It’s Friday again!
And before you start reading, let me kindly suggest that you go get your news somewhere else.
No, I’m not kidding. I’m serious. Go read about something that really matters, like how your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s zodiacal sign means he/she is prone to infidelity.
Because honestly, there’s not much to read here this week. Everything you read will basically redirect you to two things: either the Malvinas/Falklands conflict or football.
And quite frankly, I think you and I have had enough of that.
So this week I had to face an impossible decision: either I didn’t write the column in order to let the Government know that this inherent lack of tomfoolery is like slamming my fired up creativity into a cold, refreshing pool of water, or I wrote it anyway and waited for the hate mail to start pouring in.
“You always talk about the same thing, man!”
You know what I mean.
So, after cogitating for some time about professionalism and respect for my loyal readers, I understandably took the high road and decided to tell you all to go fuck yourselves and go out for a beer.
So now I’m hung over and, for some reason, still writing this column even though I originally decided against it.
I was going somewhere with all this but I’ve lost my train of thought.
Thanks for nothing, readers.
This is what you need to- Oh yeah! Now I remember. Like I said, this week this column is mostly about the Malvinas and football. So there. Take it or leave it.
This is what you need to know:
This week saw the 30th anniversary of the end of the Malvinas/Falklands War (See? Malvinas. Told you.) and of course the bilateral acrimony between Argentina and the United Kingdom was emanating strongly from both sides of the ocean. So here’s everything that happened in a nutshell, so we can get this out of the way fast and move to other more important things, like football.
- David Cameron, that cheeky British prime minister, thought that in order to piss off the Argentines even more on the day of the anniversary, it would be a good idea to fly the Falklands’ flag on top of 10 Downing Street. Very subtle way of saying “Fuck you”, sir. Congrats. You truly are a gentleman.
- On that same day, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner flew to New York to attend a conference at the United Nations, where the Special Committee on Decolonization regularly functions. “Regularly” of course being used ironically since in international relations the SCD is considered to be obsolete, but whatever. She spoke, she didn’t say anything new, once again asked the UK to give peace a chance and then urged the British government to engage in dialogue. Because dialogue is the only way that this will ever be solved. OK? OK. Now read the next bullet point.
- Once her speech was over, a representative of the islands’ government approached Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and tried to hand him a letter addressed to Cristina in which he asked her to talk to them in order to discuss the islands’ sovereignty. Timerman said no. You guys didn’t think that whole dialogue bullshit was true, right? Because it’s not. Well, now the islanders are upset. Which means that there’s no possibility of a rapprochement anytime soon and I will still have to write about this stuff in the future. Fuck my life.
- Meanwhile, in the Malvinas/Falklands: the islanders, probably tired of being ignored by the international community, announced they would conduct a referendum on the islands in order to “put this sovereignty fuckery to rest once and for all.” Well, they didn’t say it like that, but that’s what they meant. So that’s great, guys! However, there’s no need to “announce” you’re gonna do it. Just do it! Considering the islands have a population of like, 12 people, you just go to the local pub and tell the parishioners to raise their hands and count. That’s it! Referendum ready.
- I’m kidding, islanders! I know you’re more than 12 people! I also know you read my weekly rants, so I’m sorry, but if everyone else falls then you don’t get to leave this column unscathed.
- This week, in non-Malvinas related news: the Interior Ministry announced the creation of a new passport that will cost 400 pesos and will include a state-of-the-art chip that Argentina hopes will persuade nations such as the US, Canada or Australia from asking citizens for a visa before they travel there. The good news is that since dollars are basically impossible to find anywhere in this country, Argentines weren’t even thinking of going there in the first place. See? Everybody happy.
- **UPDATE** The US has already replied by saying “Thanks! But no thanks.”
- Apparently the cacerolazos are still happening, even though no one is actually aware of them. Not content with last week’s fiasco, which failed to galvanize the anti-Kirchnerite segment of the population, a few angry people decided to come out yesterday and bang their frying pans and teapots in order to
demand access to their dollarsprotest corruption. Fortunately this time they had the help of former mayoral candidate and absolutely crazy person Guillermo Cherashny (did you click on that? You should. Want another one? Here’s another one). I’m not sure what Cherashny, a journalist who really did run for mayor of Buenos Aires, was doing there in the first place but if his protest methodologies are indication of anything, I’m certain the cacerolazos will eventually become a “thing”. After all, who could forget his You Tube video aimed at Hewlett-Packard in which he decides to take action against his laptop computer (did you click on that? You should.)?
- Also, since we are talking about protests and injustice, can anyone give this guy a hand? You see, former railway worker Luis Alberto Ninona has been indicted along with many others in the case investigating the Once railway tragedy that took the lives of 51 people last February. So understandably, Mr. Ninona is not allowed to leave the country, as he is suspected of being responsible of manslaughter. But, alas! His lawyer announced that he has all these (I assume, frequent flier) “miles” accumulated and he needs to used them before they expire for a little vacation in Punta Cana, where he’ll be sipping piña coladas for a few days only to eventually return to explain why he’s not kind of responsible for so many deaths. The prosecutor, clearly a bad person, has already said he will not let him leave Argentina for a trip with his family. Can any of you give this guy a hand? Anyone? No? Shame on you.
- Now here’s a piece of news that could be considered a semiotician’s wet dream: do you know who Richard Stallman is? Well, in case you’re too lazy to even click on that link to Wikipedia, let’s just say he’s a computer programmer who was become globally known as the leader of the “free software” movement. (also known as “people who want free shit”). You may recall reading about Mr. Stallman last year after he stirred quite a controversy when he said “he wasn’t glad Steve Jobs was dead but he was glad he was gone.” Still don’t know him? OK, never mind. Anyway, Mr. Stallman was invited to speak about free software at the UBA School of Economics last Friday and, predictably, had his personal computer, passport, medication and travel money stolen while he was giving his conference! So… karma? You know what, I take back what I said at the beginning. This week was amazingly funny.
- At long, last! After six interminable months devoid of music, dancing, and masturbatory material, the biggest TV show in the history of poor quality TV shows is back! (No, kids! I’m not talking about Ricardo Fort‘s megalomaniac extravaganza “Fort Night Show.” That one actually begins in eight days and it already looks like it’s gonna suck). I’m talking about the local version of Dancing With The Stars of course! The impressive opening last Monday, which lasted over 12 minutes, and I must admit is worth watching, featured the entire cast of Game of Thrones dancing to the tunes of Madonna, Adele, LMFAO and Michael Jackson. So it was pretty much the gayest 12-minutes in the history of television. Too bad after minute 13 it’s all downhill until December.
- By the way, if you’re not a pop culture connoisseur or you just arrived in this country and have no idea who Ricardo Fort is, let me just say that if Willy Wonka and The Situation from The Jersey Shore met at a bar one night and decided to have sex, he would be their illegitimate spawn. If you still don’t get the picture, here’s his already classic rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” which I have posted here a thousand times and will continue to post until I’m dead. Or he ‘s dead. Whichever comes first.
- Also, in unrelated news but somehow totally related: for months this image went viral on every social network last year, saying that every time you start watching Dancing With The Stars (hosted by Marcelo Tinelli) a book kills itself. So in some kind of poetic -yet depressing- twist of fate, last Monday night at 3:30 am and only a few hours after the Dancing With The Stars premiere was over, a water pipe in the Library of the City Legislature “mysteriously” broke and destroyed more than 13,000 invaluable books forever.
- Horror! For the first time in its 142 years, and in order to further perpetuate the notion (well… your notion) that this country is turning into North Korea, your favorite newspaper in the whole world (La Nación) failed to reach the newsstands due to a union conflict (workers demanding better salaries). So no, this time it wasn’t the Government trying to destroy free speech. Next week maybe, but not this time.
- This week saw the death of yet another singer you couldn’t care less about, this time was Memphis La Blusera‘s Adrian Otero. Since I know that you didn’t care about Estela Raval’s death last week and you don’t care about Otero’s death this week, let’s just be practical and move on. Sorry, everyone. There’s just no point in any of this.
- The reckless endangerment in this country continues, this time in the so-called “Poncho Rally (?)” in Catamarca. The good news is that, even though the driver could have killed dozens of bystanders that were casually standing on the side of the road, this time the only one getting kind of killed is him.
- Don’t worry, I said “kind of killed,” not “killed”. You can laugh without feeling any guilt.
