It’s Friday and it’s raining!
So let’s skip the weekly customary ice breaker that you have come to love so much and start talking about the things that matter.
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This is what you need to know:
Good riddance (Part 1)! After ten years of carrying this massive dead weight over its shoulders, the Argentine population has finally managed to leave behind the terrifying financial crisis that drove this country into utter disaster (at least on paper, because we know that the fear of losing all their savings will never entirely leave their minds). Today, Argentina pays the last installment of the Boden 2012 bonds, and everybody is happy. At least in theory. Yesterday, speaking from the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gave a heartfelt message on national television, explaining with charts and other incomprehensible financial data about the importance of such payment. So here’s her 70-minute-long speech which you’re obviously not going to watch.
- Speaking of yesterday’s event, here are some photos depicting the extreme tension between sworn frienemies President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, who were forced to sit together despite their well-known distaste for each other, and like two kids in high school, begrudgingly accepted. This is the hilarious result. Trust me, if there was a caption contest for the fourth photograph, “Oh no, sorry. I don’t dance!” would win hands down.
- Good riddance (Part 2)! No longer will we have to be prisoners of our own fears and be relegated to enjoying the goodness of football from our dungeon-like homes. Because thanks to technology, the AFA and our all-mighty National Government, who decided to engage in a crusade against criminal activities inside football stadiums, we can all now heave a sigh of relief and enjoy our favorite sport just seating a few meters away from where the real action is taking place. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Extermi-Hooligan 3000 (yes, I made up the name), a state-of-the-art device so advanced that it could beat up Robocop with its eyes closed. If it had eyes, that is. The EH3000 fits in a small suitcase and features a fingerprint reader that anyone trying to enter a stadium before a game will have to go through. If you have no criminal records, you’re cleared by a green light. If you’re a psycho killer who is willingly going through the fingerprint scanner just for the thrill of it, a red light tells the closest police officer to arrest you. Simple, is it not? So here’s footage from the Government’s official introduction of the EH3000 the other day. Enjoy.
- You didn’t click on that, did you? Well, you missed the joke then.
- Now, if you thought that the National Government couldn’t do worse than that classic 80s scene, you’re wrong. When Cristina was given the dubious honor of being the first one to try the new system on live television, it obviously didn’t work.
- Some guy named Mariano (presumably a technician) was immediately called on stage. By now we know that Mariano, who doesn’t even have a last name, is obviously the equivalent of a red shirt character. “It would appear you have a low-quality fingerprint…” he had the audacity to tell Cristina as he swallowed hardly. “This guy won’t last here five seconds!” she joked as she turned towards the audience. See? I told you: red shirt! His head is now on a pike outside the Casa Rosada.
- As the scanner failed to read her fingerprint several times, Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, sweating nervously because he was the one responsible for buying them, asked Cristina’s sister-in-law, Alicia Kirchner, to give it a try. As she pressed her thumb on the reader and the light on the screen turned green, uncomfortable laughter began to spread across the audience, while Cristina giggled and tried to remain calm and pretend she wasn’t going to behead everyone in the audience as soon as the cameras went off.
- But everyone’s favorite part was when they decided to invite AFA head Julio Grondona, who everyone in the country considers to be the Latin version of mob boss Don Corleone, so he could give it a shot as well. A collective gasp and “ooooooooh” was heard, as people present realized the light would turn red and the machine would then explode due to a system overload as soon as his fingerprint came close to that reader. Even Cristina began laughing uncontrollably, shaking her head and waving her arms saying “Hell, no!” as she took a step back. (See? Even she knows he’s dirty! I love this country). Yet, surprisingly, the light turned green.
- The light turned green, people. Grondona, arguably the biggest crook on Earth, placed his thumb there and THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN. That’s it, I give up. I’m moving to Chad.
- So yes, clearly those new devices that cost us taxpayers like 50 trillion pesos are of questionable effectiveness. But hey, the lowest-priced ticket for a regular First Division match will now cost $60 thanks to the ever-present inflation, so I’m pretty sure criminals couldn’t even afford to get in anyway.
- Oh, yeah. Probably neither will you.
