It’s Friday again!
And if you’re reading this it’s because you survived December 6th, a day that will be remembered as one of the most eventful days in recent history.
Today was expected to be a day to remember, as the much-dreaded December 7th (also referred to as “7D”) was supposed to arrive.
Remember? 7D! The day that the National Government had been advertising for months as the day in which Grupo Clarín‘s hegemonic dominance of terror was going to come to an end, prompting humanity to leave its current state of slumber and transition to a higher plane of consciousness that brings forth a new age of global understanding.
And yet, today feels totally anticlimactic. Because it was yesterday that the unexpected (and probably jealous) “6D” ended up stealing all the attention.
It’s hard to sum up in a few words the humongous amount of shit that happened yesterday. The feeling of anxiety, the uncertainty, the despair and the hilarious Twitter jokes that helped us engage in collective catharsis.
Last night, hundreds of newspaper editors around the country were scratching their heads thinking of a single headline that could easily convey the wave of catastrophes that befell upon us without splashing the front cover with the word CHAOS.
The following takes place between 8 AM and midnight, on December 6th 2012:
[8:00 AM] It’s raining in Buenos Aires and yet the heat is suffocating. The humidity is through the roof and millions of women complain about having a bad hair day. I know this seems like the end of the world but trust me, it gets worse. A lot worse.
- [9:11 AM] I should have suspected it was going to be a horrible day when on my way to a meeting I stepped on a banana peel and crash landed on the sidewalk like some loser. Yes, bad shit happens to me too but at least I exorcise my demons via Twitter. I know this is personal and unrelated but sorry, I just had to talk about it. And to whoever left that banana peel there on purpose: fuck you.
- [09:45 AM] The action begins. A container in Puerto Madero filled with drums of mercury catches fire. Local networks announce we’re all going to die very quickly.
- [10:32 AM] No, wait! Turns out it’s not mercury! Phew! No, it’s actually a chemical compound used in pesticides/insecticides that explodes when making contact with water. Rain water possibly leaked into the container, starting the fire upon contact. Firemen arrive and try to put the fire out with more water. Container explodes (obviously). Dense toxic cloud begins to hover above Buenos Aires. Authorities order the evacuation of offices and schools in Puerto Madero, San Telmo, Retiro and the downtown area. A putrid smell invades the city. Local networks announce we’re still going to die, only a slow and painful death.
- [10:53 AM] As hundreds of terrified parents double park their cars in front of their children’s schools in the downtown area causing traffic chaos and people run for their lives under the rain to escape the stench, former Deputy Mayor of Buenos Aires and current national lawmaker Gabriela Michetti casually tweets that she’s “enjoying the wonderful smell of the jasmines sitting atop her desk”. She becomes the most hated person on Twitter.
- [11:15 AM] The local authorities recommend the population to stay home, close doors and windows and turn the AC off. Thousands begin to contemplate suicide. Not because of the poisonous cloud, but because of the suffocating heat inside their homes. All windows locked and the AC off? In this humidity?! Goodbye, cruel world.
- [11:20 AM] It is still raining. All Subte stations in the area close and the service is interrupted. The Retiro station is shut down before the last train arrives to the platform. Passengers get off the train and realize they are trapped inside, breathing the contaminated air. Oops!
- [11:25 AM] All trains in the Mitre line suspend their services to Retiro. People trying to escape the area are royally fucked.
- [11:27 AM] You know how you keep talking about taking a cruise someday and enjoying a non-eventful holiday? Well if you ever do, make sure your cruise has not been docked next to a fucking toxic cloud. It was like “Speed 2“, only less exciting and with better acting. It’s OK though, they sent the cruise to high seas for precaution and the only downside was that the tourists could not visit Palermo Soho and buy overpriced crap they would have never used anyway.
- [11:34 AM] Several people begin to report dizziness, and a burning sensation in throat and lungs. If they end up turning into zombies I’m gonna be sooooo pissed.
- [11:35 AM] Drama queens appear.
- [11:45 AM] Local authorities begin to suggest that the toxic spill may not be deadly after all, just “moderately hazardous.” Security Secretary Sergio Berni offers press conference from Puerto Madero in hazmat suit looking like a badass version of Jack Bauer, he becomes the most loved/mocked person in the media.