- As signs of an impending zombie apocalypse continue to surface all over the world, a widow in Buenos Aires seems to have fully embraced the concept and decided to pimp the crypt in which her late husband is buried. She even has cable TV and everything! Now don’t laugh. Necrophilia is in this year. Don’t you watch True Blood? It’s basically a show about dead people fucking each other and so far I haven’t heard a qualm. It’s 2012, get over it.
- Shocking! The very aptly named “Happy Planet Index” shows that on the list of happiest countries on Earth, Argentina comes No. 17! You guys, that’s awesome! See? I told you those cacerolazos were nonsense. Everyone is happy here! Now, I have no idea how this is measured, how rigorous these studies are or how much bullshit factor is involved (not because I couldn’t find it, it’s all right there on the website. I just couldn’t be bothered to look it up). All I know is that if you live in the US, Mongolia or some landlocked African nation, chances are you are pretty pissed off right now.
- That cute little alpine town at the end of the world that you love so much (Ushuaia) is seemingly entering the Ice Age once again. Tierra del Fuego authorities reported that only last week it had already snowed half of what they would usually get in an entire season! People had to be evacuated and roads were closed, leaving the town completely isolated from the rest of the world. I’m not willing to bet on it, but I’m sure the people from the Happy Planet Index did not go all the way down there to ask how things were doing. Just saying.
- This week, in sports that I hate: Argentine football continues to
spiral down into utter chaos while I rub my hands in delight at the prospect of seeing that ignominious sport cancelled or constitutionally banned for good. Let’s read about it, shall we?
- River Plate is fucked. No, for real this time. As if last year’s relegation to the National B had not been enough, 2012 seems to be slapping fans in the face with a sledgehammer. Last Sunday, before a match between River Plate and some team named Boca Unidos that at first I thought it was Boca Juniors but then I realized it was not, two of River’s hooligan factions clashed inside the stadium, leaving one of them dead. That’s right, these guys are killing each other and they even root for the same team! The murderer was arrested today in Mendoza. So smart, these guys.
- **UPDATE** The internet peoples have kindly pointed out that, contrary to what the local media initially said, the stab victim was actually not a member of a hooligan faction. He was just a fan. Now, since I usually don’t give a shit about football I would have let it slide, but in this case we’re talking about someone’s death and this information had to be corrected.
- As rumors that the River Plate stadium could be shut down due to the murder were abound, a new controversy exploded this week after a player from the ignotus (at least for me) team Patronato de Paraná or something like that casually dropped during a press conference that River Plate authorities had offered them “incentives” (i.e. bribes) to win a match against Rosario Central for some reason. The nationwide outrage was immediate and now, if the accusations are proven true, River Plate could be facing a 4-month to 2-year suspension from all football activities. Oh, come on guys. That wouldn’t be so bad! I mean, there’s always tennis.
- A game between Gimnasia de la Plata and Ferro had to be suspended after someone, who I swear to God was not me but totally could have been, called in a bomb threat.
- Yeah, sorry. No Wikipedia links to Gimnasia de la Plata or Ferro. Oh, they do exist. I just didn’t care to do it.
- Diego Maradona, whose opinion for some reason that escapes logic still matters, felt compelled to intervene in Argentina’s favorite pastime: insulting Lionel Messi. ”If people here keep making his life miserable here, Messi is going to stay there (Spain) and never come back to Argentina,” he said. Haha! Maradona, you silly. What makes you think he ever wants to come back in the first place? You’re funny. You’re a funny guy. Why don’t you go back to winning trophies instead of talking about stuff no one cares about? Oh, that’s right.
- Last but not least: remember a couple of weeks ago when Frankenstein led a hooligan protest against the head of the Independiente club after he launched his own personal crusade to diminish the power of those deranged football fanatics? Well, he’s back! And this time, the man who goes by the non-threatening sobriquet “Bebote” (Big baby), may not be wearing a Frankenstein mask, but chose an equally intimidating fashion item: the pibe chorro hoodie. Not only that, he tried to face the bellwether president of the club, Javier Cantero, outside his club at night while the TV cameras were rolling. The result is scary and hilarious at the same time.
- So here I am, cigar in one hand, glass of port in the other, as I watch the world of Argentine football collapse upon its own gravity, like a decadent black hole struggling to survive its unavoidable fate while ravaging everything on its path. And I couldn’t be more ecstatic.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
And remember to like this column on Facebook!
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono