It’s Friday and it’s a national holiday again!
One of the many that you love so much because you get to enjoy an extra day of doing nothing!
Now, I could start one of my never ending diatribes about how you should know that this is a very important holiday for Argentina and that it’s more than just little white and blue flags on the car’s roof, but in all honesty I’m tired and I have writer’s block.
Here’s a link to the May Revolution, which took place exactly 202 years ago. I know you won’t read it, but in case you have an epiphany and decide you want to learn more about the country you live in, there it is.
Now put down your mate (or 5 pm beer), grab some hot chocolate and churros and celebrate like it’s 1809.
Oh, and like the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook and share it with your friends! If we reach 1000 soon, we’re throwing a party at my place.
This is what you need to know:
EVERYBODY PANIC!!! Because apparently not enough shit goes down here every week, you can now add “attempted political assassination” to the long list of shenanigans taking place in this country. As former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, considered by many a Latin American mirror image of George W. Bush, readied to give a speech at a leadership conference in the Gran Rex theater this week, a maintenance man working on the venue’s third floor came across two bombs that had been concealed carefully behind a lamp and had been rigged to explode at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, when Uribe’s speech was supposed to be taking place. After a bomb squad defused both explosives, flamboyantly fierce Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide showed up at the scene to make a scene and engaged in an endless soliloquy filled with over-the-top drama-queenism, explaining that had these bombs gone off not only they would have killed thousands of people but would have also hindered Argentina’s image around the world. The incident was immediately echoed by the world’s largest media outlets, from CNN to Reuters, from The Telegraph to Al Jazeera, and Buenos Aires was once again center stage on the world chalkboard.
- NO, WAIT. NO ONE PANIC. False alarm, everyone! Turns out it was actually just firecrackers! It seems that someone fucked up big time and confused what is commonly known here as bomba de estruendo (a loud firecracker usually set off by mischievous kids during New Year’s Eve and braindead hooligans during their favorite football game) with an Al Qaeda incendiary device, automatically ridiculing the entire police force before the eyes of the world for crying wolf when what they had found was actually a lamb. “It appears the whole plan was to startle the audience, but the bomb had no destructive power,” said the Federal Police, contradicting Oyarbide’s previous elaborate ramblings. ”Well, it appears it was nothing more than a stink bomb,” the judge said annoyingly at a press conference later and worried that this whole fiasco had affected his reputation. Oh, judge. You Tube has you singing cuarteto (while probably inebriated) with La Mona Jimenez. Trust me, no one cares about this.
- EVERYBODY PANIC!!! The UK is apparently keen on blowing us all up and has deployed a nuclear submarine to the South Atlantic to protect the Malvinas/Falklands from Argentina’s invasion back in 1982, sensationalist newspaper The Sun says. And these guys illegally hack phones. Believe me, they know their shit. So something so terrifying and politically convenient for both nations has got to be true. Also, the local press has made sure that you understand it is a NUCLEAR submarine. You know, as in “nuclear” bomb. *wink, wink*
- NO, WAIT. NO ONE PANIC. It’s called a nuclear submarine because it is nuclear-powered, not because it carries nuclear weapons. The local media, clearly disappointed by the lack of imminent terror, found another way to scare us all and started focusing on the destructive power of its tomahawk missiles. I guess their point is that the British are trying to kill us all.
- Also, I’m intrigued about this Argentine guy who will attempt to “symbolically” unite Argentina with the islands by swimming all the way from mainland to Port Stanley (or, as the Twitter nitpickers just told me: “He’s actually going to swim from island to island, you idiot!”). My question is: what happens when he reaches shore? I’m not sure the islanders will be very thrilled to see that Argentines are disembarking at their beaches now. Would that be considered an invasion? Would shooting him be a viable option? Would this be an excuse for the nuclear sub to fire upon us? This thing has “international incident” written all over it. Whatever, more stuff for me to write about. Although in his defense, he says he intends to use this as an opportunity to unite the islanders with the Argentines. So kudos to him for being a lot more well versed in diplomacy than the local Government.
