It’s Friday again!
And pretty much like every other weekend in Argentina, it’s a long weekend!
Yes, people. This Monday is a holiday since Argentina celebrates it’s Independence Day on July 9.
So I guess American readers living here are doubling their independence celebrations. Congrats, Americans!
Unless you work in a call center or telemarketing office. In that case you’re fucked because you still probably have to work.
Don’t worry though, in order to lighten up your miserable life, here’s the ultimate fireworks fail compilation, designated to at least make you giggle while the slave master lashes at you with his leather whip.
So enjoy the temporary escapism and once you’re done laughing at others, proceed to like our Facebook page and then read this column.
Information is good for you.
This is what you need to know:
Warning: this next post might give you nightmares. So no hate mail, OK? OK.
- In order to continue with the slow process of indoctrinating the younger generations so by the time they grow up they become an army of British-hating, Chávez-loving minions, while giving a speech at the Government House this week, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner introduced the population to the ultimate brainwashing weapon. You know how popular political figures – specially charismatic leaders – always get their own action figure? Obama has one! Chávez has one! There’s even a Lego-like Axis of Evil set that I totally want! So this will come as no surprise to you. I give you: the Cristina doll! A terrifying, goosebumps-inducing creature stuffed with porcupine hair and hand-painted with the tears of thousands of virgin girls. Pick your favorite! Mine is the one with the Louis Vuitton bag, seen here with her conniving posse. At least we know she’s keeping it real. You can get them for $65 at the Government House and contribute to the fight against imperialism, one doll at a time.
- You don’t like the Cristina one? Don’t worry, you can also get the Juan and Evita Perón set! Even Néstor Kirchner is there, with his suspicious angel wings and everything!
- Yes, from all the politics-related news this week, I chose to open the column with that one. Whatever.
- Now, I know that Cristina can usually be a pain in the ass with her professorial tone and bullying attitude, but when she’s not engaging in cauldron-stirring activities she can be pretty awesome. On that same ceremony, and surrounded by members of the transgender and transsexual community, Cristina awarded several citizens with the first DNIs issued under the new Gender Identity Law. She then gave a moving speech in which she apologized to sexual minority groups for “taking so long” to grant them legal recognition. See? She can be cool sometimes.
- Her kick-ass attitude extended into the day after, when she was giving a speech from the Government House to announce the creation of 1,600 new homes along with Caritas, a Catholic charity organization. With a high-ranking Monsignor sitting a few meters away from her, she just couldn’t help herself. “It’s a good thing you weren’t here yesterday or you’d be excommunicating me right now,” she told him jokingly in reference to the Catholic Church horror (and underlying curiosity) towards everything gay. “It was a beautiful ceremony. We live in a complex world, but I’m absolutely sure God loves us all the same, no matter what,” she told him (at the 12:40 mark) as everyone cheered. Witness the Monsignor’s face, clearly trying to throw her out of the window by means of psychokinesis, at the 13:30 mark.
- Speaking of real evil people, former Argentine dictator and current disgraced prisoner Jorge Rafael Videla once again got what he deserved and was sentenced to 50 years in prison after being found guilty of creating a scheme to systematically abduct the children of political prisoners who were born in captivity. Oh, you think the punishment isn’t too harsh? Don’t worry though. He’s 86 and he’s also been found guilty of many other horrible deeds. If you add them all up he’s supposed to be in prison for like 1000 years. So unless he’s one of the guys in that Highlander movie, I’d say he’s pretty fucked.
- It’s official, everyone! You’re no longer able to buy dollars unless you’re planning on traveling abroad. Game over, man! So if you want to save in dollars, forget about it. You have no choice but to save in Argentine pesos. Wanna buy a property? Can’t pay in dollars. Wanna buy US$100 because you’re saving for a trip next year? Can’t do it, unless you already have your ticket. Oh, the humanity! The Central Bank, however, has assured that the measure is just “temporary” which we all know means “will last forever.” Or until Videla is released from prison. Both examples work.
- Oh, and even if you can buy dollars because you’re actually travelling abroad, I don’t mean to rain on your parade but chances are you won’t be going anywhere. Hey, look on the bright side!
- Yeah, you’re right. There is no bright side.
- The Buenos Aires province is out of money. So now that Governor Daniel Scioli has announced he will pay the bi-annual bonuses (usually paid in the state workers’ June salary) in four installments, the entire population is up in arms. So expect a loooooot of strikes in the next few weeks unless this problem is resolved soon (Spoilert Alert: it won’t).
- *Eye roll* coming in 3… 2… 1…
- This week, in the Malvinas/Falklands conundrum (See? I told you): since despite our reticence to admit it Argentina is totally China’s complacent bitch now, the Government keeps sucking up to our Asian friends and has now sent Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli in an official visit. So while holding a press conference in the Argentine embassy in Beijing, the minister stated that Argentina is looking to recover the islands by following the diplomatic path paved by the Hong Kong transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997. Well there you have it people. This is one for all you warmongers out there shaking their fist in the air, making the islanders feel as if a war with Argentina is imminent. And if the sovereign transfer ever took place, going by what happened in Hong Kong just five days ago, I can say with full confidence that the islanders will feel like they are living in Argentina in no time.
- To continue our video segment that I have gleefully labeled “Government officials beating the shit out of other people,” I’d like to introduce you this week to Gustavo Steven, mayor of the town of Santa Sylvina, in Chaco. According to another government official, Mr. Steven has been a little naughty and decided to use state funds to improve his humble abode. So, armed with a video camera, he showed up in front of Steven’s home to denounce that the bricks being unloaded from a truck had been paid by the taxpayers. Steven was apparently not amused by his rival’s stunt, and at the 1:45 mark began to beat the shit out of him. Ha! Politics can be so much fun sometimes. Most of the time it’s not, but sometimes… it’s a hoot.
- Poverty sucks, and that is a fact. So of course, whenever we see a poor walking down the street, it breaks our hearts and makes us feel terrible since we’re kind, empathetic beings. Fortunately, through the power of looking the other way, we can always look the other way and pretend we never saw anything. There, problem solved. Sometimes, however, the poor refuse to leave our field of vision, and that is in essence a problem for those who are trying to ignore them. And this is what is happening to the poor (but rich) residents of Puerto Madero, who are being increasingly surrounded by the poor (the actual poor). In this potential Pulitzer-prize-winning piece published on Perfil that begins with the utterly majestic line “Homelessness is a world wide phenomenon that grows whenever a crisis hits,” the richest residents of the City expose their predicaments and explain that since they pay really high taxes they don’t want to see homeless people sleeping around in the area at night. See? And people say it’s easy being rich. They have no idea.
- Congratulations Buenos Aires! At long last, after decades of failing miserably to replicate the alluring, cosmopolitan aroma of the most popular European / American cities, you have finally succeeded now that having one of those shitty watered-down cups of coffee in a random greasy bar in Abasto costs the same (or more!) than in New York or Paris. Oh, lala! Quelle surprise!
- Speaking of aromas, did you happen to notice that the entire city smelled
like cat pee last Sunday? Nauseating, wasn’t it? Did you reprimand your cat by spanking him for several hours, surprised that after many years of pristine behavior he decided to mark his territory in such a barbaric, uncivilized way? If so, I hope you feel guilty, since your cat had nothing to do with it. According to official Government sources (and to everyone on Twitter who used the #pisdegato hashtag) there was an ammonia spill in Dock Sud (it is still unclear whether it was intentional or accidental) that affected the entire city, especially the areas of Balvanera, Núñez, Belgrano, Palermo and San Telmo. Don’t worry though, authorities said the spill was not lethal, which you probably realized since you’re still alive. Also, I believe you owe your cat an apology (unless you don’t own a cat. In that case you’re OK).
- The entire country is still in shock after witnessing the jaw-dropping security footage of a robbery attempt in Castelar this week, in which a gun-toting robber decides to shoot a pregnant woman after her husband offered some resistance and refused to let the perpetrator into their home. You know how we keep saying you need to be very careful when entering your home at night? This is why. By the way, fortunately the woman was only shot in the leg. She and her unborn child are both OK.
- Let’s say you’re driving down the Paranamerican Highway or the Cantilo Av. after midnight, minding your own business when a red light stops you. So you turn your head to your left to check out the sweet ride that has stopped right next to you to see if…-HOLY MOTHER OF GOD IT’S A FIGHTER JET ON THE HIGHWAY. Yeah. That’s what pretty much everyone thought. That, and that the war with the UK had started again. Don’t worry though, it was just being towed somewhere for no apparent reason.
- The fuckery continues in the neighboring nation of Paraguay, and now the new Government in charge of leading an institutional coup against former president Fernando Lugo is accusing the Venezuelan government of trying to lead an actual coup against them. Because democracy is what really matters, people!
- Oh, Dancing With The Stars, what has befallen ye? Back in those happy olden days of yore, you would provide us with quality content during dinner that we would share with our kids, explaining why those bikini-clad damsels were prostituting themselves while squabbling with the colorful members of the jury. But lately you have become socially maladroit, discomfiting your audience with questionable content that is loosely related to dancing. Because according to the tyranny of ratings, 2012 now belongs to Charlotte Chantal, the buoyant socialite daughter of nouveau riche Mariana Nannis, whose longstanding gravitas and down-to-earth-ness would put Paris Hilton and any character from Gossip Girl to shame. And Charlotte, being all rich and cute and stupid, sells. She sells a lot! So imagine everyone’s surprise this week when host Marcelo Tinelli decided to ditch the entire format of his show after the opening credits and turn it into a three-hour-long, Charlotte-centric cirque-de-merde that obeyed her every whim. As millions turned to Twitter to voice their discombobulation and stupor with a very loud “What the fuck is going on here?”, Charlotte and Tinelli shared some pizza across the street from the studio and then staged a gay marathon (?) that ended with every contestant entering the studio floor, which by then had been turned into a nightclub.
- Even Tinelli’s son tweeted about the Fremdschämen he was experiencing by looking at his dad wearing a wig and high heel boots on the TV screen. Was host Marcelo Tinelli drunk? Uncertain. Was he high? Maybe. One thing is sure though so let’s face it, friends: Charlotte Chantal has become the undisputed queen of Argentine television. And she’s here to stay.
- In the meantime, dethroned queen of Argentine television Ricardo Fort was struggling last Saturday to keep his train wreck of a show afloat and above flat lining ratings. And he lost. Miserably.
- Also he’s been indicted over tax fraud accusations. Not a good year for Mr. Fort I guess.
- And finally, guess what: THERE’S NO FOOTBALL! The Clausura Tournament is over and the Apertura Tournament is still like two weeks away or so! So while all of you idiots complain about “how hard it is” to spend a few weekend without the sport that shall not be named, I will be dancing on your graves.
- Also, Boca Juniors lost against the Corinthians. Whatever.