days of strike. The most important part of this paragraph is the word “feeble,” since it means chances are we’ll be dealing with another strike in just a couple of weeks.
- As further evidence that this is a ticking time bomb of unfathomable proportions, the City government has announced that five new subway stations have been finished but cannot be opened to the public because there aren’t enough trains.
- Jesus, just shut down the whole thing and leave it there. Don’t you watch scary movies? Worst case scenario, it becomes a hideout for comic book villains and mutant creatures that feed on homeless people. At $2.50 a ride that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
- Now that the Olympics are over and Argentine athletes don’t have to worry about being deported from England before obtaining any medals, we can all go back to the usual bickering about the Malvinas/Falklands. Newspapers around the country were horrified over the impending arrival of a warship to the islands this week that they themselves announced only a few months ago and now seemed to have completely forgotten about it.
- And because one Malvinas/Falklands-related scandal a week is obviously not enough, the local media decided to run a shocking non-story accusing the Uruguayans of referring to the islands as “Falklands” instead of “Malvinas,” as any respectable non-imperialist Latin nation would do. The preposterous and offensive error was found in some random document no one gives a shit about and was clearly the result of an hungover intern, but that did’t stop the local press from pretty much accusing the Uruguayans of treason. Fortunately President José Mujíca apologized in time before both nations broke relations and announced he would launch “an official investigation”. No, he did. Like, for real.
- Awesome news, everyone! Finally here’s something you can show your parents so they can shut up about how you’re throwing your life away in some South American city that is slowly spinning into the boiling rivers of the Underworld. According to prestigious magazine “The Economist,” Buenos Aires has been picked as Latin America’s best city to live in. In your face, Brazilian Buenos Aires!
- And those of you who complained about the current state of things in this country and moved to Uruguay, you can stay there. We don’t want you back.
- The Córdoba province, not content with trying to expel all prostitutes from its sovereign territory a few weeks ago, is now openly warning that if you have an “amputated penis” you cannot join the police force. That’s right, transsexuals! If you wanna be a cop you gotta take it like a man. That means: have a penis. The new regulation also rejects people who are missing one finger, have diabetes or a stutter. Keep making everyone proud, Córdoba! I can’t wait for you to outlaw divorce and reinstate the use of leeches for curing cancer.
- And speaking of fucked up provinces, remember Salta? You can now add this to the list of weird crimes taking place there. Seriously that place needs its own special CSI unit. Just stay away from it.
- Ready to be enraged? Here’s a domestic violence video that was all over the news and went viral this week showing a coward asshole beating his ex-wife in front of their daughter.
- Ready to be enraged even more? His only punishment is to stay away from the woman for 90 days.
- As more cases like these continue to surface, at least one political party has reacted in some sort of way and called for Congress to declare a national emergency on gender violence, since according to a new report cases have increased a 57% in the last two years.
- OK, this is the part you don’t want your parents to know about. Just stick to the article on The Economist and you’ll be fine.
- This week, in Completely Unnecessary Displays of Self-confidence:
former erotica star and current wrinkled grandmother Moria Casán wants you to know that she is not losing any sleep over accusations that she stole an $80,000 necklace from a Paraguayan jeweler. So she agreed to a racy and gag-inducing photo shoot for Noticias magazine, in which she impersonates Lady Liberty herself, spear in hand and Phrygian cap on wig. The photos are NSFW but don’t worry, the worst parts are censored, praise Jesus. Just make sure you don’t click on that link with the lights off.
- Agh, who am I kidding. I wasn’t even gonna go.
- And regarding football: it’s been awfully quiet lately. It’s almost as if such dead calm is announcing a coming storm that will explode in a ravaging sea of fire and fury, destroying everything in its path until no living thing is left standing. The hooligans are silent, the players aren’t engaging in prostitution scandals and the sports commentators are surprisingly accurate during the games. So since there’s nothing interesting to tell, here’s the gruesome video of a leg fracture during an Argentinos Juniors match last weekend. Enjoy!
Don’t miss me next Friday, everyone!
OK, miss me.
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono
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