- Ready for five days of traffic chaos and social mayhem? You better be, because starting tonight at 9 pm, our beloved Subte closes its doors until Thursday morning. Yes, of course it’s because of a strike. Why else would it be? Just be thankful it hasn’t been shut down completely forever, considering the jurisdiction mess that thing is. So let’s see: subways on strike, taxis are impossible to afford, you don’t own a car and you hardly ever use your bike because you’re terrified it might get stolen. Yup. If bus drivers go on strike you’re definitely fucked.
- [UPDATE] The strike may or may not be lifted by Monday. As usual, no one is sure of anything.
- In the department of awesome – yet completely irrelevant – news: Mayor Mauricio Macri, who clearly has a lot of time to spare, wants Buenos Aires “to become the International Capital of Love.” No, seriously, he does.
- OUTRAGE! Argentines are enraged and foaming at the mouth due to a barbaric act of vandalism that has once again escalated tensions between Buenos Aires and London. This week, residents of the Malvinas/Falklands woke up to what was probably the most exciting thing to happen there since one of their sheep went missing a few years ago: the Argentine Military Cemetery had been broken into and the glass protecting a figurine of the Virgin Mary had been smashed to pieces by some sociopath. A shameful, reprehensible act, clearly. But the usual drama-queenism ensued and everyone here began pointing fingers towards England, as if it had been Queen Elizabeth II herself who sneaked in there in the middle of the night wearing a ski mask and brandishing a sledge hammer. England, of course, promised “a full, thorough investigation.” Well, yeah, how hard can it be? What’s the population on the islands, 12 people? Just blame the town drunk, he probably did it. Go to his house and arrest him, for God’s sake, it’s not like you need CSI: Malvinas to find the culprit.
- In order to perpetuate the notion that everyone involved in this bilateral conflict has the mental development of a five-year-old, the Buenos Aires province senate recently passed the Gaucho Rivero bill, which bans all British vessels involved in the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Malvinas/Falklands area from docking in the provincial ports. The bill was named in honor of Antonio Rivero, a gaucho who murdered five islanders back when the islands were seized by the British a million years ago. Oh, I’m sure naming it after a rebellious murderer is gonna make things a lot smoother, people.
- OUTRAGE (Part 2)! Ralph Lauren is leaving the country!!! (No, not the person, you idiots. The eponymous clothing brand.) Don’t worry though, they said it’s just a temporary thing, until trade restrictions are back to normal. Then we’ll all once again be able to choose not to go buy there.
- This week, in “New Currency Exchange Restrictions put in place to make your life more miserable than it already is“: Traveling to a bordering country? Then very soon you may no longer be allowed to purchase dollars, fool! You’ll have to buy whatever currency they have available and that’s final.
- Also, remember the guy arrested in Uruguay a few weeks ago who needed $5,000 dollars? Yeah, no one does. So I guess he may be spending the rest of his life in prison.
- Naughty, naughty! If you live in a country (gated community in the Greater Buenos Aires area), chances are your a serious tax evader. According to the media (and those guys are always right), four out of ten homeowners living there don’t pay taxes. Look, even La Nación is saying it! Rich people in this country have it so hard. First Ralph Lauren leaves and now this? We’re all doomed.
- Conservatives in this country are once again up in arms after learning that for the first time two gay men were officially allowed to register their baby – born of a surrogate mother in India – as their son. Congratulations, guys! (Congratulations to the gay parents, not to the conservatives for being up in arms. You know, just so we’re clear).
- So let’s say you enter a store and while you’re minding your own business a couple of armed robbers walk in. All hell breaks loose. OMG, please don’t kill me, arms in the air and all that. You know how it is, you’ve seen Point Break. So as the situation becomes chaotic you’ll understandably try to take advantage of it, because that’s what any regular human being would do. And as the store clerks are still in shock because someone was close to blowing their brains, you take your chance and grab some of the money they dropped on their way out because, hey, it was going to be stolen anyway, right? Wrong. You’ve been caught on tape. At least the robbers had a life purpose, they went in there to rob. What’s your excuse? You are a disgrace.
- Because having the glamorous Charlotte and Alexander Caniggia twins shoved down our throats everyday through the blessings of Argentine television is not enough, the local media are now checking Charlotte’s Facebook page and writing full-length articles about every brainfart she posts there. So when the lovable duet decided to upload this video of them dancing erratically and looking jacked up to their eyeballs, the media picked it up and turned it into a story about their “private party”. Ha! I know, I know. We journalists are douchebags.
