Oh, it’s Friday alright.
And today’s edition of the Weekly News Roundup is particularly fat and juicy, so let’s get down to business fast.
First things first: after thousands and thousands of annoying emails from you, my loyal readers, urging me to create a Weekly News Roundup Facebook page so you can be even lazier every Friday and find this column in one click instead of three, guess what… Here it is! Now you better like it a thousand times and share it on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Friendster or else.
Also, if so much shit keeps going down every week in this country, I’m either gonna need an intern or a pacemaker.
Since the intern is pretty unlikely, I guess I’m fucked.
This is what you need to know before I have a stroke:
On Wednesday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner flew to Angola, a country that you know is in Africa but that’s pretty much all you know about it (What’s the capital of Angola? See? I told you) to promote bilateral trade - or so she says. Since our favorite Vice-President, mischievous Amado Boudou was in Switzerland receiving an award from the UIT – or so he says – it was up to the third person in line, Provisional Head of the Senate Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich to step up to the challenge and become acting President, at least until any of the other two came back. Beatriz, a gaffe-prone politician known for accidentally voting in favor of creating a special bicameral committee to investigate Boudou (she was supposed to vote against it) was never even given a chance to speak, just in case she accidentally declared war with the UK. I’m telling you, you can’t even make this whole thing up. It’s like living in an endless sitcom.
- Meanwhile, in Angola… THIS.
- Speaking of Vice-President Amado Boudou, the poor man (I say “poor man” figuratively) can’t catch a break. Not only he’s being investigated of influence peddling, now he has also being accused of being part of an illegal enrichment scheme along with his red-hot temptress of a girlfriend.
- But if you think that it’s only the Kirchnerite realm that is in deep shit, you are dead wrong. Opposition leader by default and Buenos Aires Mayor by accident Mauricio Macri is still being investigated for allegedly authorizing the illegal wiretapping and surveillance of private citizens. Since the case is headed to trial, Macri is expected to take the stand and be questioned by the prosecution.
- But as his Nixonian nightmare continues to develop, Mayor Macri doesn’t care. This week he was busy awarding universally reviled Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona with one of those ugly-looking tiles that are being scattered throughout the city in a poor attempt to imitate the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That’s how much he cares about this whole espionage scandal. Macri is badass. Just like the honey badger, Mayor Macri don’t care. Mayor Macri don’t give a shit.
- Meanwhile in Angola… THIS. Government officials regaled barefoot Angolan kids with socks reading “Clarín lies.” This is conceptually so fucked up that I couldn’t even come up with a joke. Sorry.
- Last Sunday brought another edition of Periodismo Para Todos, an infotainment show hosted by serial smoker and controversial journalist Jorge Lanata that has become the de facto leader of the political opposition. Whatever new “scandal” Lanata hits Cristina with, we know that the opposition will bite on it and parrot it for days until whatever new controversy arises. This week his show focused on how Cristina hates to give press conferences (she’s only given a few during her presidency and when she does she is very aggressive towards any reporters who are ideologically different), and featured a surprise appearance by dozens of prominent journalists who chanted in unison “Queremos preguntar!” (“We want to ask questions”). Once the impromptu Greek chorus settled down, Lanata gave his guests a chance to address the President directly on live television and ask her the questions that they are not able to ask to her face. Just imagine, so many things! Inflation! Corruption! The dollar! Rising insecurity! So Argentine TV and radio legend Fernando Bravo, who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page in English so I guess he’s not that much of a legend, was the one chosen to unleash the blitz first because of his sharp tongue and acute political savvy. As the crowd went silent and the entire country sat on the edge of their seat in horror, petrified by his imminent words, Lanata approached the microphone and said: “Fernando, what would you like to ask?” And then Fernando had an “I like turtles” moment and said “Uhm, I’d like to ask the President… what does she think about this show we’re doing?” (00:44 mark). Everyone’s jaws automatically dislocated in disbelief due to the resounding stupidity of his question, and because just like that he had fucked up the entire momentum of the segment. You can even hear a few subtle chuckles by his colleagues in the back! Are you still wondering why journalism is dying?