- [12:00 PM] Thousands of evacuees are disappointed after learning that the deadly cloud is actually not deadly and they have to return to work.
- [12:32 PM] The rain stops.
- [1:00 PM] Nothing happens, which is kinda of a bad omen.
- [2:00 PM] Sky turns black. It starts raining again, but this time it’s a torrential rain. People look outside their windows and find out they are unable to see the other side of the street.
- [3:00 PM] It is still raining like crazy. People begin to exchange gazes of confusion and legitimate concern. This rain is not normal. “Maybe it’s some kind of toxic rain, a result of the toxic cloud,” says a Twitter user clearly well versed in meteorology and with a degree from the University of Just Pulled That Out of my Ass.
- [4:00 PM] Everyone’s greatest fears become a reality when a flash flood hits many areas of the city, specially Palermo’s ugly sister (Belgrano).
- [4:15 PM] Cronica decides to go with another groundbreaking headline: “From Chernobyl to Venice“. Twitter explodes again.
- [4:30 PM] Because things are apparently kinda dull today, coach drivers decide to go on strike and block the exit of the Retiro bus station, trapping inside the facilities all passengers who were planning on going away for the weekend.
- [5:00 PM] As the heavy storm continues to flood the city, news break of a shootout at the DOT shopping mall. Initial reports suggest a group of 50 savages have entered the mall and begun ransacking stores and cannibalizing people or something. Seems legit.
- [5:10 PM] All subway lines interrupted due to severe flooding. Severe as in “completely under water”. More traffic chaos ensues.
- [5:15 PM] Blackouts are registered throughout the City as a result of the intense storm. Thousands complain about not being able to check their Twitter feed for snark.
- [5:23 PM] Buenos Aires finally collapses. The Arroyo Vega overflows and the busy commercial corner of Blanco Encalada and Cabildo Av. now looks like a disaster scene from The Bible, with hundreds of people trapped in over a meter of water. God help us all.
- [6:10 PM] A tornado?! Are you fucking kidding me?! What’s next, Godzilla?!
- [6:30 PM] The rain stops, but it’s too late. Entire neighborhoods in the Greater Buenos Aires area and the City, including Palermo and Belgrano (the ones you care about) are flooded.
- [6:37 PM] Turns out the angry mob at the DOT was just protesting that due to the building’s poorly designed drain system, their settlement (Villa Mitre) was flooded, so they decided to take it out with the stores. There were no shots fired, no people eaten. Happy ending, kind of.
- [6:40 PM] People finally embrace the fact that they are bound to live in a third world version of Atlantis forever and start kayaking through the flooded streets of Belgrano, laughing maniacally.
- [6:41 PM] Rumors begin to surface suggesting that a federal court has decided to extend the injunction on the Media Law requested by Clarín, a move that would effectively ruin the National Government’s celebrations prepared for December 7th (when the injunction was set to expire). In the newsroom where I work, I begin banging my head incessantly on my keyboard. This is the longest day of my (journalistic) life.
- [6:49 PM] Worst fears confirmed: the injunction has been extended. Millions of anti-Kirchnerites celebrate throughout the country while the Government just stands there, jaw-dropped in disbelief. The 7D mythology has been exterminated only a few hours before the celebrations began. In the newsroom, I try to cut my veins with one of those plastic spoons but my colleagues restrain me and talk me out of it by bringing Jesus into the conversation.
- [7:11 PM] The entire cabinet convenes with the President in an emergency meeting at the Olivos presidential residence.
[7:30 PM] Godzilla finally shows up.
- [7:57 PM] People begin to freak out again as the Buenos Aires sky
acquires this sort of reddish hue that either heralds the end of times or means that a nuclear bomb just went off. Whatever the case may be, I’m ready. Bring it.
- [8:24 PM] In social networks, the expression “6D” starts to become “a thing”. I hate humanity.
- [9:30 PM] Tony Bennet is singing at the Gran Rex and I’m missing it because I have tons of work to do thanks to this interminable day.
- [10:30 PM] Cristina leaves for Brazil to attend a Mercosur summit licking her wounds and in a very, very bad mood. Like me, basically.
