It’s Friday again!
And aren’t you happy that while yesterday we were melting under the scorching maladies of our pagan god, the sun, today we left our homes wearing only a t-shirt and ended up freezing our asses off?
Ah, the many mood swings of Mother Nature, influenced by her shady boyfriend, Climate Change. You think this is bad? Wait until February. Then you’ll really regret moving to this country.
Anyway, this whole intro has been small talk about the weather. It’s like being stuck with me in a really long elevator ride, isn’t it? I guess there’s nothing left to talk about between us.
Sad when a relationship reaches that point, isn’t it?
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Alright, this is what you need to know:
We begin with the first journalism fuck up of 2013 (well, at least the first big, big, journalism fuck up) which involves Spanish newspaper El País and an infamous non-photo of an ailing non-Hugo Chávez on the operating table. As we all know, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is battling cancer in Cuba (and if you didn’t know, put down the Xbox and grab a newspaper, you douche). His treatment and current condition has been mostly kept under wraps with all sorts of rumors flooding the Twittersphere. Is he dead? Is he alive? Is he un-dead? Are we all dead, like in Lost? So considering how much relevance and influence El País has on a global scale (think of it as the New York Times of the Spanish language), the world responded with rightful indignation at a front page splashed with a giant photo of some Chávez-looking dude being intubated. The never-resting internet elves, who I don’t know how but always manage to find everything on the web, soon realized the low-res photo was a screen capture from some random 2008 You Tube video and all hell broke loose. A new nail on the coffin of journalism, which by now already has like a million nails on it and has been buried six feet under since 2000.
- “What does this have to do with Argentina, man? Get to the point or something!“, you say? Well, first of all calm the fuck down. And second, everything has to do with Argentina and you should know that by now. After many around the world expressed complete disgust at the cheap stunt (and let’s face it, it was a cheap stunt with no journalistic value whatsoever) El País apologized profusely (for using a fake photo, not for their vulture-like demeanor). But this wasn’t enough to discourage President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner from castigating journalism (its mortal enemy, according to those National Geographic documentaries). “The despicable press. I cannot think of another adjective. It is the same everywhere; El País in Madrid, The Sun in Murdoch’s London embroiled in corruption schemes with Cameron’s government and who knows what else. Which editor authorised the publication? Will they speak about freedom of the press?“, she tweeted. Not really sure what “freedom of the press” is supposed to mean, but then again, she has a very peculiar idea of how the press is supposed to work. Here, let me show you (cue the elevator music):
- Good press: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is awesome.
- Bad press: The President is human so sometimes she can make a mistake.
- Good press: Imperialism and dictatorships are still lurking around the corner, and if you elect anyone but Cristina into office, they will come back and enslave you forever. Also probably rape your parents.
- Bad press: There’s no chance for a military coup in this country.
- Good press: There is no inflation.
- Bad press: Shut up, there totally is.
- Good press: LAS MALVINAS SON ARGENTINAS!!! FUCK YEAH!!
- Bad press: We agree, but let’s leave dumb nationalism aside and try to solve this like adults.
- Good press: You shut up, bad press.
- Bad press: I wasn’t aware this was a dialogue. I thought this was more of a set of bullet points specifically designed to provide contrast between what the government thinks is good press and bad press.
- Good press: And that’s exactly why you’re Bad Press. Moving on.
- Good press: Argentina began its existence in 2003. Everything before that is lies, lies, lies.
- Bad press: Whatever.
- Good press: The press sucks, unless it praises the Fernández de Kirchner administration. In that case, it still sucks, but it sucks less.
- Bad press: The press doesn’t suck. There are good and bad practices of journalism. And comparing a stupid photo stunt to the UK’s hacking scandal, and bringing in the concept of freedom of the press just to make it sound more of an epic battle proves that you’re also trying to manipulate public opinion and that you definitely, absolutely, positively have no idea of what the press is supposed to be like.
- Cristina made her stellar reappearance on TV today after her “Sex & The City 2/Rambo 2″ presidential tour (she even went down the Cu Chi tunnels and everything! Have fun with this photo, and this one, and this one, and this one), and addressed inflation concerns. In a nutshell? It’s the store owners who are to blame for skyrocketing prices. There’s no such thing as “inflation”. See? Good press was right.
- Great news, everyone! After interminable months of oppressive import restrictions that kept us from buying essential products such as this, supreme overlord of the netherworld Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno decided that it was time to lift some of the import restrictions tragically imposed on society last year. So additional import permits are no longer required for: paper, home appliances, toys, shoe wear, motorbikes, bike tires, balls, textile products, diverse manufacturing (is that like, a real category? Sounds so broad…) metal parts, auto parts, vehicles, etc.
- I know, still no banana guard. Life sucks.
- Oh, and speaking of Guillermo Moreno (AKA, the Hannibal Lecter of Argentine politics), he also said he believes the official dollar exchange rate will reach $6 pesos in December. Are you an expat getting paid in dollars? This is you. Are you an Argentine getting paid in pesos? This is you. Are you an Argentine studying abroad whose college fees are being paid by your Argentine hard-working parents? This is you.
- This week, on PPP (Predictable Plot-twists in Politics), City Mayor Mauricio Macri announced to the surprise of no one that he intends to run for president in 2015.
- Remember how we all flocked to Mar del Plata two weeks ago to celebrate the arrival of our dear Frigate Libertad, which was retained in Ghana for three months for reasons you probably already forgot? Remember, hmm? Well, you better feel bad about this, because not too far from where you were waving your little Argentine flags, the Santísima Trinidad warship was crying alone because no one gave a damn about her. Decommissioned and stripped down for spare parts in 2004, the proud warship, who saw battle in 1982 during the invasion of the Malvinas/Falklands, couldn’t take such fate and in a final call for attention decided to commit suicide by capsizing in
Puerto MaderoPuerto Belgrano.
- But let’s not rush to conclusions here, because Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli decided to confirm that the vessel had sunk as a result of sabotage,
because that was better than admitting that it just sunk because no one gave a shit about it.
- So who are the culprits in this barbaric act of cowardice? Besides Clarín, that is. Is it a rogue military group from the Malvinas/Falklands, trying to vindicate history? Is it everyone who didn’t vote for Cristina? Or was it Mother Nature, that relentless bitch, who told the sea to eat away the ship’s hull until engulfing it in a wave of darkness and oblivion? (Yes, that would count as sabotage too, shut up).
- Those of you who have been privy to superhero movies lately may have
noticed a tendency to humanize them. To show the psychological residues that constantly burden a tormented mind under a latex mask. Batman, Superman, Spider-man, Hulk, they have all returned to the big screen in the embodiment of an anti-hero who leads a life of loneliness because society doesn’t understand that they are not spandex-wearing weirdos with daddy issues. And while in real life the US has Phoenix Jones, Argentina has Menganno. A superhero of sorts, Menganno patrols the streets of Lanús, in the Greater Buenos Aires area and has become a friend of the children and grandmas looking to cross the street. Menganno proudly assures his only weapons are a police baton and some pepper spray because he doesn’t believe in using firearms. So sweet and naive, this guy. Life was swell for Menganno and his wife, until this week some arch-villains (aka car robbers) decided to ambush him while he was parking outside of his house. Menganno resolved he wasn’t going to take any of that funny business and after careful deliberation chose to put his no-weapon philosophy on hold and shoot the robbers 14 fucking times with the assault weapon he was carrying in his glove compartment. After the police and the media showed up, Menganno admitted shame in using a gun to scare off the robbers and then cried as he confessed he was “fearful” they would seek revenge, which for a superhero is kind of lame. But his plight didn’t end there, since as it turns out his gun permit was expired and he was not allowed to carry his weapon. He is now under investigation for illegal possession of firearms and could go to jail anytime soon. The robbers, in the meantime, are planning their next move to take over the world via some contrived scheme of ridiculous, yet effective, proportions. An excellent metaphor for the times we’re living in, people. Being the villain always pays.
- Not to freak you out or anything, but the local version of Dancing With The Stars is returning and according to the mastermind behind it, “it will feature politicians”. This means that impersonators of popular politicians like Cristina or Macri will be whoring it out on screen, dancing to the tunes of Gangnam Style. That’s OK, it’s happened before and it’s as bad, unwatchable and cringe-inducing as you imagine.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
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