- Oh, and by the way: if you don’t know what an “I like turtles!” moment is, click here to watch where it comes from.
- Since this week I’ve been asked to death about what I think is going to happen with the dollar, let me tell you: First, fuck you, I’m not an economist. Second: read this CNBC article that explains it pretty clearly and leave me alone.
- Oops! You know how we’re always complaining about inflation but the Government says there’s no inflation, only “price dispersion“? (You didn’t click on that link, did you? Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have either). Well, as it turns out, a group of renegade employees (or as I’ll call them: “traitors”) working for the official inflation-measuring agency INDEC decided to come clean and release the list of prices used to calculate the country’s Consumer Price Index, revealing that the figures reflect prices from 2008. Now let’s just sit and wait for the Government to accuse these men of blasphemy and explain that their numbers are cooked while assuring that according to INDEC calculations we’re indeed living in 2008, not 2012.
- As I’m sure you probably know, subway workers went on an insane 36-hour strike this week that turned traffic into one citywide clusterfuck. The reason for the strike, as I’ve stated here before, is that the Subte is in legal limbo. It’s bleeding money. A lot of money. So neither City Hall nor the National Government want to deal with it, and it’s been like that for several months now, you know the story. Plus, employees are asking for higher salaries and the company says there is no money left. So how were we, common peasants, supposed to go to work? Fret not, my fellow reader! Fortunately for you, your favorite newspaper in the whole world La Nación was there to save the day with their drama-queen headline “How to survive 36 hours without the Subte“, which was later changed to sound less apocalyptic. The article boasts some clever, mind-blowing tips to get from Point A to Point B, such as “walking” or “taking a bus.” Also, in some clear attempt to think outside of the box, it also suggests “taking a taxi” or in some extreme cases, “riding a bike.” I smell a Pulitzer!
- No, really. Are you still wondering why journalism is dying?
- Also, when I refer to La Nación as ”your favorite” Spanish-based newspaper, I mean it. I know you people are obsessed with it. I see you there “liking” it on Facebook and posting every meaningless article they put up on your timeline like there’s nothing else to read. Which means you totally dismissed my advice suggesting your read all newspapers in the country and you’ve greatly disappointed me. Now go to your room.
- And I don’t mean to freak you out but since the union conflicts within the Subte continue, workers have announced a three-day strike next week, which means they will close on Monday night and reopen on Friday morning. Oh, it’s gonna be a fun week.
- Remember how last week I lashed at the British for making that lame, lame Olympic ad spoof that “laughed” at the Argentine proclivity to be late? Guess what. This week, all is forgiven! Even better: it appears they actually took my advice and came up not only with a technically and visually superb ad, but they also made fun of Diego Maradona! Sure, the Carlsberg beer ad glorifies and potentially exacerbates the concept of hooliganism. But who cares about all that when you get to see Diego Maradona mopping the floors for a fraction of a second wearing the t-shirt of the Argentine football team? Certainly not me. Enjoy the ad.
- This week in gay: Finally! City Hall has decided to allow gay foreigners get married in the city of Buenos Aires. It seems that Mayor Macri’s views on gay marriage “evolved” just like Obama’s last week. More gay news coming up after this.
- Not content with its already flamboyantly gay name, Harrod’s Buenos Aires, that abandoned black hole sitting close to the intersection of Florida and Cordoba that has remained vacant for decades since it went broke forever ago, is apparently making a comeback. Well, not only a comeback. A gay comeback! (See? I told you it was about gay news). That’s right. The project to reopen Harrod’s, estimated at 40 million dollars, is aimed at “the gay segment of the population” which is kind of an overstatement considering nothing in this world is gayer than a shopping mall. Maybe a football game, but that’s another story. Congratulations, gays! You know you’ve finally reached equality when capitalism begins targeting your demographic for financial exploitation.