- [11:59 PM] The coach drivers’ strike ends one minute before midnight, all passengers are freed. At the same time, the storm recedes, the water levels decrease, the cleaning staff at the DOT mall mumbles in discontent, Cristina is flying to Brazil with her blood pressure probably through the roof and the chairmen of the Grupo Clarín sacrifice a few babies to thank Baphomet for the blessings received. All in all a pretty productive day.
OK, that was yesterday. Exciting, wasn’t it? Now here comes the second part!
(Yes, I still need to tell you about what happened during the rest of the week, FML).
So… this is what you need to know:
- Look on the bright side. At least it rained so much in this past week that I’m sure that for the next few months there’s nothing but beach and sunshine ahead of us.
- Argentina is tired -TIRED!- of supplicating the US to buy its lemons and beef. But the US will not have any of that nonsense because lemons are ugly. Have you ever eaten a lemon? There you go. See? I wouldn’t buy them either. But the Government, who seems to despise the inconveniences of the domestic judicial system but loves taking bilateral disputes to whatever available international court it can find, decided that it was time to pull out the big guns and filed a complaint against the US (and the EU) before the World Trade Organization.
- The US and the EU, flabbergasted over such blatant display of disrespect for the elderly, decided to fight back, denouncing Argentina for its “protectionist practices”. Japan and Mexico were hanging around and since our relationship with them has also been less than perfect, they jumped on board with the complaint. I mean, why not?
- You know how some people like to use the term “post-racial America” just because the US elected a black president? As if electing a black president made racism magically evaporate from the land? Well the same thing can be said about Argentina and gay marriage. It was legalized here in 2010, but you can’t talk of a “post-homophobia Argentina”, because the crazies abound in this country, and are still drinking from the chalice of bigotry and ignorance. As if the controversial school play video that surfaced two weeks ago was not enough to make you lose all hope in humanity, here’s another video of a teacher in a Tucumán religious school telling her students how discriminating against gays and lesbians is not that bad. No, no, it’s OK! She also says that when “normal” parents get separated, that’s also frowned upon. So chances are she just needs to get laid. Any volunteers? Anyone? No? OK.
- Get ready to roll your eyes. It happens every time a new global pop culture phenomenon appears: Argentina claims authorship, saying they made it here first. The latest victim? Psy’s “Gangnam Style“. That’s right, the moves from that hypnotic and incomprehensible South Korean music video that has us all dancing like idiots have allegedly been “inspired” by “Claudio y la Banda Brillante” (?). Or so the local media says, since the moves are “suspiciously similar”. Here, you be the judge.
- Wanna hear something depressing? If you were hoping for the iPhone 5 to reach Argentina anytime soon, I’ve got some bad news. Because Apple just released the list of nations that will be carrying the sleek new device and the land of tango is nowhere to be found. Even Grenada, a country that until now you thought was a city in Spain, is getting the iPhone 5 before Argentina. The freaking Ivory Coast is getting it before us. And those guys are probably dealing with a civil war or something! If for some reason you feel like ruining your day, here is a full list of the countries that will be getting the iPhone 5 while we’re stuck with the previous version which is sooooooooo 2011 (therefore obsolete).
- The media, always ready to dose us with a thick balm of dramaqueenism, made all possible efforts to turn every football fan in the world into a tantrum-prone, frenetic 5-year-old girl after demi-god and superstar Lionel Messi was injured this week in a match against a club apparently called the “Betis.” Messi, as it is customary, was on a roll that evening and was looking to break a new record of most goals scored in a year, a title that is currently held by some German guy named Müller (85). The press, already speaking of a “curse” (because, as we all know, Messi’s life is notable for its interminable strain of horrific afflictions), described the injury process with impressive detail: “Lío (they call him “Lío” because that way sports journalists and readers can feel like they are establishing a personal relationship with him, like when celebrities refer to other celebrities on a first name basis even though they never met each other) tried to avoid Benfica goalkeeper Artur Moraes, but Moraes tried to block him and hit his knee at the exact moment in which Messi was pivoting and throwing all his weight on his left knee (fascinating, isn’t it?). The”flea” (barf) kicked the ball and then collapsed to the floor in pain.” A press release issued by the Barcelona team assured that Messi only had a “bruised left knee,” which is something we’ve all had (and worse), so I don’t know what the big deal is. Then again, not all of us are insured for like 40 trillion euros.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono
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