- But hey, not all is lost in journalism, apparently. That quintessential 90s guy with a pony tail, dancing in the back? Apparently a gay porn star, thanks to this serious investigative piece. Phew! And I thought for a second this industry was doomed.
- Former diva and current Egyptian mummy Moria Casán was in a bit of a conundrum this week after finishing a gig in Paraguay. Casán, who we’ve come to love after centuries of cringe-inducing moments as a judge on Dancing With The Stars, was accused of stealing some jewelry worth $70,000 dollars she was supposed to wear on stage for a while and “forgot to return or something like that.” She was let go and allowed to return to Argentina the morning after, praise the Lord. The cops even admittedly “looked under her wig” to see if she had concealed them there, but found nothing. No, she really does wear a wig! She was born during the Pangaea period or something! Here she is, taking a dive in a water tank for some reason and totally losing her wig in the process.
- Hey! These are all important moments in Argentine pop culture, who cares if it’s not informative?! Shut up.
- Oh, and the missing jewels never turned up. But whatever, it’s Paraguay, right? … RIGHT?!
- [UPDATE] A Paraguayan court has issued an arrest warrant for Moria Casán and she has until Monday to appear before the judge. If she doesn’t, Interpol will be told to start looking for her. Oh this is going to be fun.
- Regarding the Olympics, I’ll be brief: so far Argentina has sucked at
everything. Well, not really, but you know that standards for success here are impossibly high. You either win the gold or you’re a disgrace, period. The only hope right now is Juan Martin del Potro, who as I write these lines is playing against Roger Federer or something [UPDATE: He ended up with a bronze medal. Congrats!]. As an extremely blunt sports commentator said on TV after describing his disillusionment with Argentina’s performance in London: “in a few days, the football tournament begins and the Olympics go back to being a minor issue.” The Argentine athletes I’m sure are thrilled to hear that.
- When Homer wrote the Oddissey thousands of years ago (if you clicked on “Homer” because you weren’t sure whether I was talking about Homer Simpson or not, please close this browser and never EVER come back because if you do I swear to God I’ll shoot you), his vivid imagination inspired him to create a wondrous world of magical creatures and a very, very passive-aggressive Penelope. His tales of adventure, however, have no comparison to the string of mishaps that befell on Boca Juniors during a week-long tour throughout South America, briefly described here:
- After a series of games around Latin America that ended in Venezuela last week, the popular football team was getting ready to return to Argentina when they were told their plane had a little problem and couldn’t take off.
- That’s when they realized they didn’t have any money left to hire another plane, so they had to wait for their plane to be fixed. In the meantime, they were sent to some hotel in Caracas.
- Boca Juniors defender Rolando Schiavi, upset about the hotel they were sent to, took to his personal diary to express his displeasure with it, calling it “a roach hotel with dirty sheets and rat food.” Unfortunately, his personal diary is Twitter, so he immediately caused a scandal that resonated all across South America. He quickly deleted his tweets, but the damage was already done. Venezuelans were not happy.
- After waiting for days for a charter flight back to Buenos Aires, they finally got it, but there was one catch: it had to make a stop in Bolivia. The agreed, by now they were desperate to return.
- After a brief stop in Bolivia, they began their final approach to the City when they learned that a dense fog had invaded the Buenos Aires area, for which they couldn’t land here. Their flight was rerouted to Cordoba, where they would be forced to spend the night.
- Upon their arrival in Cordoba, they were told there was no room for them in any hotel.
- The closest hotel for them was in Villa Carlos Paz, 36 kilometers away from Córdoba.
- They looked down in resignation and took a bus to Villa Carlos Paz.
- They woke up like 20 minutes later and went back to their plane, which finally took off.
Their plane crashed on the island from Lost.
- They finally returned to Buenos Aires yesterday evening. Which means the Torneo Inicial (and football in general) are back tomorrow after a brief period of calm and relaxation. FML.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
- Oh, I almost forgot! All Boys had to go through the same ordeal since they were on the same tour and booked on the same charter, but no one really cared about them.
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