- Despite the popular belief that the New Kids on the Block were all dead, apparently they are kind of alive and for some reason they are coming to Argentina next month. It seems that even though they are neither new nor kids, they have some pretty solid fan base here. So in case you’re planning on going to see them promote their unpronounceable album, here is a link to the site where you can buy the tickets.
- I know. I’m not going either but whatever. It’s courtesy.
- I’m sure by now we’ve all lost count of how many spin-offs the Argentine version of Dancing With the Stars (in Spanish, Bailando por un Sueño, or “Dancing For a Dream”) has spawned in the last few years. But as Singing With the Stars approaches its premiere date, producers are trying to milk that cow in every way possible. So now there’s this show aptly named Soñando por Cantar (Dreaming to Sing… barf), a mixture of American Idol and something else that I’m having trouble identifying. So contestants go on stage and embarrass themselves for a few minutes and stuff. No, seriously. In a nutshell, that’s pretty much the concept of the show. And this week, this girl was on stage and was asked to perform Whitney Houston‘s unforgettable “I Will Always Love you“. Unfortunately not only she agreed to channel her inner Whitney, she also totally butchered the song by singing in Spanish and completely off key. Ms. Houston, who was probably already spinning in her grave due to this, seems to have said “enough of this bullshit” and ghost-punched her in the face to end this postmortem debauchery once and for all. The result is, of course, hilarious.
- That’s OK, take your time to laugh. There’s no rush.
- OK, this is a football one with lots of plot twists and names so chances are
I’m gonna fuck up big time. But fear not, because all that matters is the hilarious video at the end. Ricardo Caruso Lombardi is the current coach of a team named San Lorenzo. People tell me it’s a fairly popular team (I’m already lost but I’ll keep going). Caruso Lombardi is fairly new to San Lorenzo, since he was brought in to replace the former coach, Leonardo Madelón. The Madelón years were, according to football historians, pretty forgettable. In fact, he began coaching last November and was fired in April after five months of poor performances. I’m not sure what befell Madelón after his resignation but I’m pretty sure he’s dead. Or at least he’s been banished from the kingdom. I don’t know, some friends were explaining the whole thing to me but Family Guy was on and I find it really hard to retain any football-related data so I may not have all the information that you need. The thing is Madelón is gone, that’s for sure. Maybe dead, too. But anyway, last Monday afternoon Caruso Lombardi was a guest at some football TV show and, alas, he spoke ill of his (dead?) predecessor’s performance. Naturally, the predecessor’s minions (or “field assistants”) were not amused by his lack of decorum and principles and decided to go wait for him outside the TV station to discuss the matter like grown up gentlemen. Or, in other words, beat the shit out of him.
- The cop trying to separate the two of them while sexting his girlfriend at the 00:41 mark is one of the best things I’ve seen in my entire life.
- And finally! I never thought I would ever write the words “Obama” and “Boca Juniors” in the same paragraph, but here it is. This week Barack Obama was driving around Washington DC with his posse and decided to go get some food. He entered some random joint, got his sandwiches, paid, met with the owners a few minutes and left. Now, if you’re wondering why this was plastered all over the newspapers, computer screens and discussed ad nauseum in every social and TV network, it is because the guy behind the counter was wearing a Boca Juniors t-shirt!! Not only that, Obama said that the t-shirt had “beautiful colors”! Oh my God, you guys!!!!!! This was enough to make all Boca fans around to world to join in a collective orgasm and miraculously start praising Obama for being the best president in like, ever. It was also featured here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
- And of course, minutes later the restaurant owner had his fifteen minutes of fame after Clarín published his mandatory “Who is…?” profile. He likes to sell choripanes, people! Thank God for that piece of information. My life is now complete.
- For the last time, are you still wondering why journalism is dying? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
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