- In order to perpetuate the cognitive dissonance currently affecting the Argentine political arena, annoying journalist and de facto leader of the opposition Jorge Lanata traveled to Angola last week and cornered Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman during a press conference, asking him how it was possible that the Kirchnerite government, a Human Rights champion, was willing to do business with the Angolan government, greatly denounced for its human rights violations. Timerman, clearly blindsided by the gotcha question was fuming and barely managed to escape the press conference alive. I’m sure that swimmer I was talking about before would have handled the situation ten times better.
- The exchange rate of the so-called “blue” dollar (as in “black market”) reached new heights this week, even surpassing the Euro’s value. The good news is you don’t need any dollars, you don’t have any dollars and even if you did you don’t even know where the black market is. See? It all works out in the end.
- If you’re wondering why there’s an apparent lack of Cristina-related news this week, it’s because she had to take a two-day leave of absence after catching the flu.
- In totally unrelated news, this happened three weeks ago. Just saying.
- The much-feared “three-day Subte strike” was avoided in the eleventh hour when subway workers and Metrovías S.A. came to an initial agreement, effectively killing my segue and a litany of jokes that I had prepared for what was going to be a fucked up week. Thanks for ruining everything for me, jackasses.
- Remember how last week I was happy because the British had finally acknowledged that I was right and decided to create an anti-Maradona ad to piss off the entire Argentine population? They’ve done it again! And this time they actually mock the “hand of God” episode, just like I said! I guess I have more klout than I thought, which is more than the former football star can say for himself.
- EVERYBODY PANIC!!! In what probably constitutes the worst piece of gastronomic news since the Irish Great Potato Famine, I am very sorry to announce that McDonald’s and Burger King may very soon run out of french fries to sell since the McCain factory in Argentina has shut down indefinitely because of trade restrictions at the Brazilian border. Since 70% of the company’s production is exported to Brazil, over 1,500 tons of frozen fries were ruined after getting green and mossy in the back of some poorly refrigerated warehouse in some forgotten border town after they were not allowed to cross over. So in protest McCain is stopping production, which means no more fries anywhere. Or, even worse, both restaurants will close a deal with Farm Frites, the RC Cola of pre-fried french fries.
- NO, WAIT. NO ONE PANIC. The Government has intervened and vowed to find a proper place to store the fries, at least until the trade irregularities with Brazil are resolved. Phew! Close call! Can you imagine being stuck with the cherry tomatoes?! I’d rather kill myself, thank you very much.
- Hey, here’s a neat idea! Let’s organize a Classic Car Show in some town in Río Negro and then have one of the “classic” (“classic” as in “piece of shit”) vehicles drive around the block to show people standing on the sidewalk that it is, indeed, a car. Then, to fire up the crowd, let’s create an obstacle course in the middle of the street by setting up a few of those orange plastic cones so you can have the vehicles swerve and break in front of the audience with a complete disregard of any sort of safety protocols. I mean, come on! What could possibly go wrong? Oh, yeah. That.
- Move over, Phoenix Jones! There’s a new real-life superhero in
townsome other part of the world! Former
treacherous vice-president and current political pariah Julio Cobos, who as you (probably don’t) know served during Cristina’s first term and was ostracized from her Cabinet after he stabbed her in the back, is now seemingly moonlighting as a superhero! You see, Mr. Cobos was casually patrolling the streets of Mendoza this week when he spotted a Toyota Hilux rolling down the street without a driver. Noticing that it was headed straight to a busy main avenue, where some kid named Little Timmy was probably waiting to be run over by it, Mr. Cobos didn’t hesitate and stood in front of the 1.2 ton behemoth, successfully stopping it with his bare hands and saving the day. Well, in all honesty he was helped by another man who happened to be there but no one gives a shit about him. The whole ordeal was of course picked up by the press, who lauded Cobos as the hero du jour, and was caught on video by a bystander who was absolutely not paid to be there with a video camera. Unfortunately, the camera started rolling after the heroic deed took place, so you’re pretty much stuck with footage of a couple of old geezers greeting Cobos as he exits his car (!?) and the pick up truck laying still in the back. I guess we’ll just have to take his word for it. Stay tuned, next week Mr. Cobos saves Little Timmy after he falls in a well and/or is caught in a fire at the old mill.
- Mark your calendar kids! This week Congress passed a bill creating yet another national holiday, but don’t get so excited because it’s one of the lame ones (meaning it’s just a one time thing). In order to commemorate the 200th. anniversary of some battle of historical significance that you just didn’t click on in order to find out more about it, lawmakers decided that next February 3rd will be a national holiday. Yay, government!
- Also, I was so certain that you wouldn’t click on it that if you do, you get rickrolled. Go on, give it a try! And for you nerds complaining that you didn’t get to read about the actual battle, here is the correct link to the Battle of San Lorenzo.
- I know you didn’t click on that one either. Just saying.
- I feel like I say this almost every month so the joke may be getting old, but City Hall has authorized cab drivers in Capital to raise their fare rates yet again. Come October, you will be paying 91 cents for every 200 meters (you currently pay 73 cents every two blocks). So let’s take a look at the current state of mass transit: taxis are for the rich, trains are deadly, the subways are about to go out of business and your bikes get stolen on a regular basis (I would have also included “cars” on the list, but let’s face it, you don’t own one). Right now buses are your last chance to get somewhere in the city, and who knows how long we have until a single bus ride goes up to $4. Once that happens, I guess it’s time to go back to whatever country you come from.
- EVERYONE PANIC (for real this time)!!! The gates of hell have been opened and the unthinkable has happened. After several football clubs vaguely suggested that they had had enough of the barrabrava (hooligan) savagery, the fanatics reacted in accordance to their nature and began sending death threats to everyone in their path. And that’s the most peaceful reaction they could come up with! In just one week, they:
- Held Racing Club‘s Giovanni Moreno at gunpoint for over 40 minutes and ordered him to win next Sunday’s game.
- Forced the vice-president of Independiente, Claudio Keblaitis, to take a 3-month leave of absence after they sent him a note warning him that they would shoot him in the head if his club stopped giving them money.
- Intercepted the bus carrying the Instituto team after a defeat and warned them that if they kept losing, all the players would be shot and killed.
- Threatened the board of the River Plate Club, relegated last year to the National B, by sending them messages that read “Take us back to the First Division or die.”
- Forced the Government to jump in and say that if the violence doesn’t stop, they will have to resort to much more drastic measures, such as suspending all games and tournaments in the country indefinitely.
- Threatened to atta…- Wait. Hold on a second. No football?! AT ALL?! INDEFINITELY?! AND WITH SOME HOPE, FOREVER?!?! OH MY GOD!!
- And finally, my favorite moment of the week: While the leader of Independiente continued to wage his holy crusade against the club’s hooligans and tension kept rising, those mindless neanderthals decided to converge at the entrance of the club to vehemently condemn those who condemn them for being a bunch of sociopaths. As the protest grew larger and the media showed up, the not-so-aloof head of the hooligans, Mr. Frankenstein (no, seriously) cornered one of the club’s directors against a wall urging him to reconsider their “confrontational” position. No, I’m not kidding! The head of the Independiente hooligans is Frankenstein. Here, see for yourself. Also please look at the face of the club’s representative, who is forced to engage in a serious dialogue with him in front of the cameras.
- And yes, I do know that the correct name for that character is Frankenstein’s Monster, since in the original Mary Shelley story, which I’m sure you didn’t read, “Frankenstein” is not the creature but the name of the doctor who creates the creature. Whatever, man. I’m not responsible for the character symbiosis and I don’t dictate the rules of pop culture. So shut up, even though you probably didn’t say anything.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono