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Weekly News Roundup, August 3rd.

It’s Friday and it’s raining!

So let’s skip the weekly customary ice breaker that you have come to love so much and start talking about the things that matter.

Also please don’t forget to like the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook so you can keep up with future columns.

This is what you need to know:

  • Speaking of yesterday’s event, here are some photos depicting the extreme tension between sworn frienemies President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, who were forced to sit together despite their well-known distaste for each other, and like two kids in high school, begrudgingly accepted. This is the hilarious result. Trust me, if there was a caption contest for the fourth photograph, “Oh no, sorry. I don’t dance!” would win hands down.
  • Good riddance (Part 2)! No longer will we have to be prisoners of our own fears and be relegated to enjoying the goodness of football from our dungeon-like homes. Because thanks to technology, the AFA and our all-mighty National Government, who decided to engage in a crusade against criminal activities inside football stadiums, we can all now heave a sigh of relief and enjoy our favorite sport just seating a few meters away from where the real action is taking place. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Extermi-Hooligan 3000 (yes, I made up the name), a state-of-the-art device so advanced that it could beat up Robocop with its eyes closed. If it had eyes, that is. The EH3000 fits in a small suitcase and features a fingerprint reader that anyone trying to enter a stadium before a game will have to go through. If you have no criminal records, you’re cleared by a green light. If you’re a psycho killer who is willingly going through the fingerprint scanner just for the thrill of it, a red light tells the closest police officer to arrest you. Simple, is it not? So here’s footage from the Government’s official introduction of the EH3000 the other day. Enjoy.
  • You didn’t click on that, did you? Well, you missed the joke then.
  • Now, if you thought that the National Government couldn’t do worse than that classic 80s scene, you’re wrong. When Cristina was given the dubious honor of being the first one to try the new system on live television, it obviously didn’t work.
  • Some guy named Mariano (presumably a technician) was immediately called on stage. By now we know that Mariano, who doesn’t even have a last name, is obviously the equivalent of a red shirt character. “It would appear you have a low-quality fingerprint…” he had the audacity to tell Cristina as he swallowed hardly. “This guy won’t last here five seconds!” she joked as she turned towards the audience. See? I told you: red shirt! His head is now on a pike outside the Casa Rosada.
  • As the scanner failed to read her fingerprint several times, Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, sweating nervously because he was the one responsible for buying them,  asked Cristina’s sister-in-law, Alicia Kirchner, to give it a try. As she pressed her thumb on the reader and the light on the screen turned green, uncomfortable laughter began to spread across the audience, while Cristina giggled and tried to remain calm and pretend she wasn’t going to behead everyone in the audience as soon as the cameras went off.
  • The light turned green, people. Grondona, arguably the biggest crook on Earth, placed his thumb there and THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN. That’s it, I give up. I’m moving to Chad.
  • So yes, clearly those new devices that cost us taxpayers like 50 trillion pesos are of questionable effectiveness. But hey, the lowest-priced ticket for a regular First Division match will now cost $60 thanks to the ever-present inflation, so I’m pretty sure criminals couldn’t even afford to get in anyway.
  • Oh, yeah. Probably neither will you.
  • Ready for five days of traffic chaos and social mayhem? You better be, because starting tonight at 9 pm, our beloved Subte closes its doors until Thursday morning. Yes, of course it’s because of a strike. Why else would it be? Just be thankful it hasn’t been shut down completely forever, considering the jurisdiction mess that thing is. So let’s see: subways on strike, taxis are impossible to afford, you don’t own a car and you hardly ever use your bike because you’re terrified it might get stolen. Yup. If bus drivers go on strike you’re definitely fucked.
  • In the department of awesome – yet completely irrelevant – news: Mayor Mauricio Macri, who clearly has a lot of time to spare, wants Buenos Aires “to become the International Capital of Love.” No, seriously, he does.
  • OUTRAGE! Argentines are enraged and foaming at the mouth due to a barbaric act of vandalism that has once again escalated tensions between Buenos Aires and London. This week, residents of the Malvinas/Falklands woke up to what was probably the most exciting thing to happen there since one of their sheep went missing a few years ago: the Argentine Military Cemetery had been broken into and the glass protecting a figurine of the Virgin Mary had been smashed to pieces by some sociopath. A shameful, reprehensible act, clearly. But the usual drama-queenism ensued and everyone here began pointing fingers towards England, as if it had been Queen Elizabeth II herself who sneaked in there in the middle of the night wearing a ski mask and brandishing a sledge hammer.  England, of course, promised “a full, thorough investigation.” Well, yeah, how hard can it be? What’s the population on the islands, 12 people? Just blame the town drunk, he probably did it. Go to his house and arrest him,  for God’s sake, it’s not like you need CSI: Malvinas to find the culprit.
  • In order to perpetuate the notion that everyone involved in this bilateral conflict has the mental development of a five-year-old, the Buenos Aires province senate recently passed the Gaucho Rivero bill, which bans all British vessels involved in the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Malvinas/Falklands area from docking in the provincial ports. The bill was named in honor of Antonio Rivero, a gaucho who murdered five islanders back when the islands were seized by the British a million years ago. Oh, I’m sure naming it after a rebellious murderer is gonna make things a lot smoother, people.
  • OUTRAGE (Part 2)! Ralph Lauren is leaving the country!!! (No, not the person, you idiots. The eponymous clothing brand.) Don’t worry though, they said it’s just a temporary thing, until trade restrictions are back to normal. Then we’ll all once again be able to choose not to go buy there.
  • Naughty, naughty! If you live in a country (gated community in the Greater Buenos Aires area), chances are your a serious tax evader. According to the media (and those guys are always right), four out of ten homeowners living there don’t pay taxes. Look, even La Nación is saying it! Rich people in this country have it so hard. First Ralph Lauren leaves and now this? We’re all doomed.
  • Conservatives in this country are once again up in arms after learning that for the first time two gay men were officially allowed to register their baby – born of a surrogate mother in India – as their son. Congratulations, guys! (Congratulations to the gay parents, not to the conservatives for being up in arms. You know, just so we’re clear).
  • So let’s say you enter a store and while you’re minding your own business a couple of armed robbers walk in. All hell breaks loose. OMG, please don’t kill me, arms in the air and all that. You know how it is, you’ve seen Point Break. So as the situation becomes chaotic you’ll understandably try to take advantage of it, because that’s what any regular human being would do. And as the store clerks are still in shock because someone was close to blowing their brains, you take your chance and grab some of the money they dropped on their way out because, hey, it was going to be stolen anyway, right? Wrong. You’ve been caught on tape. At least the robbers had a life purpose, they went in there to rob. What’s your excuse? You are a disgrace.
  •  Because having the glamorous Charlotte and Alexander Caniggia twins shoved down our throats everyday through the blessings of Argentine television is not enough, the local media are now checking Charlotte’s Facebook page and writing full-length articles about every brainfart she posts there. So when the lovable duet decided to upload this video of them dancing erratically and looking jacked up to their eyeballs, the media picked it up and turned it into a story about their “private party”. Ha! I know, I know. We journalists are douchebags.
  • But hey, not all is lost in journalism, apparently. That quintessential 90s guy with a pony tail, dancing in the back? Apparently a gay porn star, thanks to this serious investigative piece. Phew! And I thought for a second this industry was doomed.
  • Former diva and current Egyptian mummy Moria Casán was in a bit of a conundrum this week after finishing a gig in Paraguay. Casán, who we’ve come to love after centuries of cringe-inducing moments as a judge on Dancing With The Stars, was accused of stealing some jewelry worth $70,000 dollars she was supposed to wear on stage for a while and “forgot to return or something like that.” She was let go and allowed to return to Argentina the morning after, praise the Lord. The cops even admittedly “looked under her wig” to see if she had concealed them there, but  found nothing. No, she really does wear a wig! She was born during the Pangaea period or something! Here she is, taking a dive in a water tank for some reason and totally losing her wig in the process.
  • Hey! These are all important moments in Argentine pop culture, who cares if it’s not informative?! Shut up.
  • Oh, and the missing jewels never turned up. But whatever, it’s Paraguay, right? … RIGHT?!
  • [UPDATE] A Paraguayan court has issued an arrest warrant for Moria Casán and she has until Monday to appear before the judge. If she doesn’t, Interpol will be told to start looking for her. Oh this is going to be fun.
  • Regarding the Olympics, I’ll be brief: so far Argentina has sucked at

    While I was writing this column in some random bar, Juan Martín Del Potro lost against Roger Federer in the Olympics. That's the only reason why I chose to use his photo. Don't complain, it was either him or the Caniggias. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    everything. Well, not really, but you know that standards for success here are impossibly high. You either win the gold or you’re a disgrace, period. The only hope right now is Juan Martin del Potro, who as I write these lines is playing against Roger Federer or something [UPDATE: He ended up with a bronze medal. Congrats!]. As an extremely blunt sports commentator said on TV after describing his disillusionment with Argentina’s performance in London: “in a few days, the football tournament begins and the Olympics go back to being a minor issue.” The Argentine athletes I’m sure are thrilled to hear that.

  • When Homer wrote the Oddissey thousands of years ago (if you clicked on “Homer” because you weren’t sure whether I was talking about Homer Simpson or not, please close this browser and never EVER come back because if you do I swear to God I’ll shoot you), his vivid imagination inspired him to create a wondrous world of magical creatures and a very, very passive-aggressive Penelope. His tales of adventure, however, have no comparison to the string of mishaps that befell on Boca Juniors during a week-long tour throughout South America, briefly described here:
  • After a series of games around Latin America that ended in Venezuela last week, the popular football team was getting ready to return to Argentina when they were told their plane had a little problem and couldn’t take off.
  • That’s when they realized they didn’t have any money left to hire another plane, so they had to wait for their plane to be fixed. In the meantime, they were sent to some hotel in Caracas.
  • Boca Juniors defender Rolando Schiavi, upset about the hotel they were sent to, took to his personal diary to express his displeasure with it, calling it “a roach hotel with dirty sheets and rat food.” Unfortunately, his personal diary is Twitter, so he immediately caused a scandal that resonated all across South America. He quickly deleted his tweets, but the damage was already done. Venezuelans were not happy.
  • After waiting for days for a charter flight back to Buenos Aires, they finally got it, but there was one catch: it had to make a stop in Bolivia. The agreed, by now they were desperate to return.
  • After a brief stop in Bolivia, they began their final approach to the City when they learned that a dense fog had invaded the Buenos Aires area, for which they couldn’t land here. Their flight was rerouted to Cordoba, where they would be forced to spend the night.
  • Upon their arrival in Cordoba, they were told there was no room for them in any hotel.
  • The closest hotel for them was in Villa Carlos Paz, 36 kilometers away from Córdoba.
  • They looked down in resignation and took a bus to Villa Carlos Paz.
  • They woke up like 20 minutes later and went back to their plane, which finally took off.
  • Their plane crashed on the island from Lost.
  • They finally returned to Buenos Aires yesterday evening. Which means the Torneo Inicial (and football in general) are back tomorrow after a brief period of calm and relaxation. FML.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

  • Oh, I almost forgot! All Boys had to go through the same ordeal since they were on the same tour and booked on the same charter, but no one really cared about them.

Don’t forget to like the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook, so we don’t have to keep reminding you about this every Friday.

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrbono@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

Posted in Thoughts of a ForeignerComments Off on Weekly News Roundup, August 3rd.

Weekly News Roundup, July 27th.

It’s Friday again!

And are you trying to hide somewhere where the fake global excitement over the Olympics can’t find you?

Then you’ve come to the right place my friend.

Because I will not be mentioning them at all (except for this part in which I have to mention them to say that I will not be mentioning them, you know how it is).

And let’s face it, all we care about is the opening/closing ceremonies and how many medals our country won.

I’m not trying to be a cynic here, I’m just saying no one gives a shit about how far a javelin can go. That’s all.

All we care about is the gold, and that’s a fact.

Ready for another crazy week of Argentine mishaps?

Then this is what you need to know:

  • Not Madonna. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    Are you willing to open your heart to the never fading charm of Evita‘s smile? It was the 60th anniversary of Eva Peron’s death yesterday and there were countless ceremonies throughout the country to remember the so-called “standard bearer of the humble.” Among the many celebrations carried out this week, the most important one was the one held in the government house by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in which she unveiled a new commemorative $100 peso bill featuring Evita’s portrait. Even though this was originally a limited edition thing, Cristina urged the authorities to eventually replace the note currently in use with these new more Peronist-friendly version.

  • One of the reasons why the government wants to get rid of the $100 peso bills you’re using right now is because they feature the portrait of former president Julio A. Roca, a polarizing figure who is lauded by many because he broke relations with the Vatican and instituted secular education in Argentina, but is reviled by others because he pretty much exterminated every indigenous tribe south of La Pampa in the so-called “Conquest of the Desert.” So, who do you pick? Genocidal maniac or Madonna?
  • Oops! Well, this is awkward. Apparently there is a little design flaw in these flawless new bills, and they can’t be read by regular ATM machines. Which means that, at least when it comes to this first batch of 20 million bills and until this error is corrected, it’s gonna be a fucking nightmare to get them from the bank. Looks like we’re gonna have to stick to the genocidal maniac for a little longer than expected.
  • Of course, the money-printing authorities were fast to deny this and accused the anti-Government media of “slandering Evita.” Who should you believe? Well, that’s for you to decide. Consider the Argentine media to be some fucked-up version of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. Only difference is no matter what the outcome, the population always loses.
  • Here’s a fun fact: Cristina has a very dirty mind. Most of the time we don’t get to see that side of her because she’s always bitching about stuff or yelling at others. But whenever she’s in a good mood, she starts making dirty jokes. And guess what: she made one this week! While she was attending the opening ceremony of a cosmetics factory in Berazategui via teleconference, she started talking to a girl who said she was in charge of “handling tubes.” So Cristina had the brilliant idea of asking the guy standing next to her is he was in charge of “llenarle el pomo (loosely translated as “filling her tubes”). “That was a little dirty for a President, don’t you think?” she wondered. Stay classy, Madame President!
  • Congratulations Argentina! For the second time in a row, the World Bank has named you the most protectionist country in the world! That means that  we’re living in the country that applies more restrictions to control foreign trade than any other nation. Oh, well. At least we’re first in something.
  • Oh, and shut up Americans. Because the US comes third.
  • Don’t panic though, this is standard routine for the islanders, who as usual replied to Argentina’s shaking fist in the air with an apathetic shrug and a “whatevs,” accusing Cristina of scaring the population since these exercises are performed there every six months or so. And they have kind of a point. Back in October 2010, Cristina was already bitching about them. She even called the Brits “pirates,” which is a stupid thing to do because we all know pirates only used cannonballs and swords.
  • Are you, by any chance, a prostitute? Are you, by any chance, living in the province of Córdoba? If you said yes to those two questions (which is highly likely) then I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the provincial government is anxious to give you a free ride to your hometown, no matter where you originally come from. Go on, take it! The bad news is that it’s just a one-way ride because they don’t want you strutting your stuff around their land any more, lowering everyone’s morale with your sinful ways. Oh, but don’t be so quick to judge. This is (according to the provincial government) “a very smart move” in their commendable fight against human trafficking. That’s right, if you’re ever forced to deal with the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial exploitation in your own backyard now you know what to do: send those harlots away so you don’t have to deal with the issue yourself. There, problem solved. Somebody give these people a Nobel prize.
  •  I know it feels like I say this every month, but I don’t. I actually say it once every two months. Remember: cab fare is going up this Sunday. And don’t get too comfortable with those prices, because they are going up in October again. Ha! Worried about how you’ll manage to get back home while inebriated? Yeah, me too.
  • I know it feels like I say this every week, but I… no, wait. I actually do say this every week: the Central Bank has announced new restrictions for those trying to purchase US dollars, so if you intend to send $2000 abroad because you have a family member who’s dying and needs your urgent help to escape, say, a Russian gulag, you need to ask the Government for a special permit. The limit for remittance abroad has been set at $1500 a month. If you need to send more, then now you need a permit.  Because odds are you’re sending that money to your spoiled children who are drinking their life away in some elite first world university, you imperialist pig. :)
  • And speaking of the shootout in Denver, of course the media in this country would find an angle to make it all about the tragedy we also endured (albeit totally indirectly) as a nation. Oh, Argentina. You overzealous attention whore.
  • Millions were horrified by the Government’s latest despicable lie this week, after Security Secretary Sergio Berni assured that Buenos Aires “is one of the safest cities in Latin America.” Lies, all lies! Or maybe not?Because according to the latest research of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world Buenos Aires is nowhere to be seen, even though 40 of the cities in the list are located in Latin America. Even New Orleans, Detroit and Baltimore made the list! So yes, the region is the most dangerous in the world (even more dangerous than the horn of Africa!) but all in all BA is pretty safe. I’m of course not saying there’s no danger here, I’m just saying the rest of the world is not filled with wide-eyed cherubs and unicorns. Violent crimes are widespread. Remember that next time you’re whining about how much this city sucks because someone snatched your shiny iPhone from your little fingers.
  • Hey, here’s an idea. Let’s ignore everything I just said and give in to fear-mongering and media-sponsored paranoia, OK? OK.
  • Do you live in Recoleta, San Telmo, Constitución or Puerto Madero? Are you tired of living like a prisoner in your own home due to the ever-present menace of violent crimes and petty thefts? Well, fret no more my fellow paranoid citizen! Because some clever-minded individuals at La Nacion (your newspaper of choice, and shut up, you know I’m right) have come up with the ultimate weapon against the trigger-happy criminals that obviously await you at the turn of every corner. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… the High Risk Zone map. A comprehensive and user-friendly info-graphic that helps you avoid the many pitfalls stemming while you’re casually walking down from home to the supermarket. Turn left? Look out, there’s a Whorehouse there! Go straight? No, wait, there’s a guy selling drugs there! Running terrified while waving your arms in the air, looking for sanctuary? Quick, there’s a police station right ahead! (Although in all honesty I’m not sure the police stations on the map are there to be avoided as well). So there, it’s like playing a deadly version of Pac-Man.
  • Because apparently having to use a map to avoid the many perils lurking

    Former president Julio A. Roca. He ate babies for breakfast. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    outside the safety of your home was not enough, due to a series of unpaid bills, electricity companies Edesur and Edenor began cutting the power of several public parks and squares throughout the City at night.  This obviously rendered your little map useless and turned many public squares into a black hole of criminal activities. Even the traditional Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires was in the dark! Fortunately yesterday both parties came to an agreement and the power returned. At least now you get to see the face of the guy who’s robbing you.

  • So you think crime and traffic in Buenos Aires are madness and want to run away from them as fast as you can? Are you longing for greener pastures, quieter streets and jollier neighbors who greet you with a tip of the hat and a smile as you’re whistling your way to work? Why not move to a smaller province like, say, Tucumán, where the air is pure and front doors are left unlocked at night? You can ride your motorbike to work every morning and BAM!
  • That last bullet point was meant to illustrate that traffic sucks on a nationwide scale. It’s not just Buenos Aires. I’m confident you got the message.
  • Take a look at this photo. See that massive, grey metal behemoth parked right next to the hot girl in red? Hard to miss, isn’t it? Well, not to the security officials at the Rural Society Expo in Palermo, who apparently “misplaced” it (“misplaced” as in SOMEBODY FUCKING STOLE THE THING) and now they are in hot water over it. It was like a magic trick! It was there on Monday night, then it was not. “We thought they were taking it to wash it,” a security official who seems to have graduated from the Chief Wiggum Security School for Idiots said. Nice job, you guys! Let’s hope whoever graduates from that school is never hired to remain vigilant at a more menacing place like, say, a maximum security prison. Then we’d be fucked.
  • You know it’s coming, don’t you? Yeah, you’re way ahead of me on this one.
  •  Take a look at this photo. See that deranged-looking criminal that totally looks like a cold-blooded killer? Hard to miss, isn’t he? Well, not to the prison guards at the maximum security prison in Florencio Varela who apparently “misplaced” him (“misplaced” as in HE FUCKING ESCAPED), and only one week after being sentenced to spend 29 years in there for murdering another man. The best part? He nonchalantly walked out of prison dressed as a woman. The media is still waiting for additional details, but don’t be surprised to learn he was also given a cake with a file hidden inside it.
  • Now you understand why an Argentine remake of Prison Break would never work here? Michael Scofield would help his brother escape in like the first ten minutes of the season.
  • At long last! Awesome football player and average-looking Lionel Messi has decided to branch out and expand his personal brand empire by blessing us all with the new Leo Wine, and exquisite blend featuring the taste of grapes and the aroma of a locker room.  The “Leo” wine will offer a fine stock of Malbec, Torrontés, Malbec Premium and Extra Brut, and you will be able to acquire it almost exclusively at your closest chino.
  • Hey, don’t be so quick to judge! After all, Diego Maradona had several drinks named after him, like the short-lived Maradona beer, or the likely-radioactive fernet “El Diego,” which was probably taken off the market before you could even say “food poisoning.” Look at that label. Yeah, that seems legit.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Don’t forget to like the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook, so we don’t have to keep reminding you about this every Friday.

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrbono@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, July 13th.

It’s Friday again!

And the country is in disarray. Unionists are no longer under government control and there’s no more dancing in Dancing With The Stars!

What is the world coming to?!

Also, in my weekly mandatory small talk about the weather: we’ve been hit by a cold front that has left us suffering lower temperatures than those being registered in Antarctica!

So grab a latte, wrap that scarf around your neck and let’s see if we can make it at least one week without mentioning the words “Malvinas/Falklands,” shall we?

And remember this column has a Facebook page in order to keep you updated.

For now, this is what you need to know:

  • Two days later, she was apparently not having a good day. First, she picked up a copy of the Spanish daily El País, which mentioned the new austerity measures being imposed on the population of Spain and featured a photo of their economy minister Luis de Guindos. “Look at that bald guy,” she said. “I saw him there this morning, pointing at everyone with that finger and I almost choked on my toast,” she added. The reason for that, of course, was that it reminded her of economy minister Domingo Cavallo, also a bald, and his austerity measures in the 90s which allegedly led to the downfall of the Argentine financial system in 2001. But referring to a foreign official as “that bald guy”? Not sure it’s the right way to go. Maybe.
  • Then she said she was upset because, as the criticism over the restrictions on the dollar continues to grow, she read on Clarín that “a real estate worker” had been quoted as saying that the activity was slowing down because of them (marked for a special reader who complained about my laziness to mark You Tube videos). Big no no! She of course explained that she had him investigated and as it turns out not only he’s not an employee (he’s a business owner) but he also hasn’t paid taxes since 1997! Awesome move, Madam President! You even mentioned his name and everything! I mean, we’re fucked because after this no one will ever want to talk to the media again out of fear of being persecuted but still! Good job. Here’s a smiley face: :)
  • By the way, Spain was clearly not amused by her “that bald guy” statement.
  • Oh, and the guy she accused of tax fraud? Yeah, his business has been shut down by the AFIP tax collection agency. The system works, people. The system works.
  • Later this week Cristina gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2012 edition of Tecnópolis, the science and technology theme park that became a huge hit last year, and celebrated that the Conectar Igualdad government program had given 2 million netbooks to kids all over the country. Since she seemed to be in a good mood, she didn’t really pick a fight with anyone. Although she seemed to be slightly annoyed by a fan who was sitting close to her and wouldn’t shut up about how much she loved her. But overall she seemed pretty happy. So no controversy this time.
  • On that same day, the CGT (the country’s largest umbrella union organization) broke into two pieces after Kirchnerites and anti-Kirchnerites failed to reconcile their differences. Unionists and workers, who have historically sided with the Kirchner administrations, now threatened that if things don’t change (inflation, insecurity, income tax floor) then they may have to reconsider voting for them in the 2013 midterm elections. In other words, the shit has hit the fan.
  • Meanwhile, in Tecnópolis: this.
  • You thought Cristina’s tantalizing dance moves witnessed in Angola two months ago would go quietly into the night and become nothing but a footnote in some ancient Argentine history textbook, didn’t you?  Well you were wrong. And yes, I know her new moves suspiciously resemble her Angolan tribal dance. But in her defense, she was seen dancing Batucada, which is a style of Brazilian samba with African roots. So I guess you could say they are kind of related.
  •  Outrage! In what could be considered the biggest British affront towards Argentina, the Daily Mail is reporting that Che Guevara t-shirts have been banned from the Olympic Games scheduled to begin in London later this month. The local media – and by osmosis, the entire world population – is understandably infuriated at such a disdainful gesture which we all know is sparked by Argentina’s never-ending claim over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands sovereignty cla…- DAMN IT!
  • And speaking about fuckery and restrictions, remember last week how I broke the news about new Central Bank regulations that indicated that only Argentines traveling abroad were allowed to purchase dollars in cash? Well, scrap that. Because courtesy of the institution’s plan-as-you-go financial policy, local travelers are not even allowed to buy dollars in cash anymore. Now it’s only done via checks or debit account. Oh, you have neither? Then you’re probably not traveling abroad. Stay tuned for next week’s new regulations announcing that only people planning to travel inside Argentina are allowed to purchase foreign currency.
  • What’s that? “I’ll cross over to Uruguay and buy them there?” you say with a smug look on your face? Not  so fast, slick. As it turns out, the Uruguayans think the Argentine peso stinks too.
  • And to continue with this topical stream of consciousness, speaking of Uruguay: sorry potheads! It seems that they may not be legalizing marijuana after all. After conducting a national survey, Uruguayan president José Mujica learned that 60% of the country is not really keen on dealing with your blood-injected eyeballs and acrid odor on a regular basis. Such squares! So he has said the measure may not be moving forward. Shame!
  • Also, if you were considering crossing over to a foreign nation to buy money and drugs, you should know you’re one heartbeat away from becoming Tony Montana. Just saying.
  • Oh, you haven’t been to a movie theater in Argentina since 2010 because

    Hey. You moving to Uruguay? Here, say hello to my little friend. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    it’s ridiculously expensive and it’s actually cheaper to buy an original copy of the film and watch it at home with your friends and/or family? No worries then.

  • Argentine television finally died this week after “Dancing With The Stars” host Marcelo Tinelli declared that on Tuesdays the show will now be called “Super Tuesday” and the centuries-old tradition of dancing and getting naked for charity will be replaced by random antics and getting naked for ratings. So if you thought this show was demeaning and degrading before, wait until you see what it has become now. Watch this, and then reminisce of a simpler time, in which showing tits and ass on camera actually made it seem like a smart show.
  • So who’s to blame for the dumbing down of a once-wondrous television program? The new reality show queen, spoiled brat Charlotte Chantal Caniggia of course, who has taken the media by storm and produced a whole lot of paraphernalia this week by being featured on the cover of almost every major magazine in the country. That’s right kids, she’s the only thing everyone talks about.
  • Wait. Step aside, everyone! There’s a new member of the Caniggia clan in town! Alexander Caniggia, Charlotte’s twin brother and Wachiturro wanna-be, was invited to join the Super Tuesday party and dance on stage because, what the fuck, right? The charismatic – yet monosyllabic –  stud maintained a proud gentleman’s composure throughout the whole segment while Tinelli struggled to carry on with what was probably the most uncomfortable interview of his life. Then after 15 minutes of a non-responsive attitude, everyone just pretty much began to make fun of him and his cultural differences because, as the old adage goes, if you can’t beat him, beat the shit out of him.
  • OMG YOU GUYS!!!! Infobae has a poll – A POLL!!! – that let’s you choose which twin you prefer. Alexander says he totally hates football so I already know who I’m voting for.
  • No anthropological study of the Caniggia twins would be complete without the incontrovertible input of God himself, Diego Armando Maradona. The former football idol, who became notorious in the 90s for his elegant social gatherings and upscale black-tie events (please tell me you clicked on that) was obviously consulted about Tinelli’s shindigs with the Caniggia clan so he could shed some light on the intricate puzzle that is human behavior. He replied with a resounding and utterly predictable “I don’t like them.” There, case closed.
  • Oh, and I know you’ll be posting that photo of Maradona on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, pretending it was you who found it without giving me any credit for spending hours online looking for that gem. No, no, that’s OK. I’m not mad. I’m used to it. I don’t need your pity.
  • The Wachiturros, probably in a rush to milk that cow as much as they can before one of them is sent to prison for life for trying to rape a 13-year-old, were “inspired” by Charlotte Chantal’s genuine beauty and stupidity, and managed to capture the essence of their collective wet dream and turn it into a song. Here it is, in a Weekly News Roundup exclusive, their new hit single “Shampein Shower” (Champagne Shower, in Wachiturro dialect), which is totally not a rip-off of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know it.”
  • The Wachiturros were of course invited to appear in Dancing With the Stars for some reason this week (alleged rapist included), and this understandably made the mother of the girl who was almost raped very upset. Oh no, it’s OK.  At the same time it made millions of kids around the country very happy, and we all know nothing is more valuable than a child’s smile.
  • Oh, what do you know! There’s yet another hit song based on Charlotte Chantal’s shenanigans! These two cumbia-loving fine ladies – Jenny and Stefi, who I never heard of before but I’m sure as a duet are gonna go far – came up with an homage of their own and created “Charlotte Shampein,” another catchy tune that is also not a rip-off of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I know it” (or every David Guetta song in history). Enjoy!
  • What are you yelling at me for?! I’m not the one single-handedly bringing the feminist movement back to a pre-Simone-de-Beauvoir era with all this Charlotte crap. I’m not the one promoting her hiltonian manners 24/7 on the TV screen or plastering the city with magazine covers featuring her very made-over face and discernible brunette roots. I’m merely trying to convey the importance of staying in touch with society’s pop culture, because you and I know that nothing will make you feel more part of this community than walking by a magazine stand and going: “Ugh. There’s that bitch again.”
  • So let’s change the subject for a second and focus on the other strong pillar of society’s moral values: the football.
  • And last but not least: I warned you about this a year ago, didn’t I? I told you Diego Armando Maradona wouldn’t last long as coach of the Al Wasl football team. Guess what. I was right. Yeah, he was fired this week after a poor performance last season. So please, and I’m not even trying to be funny, can we all agree that he used to be a great player in the past and now he sucks at everything he does? Just let him retire somewhere where he can yell at kids to get off his lawn and smoke a pipe in peace. Humanity will thank you for it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, July 6th.

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:

  • Former dictator and probable inspiration for Darth Vader Jorge Rafael Videla. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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.
  • 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…
  • 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

    Your cat. You beat the shit out of him even though he didn't do anything. Now he hates you, and that's a fact. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Have a great weekend everyone!
And don’t forget to like this column on Facebook!
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, June 29th.

It’s Friday again!

And man, talk about an Indian summer! What’s with this temperature in Buenos Aires, huh? And the humidity! If this is what winter feels like I can’t imagine how hot summer will be.

Have you ever spent a summer here? They are hot. Yes sir.


Hot, hot…


OK, you know what? I gotta be honest with you. All this small talk about the weather is killing me. Trying to come up with something new to talk about every Friday in this little intro is a pain in the ass.

I’m tired and I just want to be done with it. I’m being 100% honest here. And I know you will take honesty over bullshit anytime.

So whatever, like the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook, read it and beat it.

This is what you need to know:

  • Ousted Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo. Remember: Paraguay is not the same as Uruguay. They are two different countries, so don't worry. Your summer vacation in Punta del Este is not in any immediate peril, you self-absorbed douche. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    The worst case scenario has come to pass! A coup has once again taken place in South America! Well, not really. Technically, Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo was impeached and removed from office in just one day by Congress. That’s right. It basically went down like this: Congressman 1 said “Hey, wanna impeach the president?” and Congressman 2 replied “Yes, let’s!”. And so they did, and 24 hours later he was removed from office after being accused of not performing his duties well. So like I said, technically the Paraguayan constitution was followed to the letter but we all know the whole thing is a sham. And boy are the other South American nations upset (mostly because they like him. If they guy had been a right-wing  nut they would have lauded the decision. And that’s what politics is all about, whether you admit it or not). So now the Mercosur has suspended the landlocked nation as a member and the UNASUR is going apeshit over this. Since I know whenever I talk too much about politics you begin to check out, here’s a nice article you might find interesting about this whole imbroglio, in case you don’t want to keep reading about it here.

  • As more and more nations in the region continue to ostracize the new Paraguayan president Federico Franco, most political leaders maintain a prudent distance from him, since being seen right next to him could be toxic and help someone become textbook unelectable. So I guess it’s a good thing that no one in this country really had any ties to him so the…- DAMN IT, MACRI!
  •  Ice Queen and also President of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner decided to respond to Moyano by ignoring him, and while he was furiously vociferating his discontent with the Government in Buenos Aires, she was not giving a fuck about it in the province of San Luis, where she was opening a pork meat processing plant. “The little ones remind me of Babe!” she said. “They’re cute, they are funny and they are also very tasty,” she added. A dangerously Machiavellian human being.
  • Among the many truckers that chose not to join the strike, there was this man in Luján who was not affiliated to any union and chose to go to work because he risked losing his job and he had two children to feed. But alas! He was intercepted by a rollicking gang of truckers on strike who were not amused by his overt defiance to the Moyano doctrine. So they surrounded him and proceeded to do the unthinkable.
  • No, they didn’t kill him! Jesus, what do you think they are, uncivilized, violent animals foaming at the mouth? Give these people some credit! They may be on strike but they are not savages, for Christ’s sake! No, they just beat him up and burned down his truck.
  • This was bound to happen: remember Cristina’s suspicious proposal to the Malvinas/Falklands government, suggesting a new air link between Buenos Aires and the islands? I guess she wasn’t counting on the islanders’ acute bullshit detector, which immediately helped them realize that it was nothing but a subrepticious method of cultural dominance and eventual conquer of the disputed territory. How? No one knows. But it is, man! IT IS! So the islanders said no. Whatever, islanders! It’s not like we wanted to go there anyway! We have penguins in the south too! And for your information, tickets are too expensive for an average Argentine to go there so I guess the joke’s on you, maybe.
  •  This week, in famous Argentine celebrities who died and you don’t care about because you don’t own a TV and even if you do you don’t watch Argentine TV because half of the time you have no idea what’s going on:  famed TV show host Juan Alberto Badía died last night after a long battle with cancer. Millions mourn him today and remember him fondly as one of the most revered personalities in television. See? I told you you didn’t care. Shame on you.
  • Yesterday was one of those days the media would love to bury in the backyard and never talk about again. As millions maintained a symbolic vigil over Badía on Twitter, famed local news network C5N, in its reckless desperation to be first at everything, went “fuck it” and a few minutes after 10 pm decided to announce that Badía had died. Was it true? “WE DON’T KNOW BUT WE HAVE TO BE FIRST!” And since the golden age of journalism is long gone and we now have to settle with living in a culture of retweets and brainfarts, the news instantly became viral and every major news outlet in the country followed suit. Hey, even I tweeted about it! And then, after the family had to publicly deny his death, the media quietly began rolling back all their funeral marches and black ribbons and in a few minutes it was like nothing had ever happened. Then the people at C5N apologized live for killing someone who wasn’t dead. One minute later, Badía really died. Producers must have been so pissed.
  • Oh, stop rolling your eyes at the Argentine media, people. Specially you, Americans! You had your own little media fiasco yesterday morning with this, OK? So shut up already.
  • The horror! Millions panicked at unison yesterday afternoon when a blackout forcefully hit the areas of the city that are usually blackout-free (Palermo, Belgrano, Vicente López, Martínez, etc) and everyone felt for a couple of minutes what it feels like to live in the southern (i.e. poor) areas of the city, where rolling blackouts are customary. Fortunately the power soon returned, WiFi connections were reestablished, cell phones were recharged and tweets of relief were retweeted. Everybody happy! (Except for the southern areas of the city. You know, places you never go to/care to go to like Villa Riachuelo and stuff. And no, going to Creamfields once a year doesn’t count).
  • Thieves these days. Remember a few weeks ago when some robbers broke

    Villa Riachuelo. I will bet you my life you've never been down there. Unless you have. If you have then I will not bet you anything. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    into a women’s clothing store in Belgrano and stole all the dresses in a hysterical frenzy? Well now some guys have taken their effeminate love for girly stuff one step further and, while robbing a family home in Moreno, they decided to steal a little girl’s doll collection.  Official story says “they wanted the dolls for their daughters.” Riiiiiiiiiiight. Just like my Blu Ray collection of romantic comedies. I just bought them for whenever my female friends decide to pay a visit! Idiots.

  • I know you probably set your VCR to record it and now have that VHS tape hidden away in your safe so you can cherish it as a memento of glittering grandeur for the rest of your life. But if some case of force majeure took place and you missed it, fret not my television-dependent friend! Here it is: uncensored, unrestrained and unfortunate, it’s the 2-hour premiere of Ricardo Fort‘s new show “Fort Night Show,” which ironically goes on the air once a week and not once every two weeks, as its name would have you believe. Please do me a favor and watch the unbearable first three minutes of this putrid vomit of a show in which he ruins pop culture forever my mocking classic icons such as The Terminator, Dynasty, Charlie’s Angels and Adele. I also dare you to watch the rest without killing yourself.
  • Do you need five minutes after this? That’s OK, I understand. Go out, take a  deep breath. If not you might end up looking like one of those dead girls from The Ring.  Go on, this column will be waiting when you’re back.
  • Have you clicked on his Wikipedia page? Go on, check it out.
  • That’s right, he doesn’t even have one! BOOM! I’m on fire today.
  • Hey. Football lovers. Let’s talk. Sure, you hate me and I hate you but that doesn’t…- oh, you don’t hate me? Forget that part then. As I was saying, we like each other despite our disagreements over that despicable sport. So why not put our differences aside and reach a detente from now on? I mean, let’s just agree to disagree and maintain a relationship in amicable terms in which I openly patronize you for yelling at the TV screen like an idiot for 90 minutes and you explain to me that the only reason I don’t like this sport is because I suck at it. But all in good terms, alright? Alright.
  • Inevitable future president of Argentina, Mayor Mauricio Macri, became a Twitter sensation this week for all the wrong reasons after once again failing miserably to mingle with the populace.  After a game featuring Boca Juniors vs. Corinthians in a tournament called Copa Liberators or something, everyone’s favorite mayor tried to congratulate two Boca players for a job well done but spelled one of their names wrong (“Erbiti” instead of “Erviti“), instantly becoming the target of a million jokes across the web since – let’s face it – his illiteracy should be mocked. “#TuiteandoComoMacri” (“Tweeting like Macri”) became an instant trending topic, and it got so big that he even decided to mock himself by using it for a non-apology. Nicely played, Mr. Mayor. I have some new found respect for you. Still wouldn’t vote for you though.
  • At last! After a year of painful agonizing and despair, everyone’s favorite underdog River Plate managed to return to the First Division! Yay! River Plate! River Plate! And the best part (for you, not me) of this is that the Superclásico is once again a reality! Hurray!
  • But of course, everything in the universe is about balance, and one team’s celebration is another team’s disgrace. This time it’s the chaps from some team named Banfield who are suffering the opprobrium of relegation and boy, those fans were unhappy. However, as they were leaving the stadium looking downcast and in peace, the police decided to start randomly shooting at them (at the 1:30 mark) just in case. You never know when a regular fan might suddenly turn into a blood-thirsty hooligan eager to dismember a police officer and feed their limbs to their uncivilized peers. So there. You like football? Then be a man and get ready to get shot.
  • Last but not least: I have never, ever, EVER had a burning desire to attend a football match. However, after witnessing such a fine display of decorum and camaraderie coming from the mouths of these four fine ladies who happen to be Banfield fans, I may have to reconsider. In fact, I want these four potty-mouthed damsels to be my grandmothers. All of them. Here, have fun with the Banfield girls, the latest viral sensation that has taken over the internet. They are like the female version of Tano Pasman, only they somehow seem even crasser and yet all you wanna do is hug them.
Have a great weekend everyone!
And don’t forget to like this column on Facebook!
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, June 22nd.

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Do it then, come on.

OK, now yes.

It’s Friday again!

And fortunately this week was a short one since we had a little break on Wednesday that I’m sure you used to learn all about why we had a little break on Wednesday.

Ha! No, I’m kidding. I know you don’t give a shit about Argentine national holidays. I’m teasing you, you guys!

But in case you do want to know why it was a national holiday (you don’t), it’s because it was Flag Day!

So there, I just made you a little more knowledgeable.

This is what you need to know:

  • Here's Manuel Belgrano casually sitting on a chair. He is now probably spinning in his grave. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    Well, it was obviously going to happen, even though I was 100% certain it wasn’t going to happen: a high noon stand-off between President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and British Prime Minister David Cameron! While both heads of state were in Mexico to attend one of those G20 Summits, Cameron broke all sorts of protocol and approached Cristina. The minute he did so, she began rambling about the Malvinas/Falklands and why, oh, why the UK refuses to sit down and talk. She even had this big fat folder filled with UN resolutions urging both sides to talk, but Cameron refused to accept it, turned around and walked away.

  • Have you checked the look on the face of David Cameron’s personal assistant? She’s literally trying to kill him with her icy stare.
  • Minutes later, and full drama-queenism on display, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman appeared before the press, showing the envelope containing the folder that Cameron had refused to take and spoke of how hurt Argentina was by his refusal to acknowledge their request. A natural-born diplomat, Timerman also refused to address the members of the British press in English, and told the La Nación envoys that, compared to the British media, “they even looked civilized.” True story!
  • Also that’s preposterous! What kind of government refuses to accept a missive drafted in good faith, urging the other side not that they accept their point of view, but that they merely open up to dialogue? Who does that, I ask you?! WHO!? Oh. Right.
  • Meanwhile, in Argentina, the shit was hitting the fan in unprecedented ways as the most powerful unionist in the country, CGT leader Hugo Moyano officially declared war on the National Government and announced that fuel truckers would go on a three-day national strike as they demanded higher salaries and urged Cristina to lower taxes. The strike drove the country into a frenzy – specially since it was a holiday on Wednesday – as millions of people had to leave frustrated and empty handed from every gas station they came across. Things got so bad that the President had to cut her trip short and fly back to Buenos Aires to put things in order. Which she didn’t, because the Government has pressed charges against Moyano over the strike, and he has responded by announcing a truckers’ nationwide strike next week. And to think only a year ago these two were best pals!
  • Wow, that was an exhausting read! And you finished it all even though it didn’t even have any jokes or punchlines! I’m so proud of you. You’re growing up. I can tell.
  • Since Cristina was out of the country, Vice-President Amado Boudou was in charge as acting-president, which is like when you are 10 and your parents leave the house, placing you under the supervision of your older, teenage brother who can’t wait to start smoking and watching pay-per-view porn. So as the highest-ranking authority in the nation, he was probably pissed that last Wednesday he had to wake up early to attend the annual parade taking place before the Flag Memorial in Rosario.
  • And his frustration the night before was evident, since he went on Facebook and announced he would be “going to Rosario to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Argentine flag.”
  • Read that again, will you? In case you didn’t catch that.
  • Still nothing? *rolls eyes* God. OK. Clearly you didn’t read what I posted about Flag Day earlier. You’re excused because you’re not an Argentine (and if you are, you’re definitely not excused). Every June 20th, Argentina celebrates a new anniversary of the death of Manuel Belgrano, who created and raised the Argentina flag for the first time in Rosario on February 27th, 1812, which we already celebrated this year. Wanna see La Nación capitalizing on Boudou’s fuck up? Here ya go. Enjoy.
  • Also, the lady presenting the official celebrations on national television decided that “Manuel Belgrano” sounded too 19th-century-ish and chose to rechristen him “Juan Manuel Belgrano“. Thousands of Argentine historians collectively slit their wrists in dismay.
  • Great news, everyone! While Cristina was attending a lunch with the Council of the Americas in the US, she announced that she “knows” that… wait for it… wait for it… APPLE IS COMING TO ARGENTINA!!!! AGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I’M GONNA BUY SO MUCH SHIT!
  • OMG! Did you guys go see J-Lo and her ass on stage this week? Awesome!

    The world longest flag is Argentine, according to Wikipedia. Sure, whatever. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    Neither did I. But since she was apparently desperate to sell tickets she had a cameo on Singing for a Dream, or Dreaming for a Sing or Singing for a Dancing, or whatever the fuck it’s called. So here she is, nonchalantly walking on stage with that amazing ass attached to her body and her  poor Spanish skills as she fends off the show’s host and potential sex offender Mariano Iudica , who I must commend for not trying to grope her on live television. I mean, you can tell he totally wants to, but he doesn’t.

  • Remember how the producers of Dancing With The Stars assured that this new season was going to be “mostly about helping others and less shallow and controversial”? Remember how I called bullshit? Well, guess what Argentina: I was right! I mean, the fact that they hired the Argentine Spanish South American European version of Paris Hilton, Argentine-born Charlotte Chantal Caniggia, as part of the team should have been a little telling. For those of you not well versed in pop culture, Charlotte Chantal is the daughter of former football star Claudio Paul Caniggia and the woman who became the proud founder of the botinera movement, Mariana Nannis, a refined, high-class lady with an alluring stench of nouveau riche who once confessed to hating poor people. So since the thistle doesn’t fall too far from the thistle tree – does it even fall from a tree? Isn’t it like a flower or something? Whatever –  Charlotte Chantal only cares about money. So when the judges staged an impromptu pop-quiz and asked her if she knew whether Argentina was in North, Central or South America, her brain literally exploded and she just couldn’t answer the question, the poor thing. Even worse, the judges destroyed her after her first performance, which means she will probably win in December.
  • Let’s give football a break this week, since God knows it is already dealing with enough shit without me having to contribute to its own destruction. Shall we?
  • That’s karma, bitch.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

And remember to like this column on Facebook!

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, June 15th.

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:

  • Yes. I already used this photo a few months ago. If you have a better idea for a photo this week, you know where to write. I won't care but you know where to write. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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.
  • 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.
  •  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 dollars protest 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

    Football. I fucking hate it. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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 adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, June 8th.

It’s Winter again!

And Friday too, but mostly winter!

Holy shit, you guys.

Have you all been freezing your asses or is it just me? Damn! This week we had a major temperature drop and we all woke up on Tuesday to realize we had been teleported to the South Pole.

For three straight days we had to put up with the whiners that complained about the lack of snow and who later started freaking out about the mild sleet that was dousing the city.

And no, just because it snows it doesn’t mean that “Buenos Aires is just like New York.” Shut up already.

And remember that if you see anyone sleeping on the street on these cold winter nights, you can always dial 108 (write it down!!) and let the City Government know where they are. They will pick them up and take them to a shelter to protect them from the polar wave.

There. Now that I’ve helped you become a better person, and that you have liked the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook, this is what you need to know:

  • Score one for the political opposition! Remember last week when I told you about Daniel Reposo? No? OK. He was the guy who was supposed to become the nation’s procurator-general and had submitted his typo-plagued résumé to the Senate so they could evaluate his credentials? Ah, see? I knew you would remember. Well it turns out there were much more “typos” involved, and after being grilled in the Senate for over 10 hours on Wednesday and responding to the opposition’s accusations with lukewarm rebukes at best, he finally freaked out and last night decided to withdraw his nomination. Reposo announced his decision in a series of letters that he sent to the President, to Vice-President Amado Boudou, to the UCR and the Victory Front parties. Surprisingly, there were no typos involved this time.
  • [UPDATE] Sorry everyone! I appear to have spoken too soon, since as readers have kindly pointed out, his letters were riddled with typos. Real typos this time! He wrote “haber” like “aber” and mistook Clarín’s CEO Hector Magnetto with this guy from the X-Men. Thanks for the heads up, Internet people!
  • And no, you freaks. Twitter did not censor the #Cacerolazo trending topic. The simple explanation is that once a TT (in this case, “#Cacerolazo”) peaks, it will not show up again in order to make room for new TTs. In other words, they favor novelty over popularity. If you want to blame someone for this, don’t blame the Government, blame the Justin Bieber fans (like, for real).
  • Also, I’m not one to join the Government’s crusade against Clarín, but lying by omission is also lying. Oh, and in this case the state news agency Telam may be right, but don’t worry, they do it too.
  • Oh and also, do you want to take part in a cacerolazo but fear that holding a couple of frying pans over your head may betray your debonair, cool-looking exterior? There’s an app for that.
  • So while the country is in tatters, what was the political leader of the opposition, our Lord Savior and future presidential candidate Mayor Mauricio Macri doing? Oh, he was busy playing guitar with the mayor of Lisbon, celebrating that Rock in Rio 2013 will take place in Buenos Aires and most definitely not in Rio, like its confusing name falsely advertises. The Mayor also announced that the music festival will take place in the abandoned – and quite possibly haunted – Parque de la Ciudad, in the distant neighborhood of Villa Soldati. Which means you will have no choice but to visit the so-called “uncharted territory” (i.e. anything below Rivadavia Av.) not once but twice next year (the second time being when you go to Creamfields, you pill-popping douchebags).
  • As the 30th anniversary of the end of the Malvinas/Falklands War approaches (which means that, yes, once again we’re gonna have to put up with Cristina’s faux-motional speeches and David Cameron‘s preponderance of fear mongering exposition for a couple of weeks) the Government has announced that the five British oil companies carrying on exploration projects on the surroundings of the Malvinas/Falklands Islands are doing so “illegitimately,” in case you didn’t hear them the last two million times they said it.
  • Meanwhile, in London: the British Government has accused Argentina of utilizing its “position in the world” to damage the islands’ economy, in case you didn’t hear them the last two million times they said it.
  • Ah, here’s some progress! While attending an OAS General Assembly in Bolivia, dangerously insane Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman once again said the islands belonged to Argentina and urged the UK to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... But then I woke up and was happy to see that after his stern speech, he approached the British representative in the assembly, Fiona Clouder, and both were seen laughing and sharing an honest moment of camaraderie. Now this can only mean two things: A) That despite having a name that sounds like someone you would find in a Harry Potter novel, Ms. Clouder is a treacherous, ruthless double agent working with Argentina to bring the British Empire to its knees, or B) This whole bilateral conflict is just a ruse perpetrated by two nations desperately looking to stir up the masses and boost sentiments of nationalism in order to conceal an impending decline in widespread political support. In order to keep my sanity, I will go with the “double agent” version.
  • Now here’s something you’ll find interesting: in its monstrous efforts to de-dollarize the economy, the National Government is drafting a bill that looks to make mandatory that all property-related transactions (rent/buy/sell) are carried out in Argentine pesos. If the bill is passed, you know what that means? That your landlord will no longer be able to charge you $1500 dollars for your shitty studio apartment in Palermo. Now it will have to be in pesos. It will still be ridiculously expensive, but in pesos. Hurray!
  • Also, I’m sure your landlord will find a way to keep ripping you off every month. Sorry, I had to say that.
  • By the way, this week in Fashion: Perfil‘s lady-oriented section “Rouge” has a great piece on how the hipster look has become “a thing.” Too bad the article is ten years too late, but here’s a golden star for the effort.
  • Oh look! It also has a piece on how to “look preppy“, in case you haven’t been to Punta del Este in the last 150 years! Bookmark this one ladies, I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more from it!
  • And speaking of fashion victims, remember how thieves used to break into designer stores to get into the cash register and steal all that money? Well, not anymore! It’s 2012, people. What guys want now are dresses. Lots and lots of dresses! At least that’s what it looks like if we go by this security footage from a store in Belgrano that was broken into at 2 am this week by two guys. Hey, not that I’m judging. You’re welcome to wear anything you want in my book as long as you’re comfortable with it. It’s the stealing part I’m not so crazy about.
  • Finally! After years of neglectfulness and heartbreaking snubs, Sony Computer Entertainment announced this week that the much coveted PlayStation Network (you know, the one that got hacked last year and exposed the credit card information of millions of users) will arrive in Argentina in 2013. Not to rain on your parade, Sony Computer Entertainment, but the Wii U is coming out by the end of the year and you know the Argentines, they are like insatiable neophiles when it comes to technology. Better luck next time, you guys! And maybe don’t wait six long fucking years to acknowledge Latin America’s existence, you pricks.
  • If you have a Claro line, be aware that you’ll get a $10 pesos discount next month. I’m not exactly sure what they did this time, but it probably involved stealing from you, so the government is spanking them in the ass again. Whatever. Now you know.
  •  OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! Try not to hyperventilate but feast your eyes on this, people! The official “Dancing With the Stars 2012” promotional photo has finally been released! I know the show’s premiere is still three days away but this will soothe our anxiety and help us make it through the weekend. Highlights this season, which will allegedly focus more on equality and less on tits and ass, include a one-legged dancer and a girl with down syndrome, a move that I personally applaud. The rest of the cast is made up of hookers and goldiggers as usual.
  • You didn’t click on that did you? That’s OK, I’m not judging.
  •  As the National Football Team arrived in New Jersey (US) for some game

    "Some chick who died," according to you. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    I’m not even gonna bother looking up what it’s about, the Argentine media was outraged – OUTRAGED! – that Americans were oblivious to the fact that Jesus 2.0 (A.K.A. Lionel Messi) was walking among them. Apparently for some reason that I will also not look up, Argentine San Antonio Spurs’ superstar Manu Ginobili stole Messi’s thunder. And since in the US football (or “the soccer”) is only played by little girls and tiger moms, nobody gave a shit. Hey! New Jersey sounds like my kind of place! Let me know when the entire cast of The Jersey Shore is dead, I may consider moving up there.

  • As the football boys aimlessly toured the evil mecca of capitalism unnoticed, marveling at the alluring siren song of mass consumption and cotton candy, somewhat popular footballer Sergio “Kun” Aguero went on a shopping spree and purchased an Iron Man doll “for his son.” Right.
  • Oh, I’m sorry! You don’t think that was newsworthy? Well, look at you all nose up in the air, pompously wagging your finger at me, as if you were some kind of respectable journalist. Sorry to have to tell you this people, but Clarín, La Nación, Minuto Uno, Fox Sports and Radio Continental all beg to differ. And those, my friends, are serious news outlets offering relevant need-to-know information on a daily basis. What did you do today? Yeah. Didn’t think so.
  • Last but not least: last weekend Argentina beat Ecuador 4-0 during a World Cup 2014 qualifier and the entire country was hysterical, over-celebrating and overreacting after every goal. And I say “overreacting” because I know you know this was a shitty game and that Ecuador didn’t really stand a chance, but you still pretended to be extremely excited and yelled like you just won the lottery. Yes. You should know that every time I see you jump off your chair screaming “GOAL!” during a game that really doesn’t make a difference, I am quietly judging you.
  • Fuck football.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

And remember to like this column on Facebook!

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, June 1st.

It’s Friday again! (That’s right, we’re back to using that one).

And what a week it’s been!

The dollar fever is on the rise and Argentines keep roaming the streets aimlessly, eyes injected in blood from all the whining, looking for a green bill that any lucky foreigner may be willing to part ways with. It’s like zombies, only they say “Dollars… dollars…” instead of “Brains… brains…”.

You know how it is, you’ve seen The Walking Dead.

You see, US dollars have become a commodity in the last few weeks due to the Government’s desperate attempts at stopping the country from bleeding money.

So if you’re abroad and are thinking of making a quick trip to good old Argieland, make sure you bring a big fat wad o’ cash. Preferably lots of Benjamins. If you sell them for pesos in the black market you may or may not be able to buy yourself a pretty little castle (moat included!) in this country.

But if you’re not abroad and are thinking of making a quick trip to the US, you’re fucked.

And now that I’ve ruined your life, and liked the Weekly News Roundup on Facebook, this is what you need to know:

  • Have you seen any of these lately? If you have, call me. We need to talk. (Photo/Wikipedia)

     DESPAIR! Millions of Argentines are growing increasingly impatient to the Government’s new currency exchange policies which make it hard for common folk like you and me to buy dollars. And yes, I know I just mentioned that in the introduction but that was just that: an introduction and a hook to keep you interested. God knows the hate mail starts coming in as soon as you come across a paragraph that doesn’t contain a snarky remark or a punchline. So shut up and keep reading, I’m doing this to help you understand the gigantic clusterfuck we’re all immersed in right now.

  • So like I was saying… DESPAIR! This week saw the passing of controversial Resolution 3333 which restricts currency trading even more. A day that will live in infamy! Because now if you want to travel abroad and need to buy dollars, it is very, very difficult to do so. You need to obtain a special permit from the AFIP tax agency and in order to do so you must prove that the money you’re using was obtained legally. So if you have an Argentine DNI, why not give it a shot? Visit the AFIP website, enter your personal information and get upset when your request is categorically denied. Congratulations! You’re now officially an Argentine citizen.
  • What are you yelling at me for?! I never told you to move here.
  • As millions of Argentines looking to buy dollars to travel abroad visited the infamous AFIP website hoping for an absolution, many started to realize something was slightly odd in the “Country of Destination” section of the form they were supposed to fill out. As people scrolled down through the list of countries they noticed Cold War relics such as Yugoslavia, the USSR and East Germany were available as possible “destinations,” in case you wanted to take a holiday in 1972. Soon the media (“the media” being mainly Clarín and La Nación, of course) began echoing the head scratching gaffe,  as if it were some kind of collective venting experience, a cathartic moment of joy universally known as the good old “Ha-ha!”.  So now you know: if you wanna go to Machu Picchu, don’t forget to click on “Incan Empire” as destination. You may end up in a different century, and if there’s something we have all learned from Back to the Future is that you do not fuck with time. You’re welcome.
  • Ultra-Kirchnerite senator Aníbal Fernández, known for his capability to articulately defend the indefensible and also for his prominent mustache, obviously went out with guns blazing to attack those criticizing the new restrictions. “Argentina has to start thinking in pesos,” he said. “Only 11% of Argentines save in dollars, the rest of the population has nothing to do with it. For that reason, you have to make policies that make sense to everyone and give us similar solutions.” No punchline, right? Keep reading, it’s coming.
  • One day after Fernández’s statements in which he urged Argentines to save in pesos, not dollars, the media (“the media” being mainly Clarín and La Nación, of course), published a detailed list of his personal savings, information that is available upon request in order to “keep corruption out of government” *cough*. And what do you know! Our mustached friend has US$24,000 stored safely away in his bank account! Naughty, naughty! Cornered, wounded and without much ammo left, when he was criticized once more by a journalist for preaching about something he wasn’t doing himself, he just exploded: “You know why I save in dollars? Because I fucking feel like it!” Oh, shit. He went there.
  • One day and many screams from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner later, the mustached crusader apologized for his statements and said he would get rid of his dollars eventually (“eventually” as in “never”). Did I mention the President still has US$3 million in savings? Because she does. But that’s OK, she’s the President. She can do whatever the fuck she wants.
  • Remember the recent accusations against Vice-President Amado Boudou? That’s OK, I didn’t expect you to. So here’s a link to it, so you can at least pretend to care. Anyway, one of the casualties of political war in this whole mess was Attorney General Esteban Righi, who resigned from office after Boudou suggested he had tried to bribe him. In his replacement, the Government suggested appointing current SIGEN head Daniel Reposo, a man you don’t know about or care about, and that’s OK because even if you did it wouldn’t make any difference. So Reposo showed up all cocky and proud at the steps of Congress and turned in his résumé, which would be subjected to great scrutiny in the congressional committees. Too bad Reposo seemed to forget this, because as soon as lawmakers began analyzing it they came across certain “irregularities,” (AKA lies) about his professional past. Let’s review them, shall we?
  • Résumé says: “Speaker at UN conference alongside Ban Ki-moon.”
  • Counterargument: UN says he just attended the event, never spoke.
  • Official Government response: “It was a typo.”
  • Résumé says: “Speaker at the XIII Ibero-American Conference of Public Administration Ministers in Venezuela.”
  • Counterargument: Organization in Venezuela has no record of him ever speaking there.
  • Official Government response: “It was a typo.”
  • No, really, the Government is claiming these were all typos.  So check back next week when we find out he did not, in fact, run for president of the United States in the 90s and the he wasn’t a part of the Apollo 11 crew when they walked on the moon.
  • Did you enjoy the cacerolazo last night? An alluring, exotic experience

    Join the super fun Cacerolazo tonight! It's just like the "Occupy" or "Indignant" movements, with the only difference that it is nothing like them. At all. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    for you, wasn’t it? People in Recoleta, Palermo and Belgrano (all middle-to-upper class neighborhoods *wink, wink*) decided they had had enough of “corruption, inflation, insecurity” and took to the streets to demand they are allowed to be rich and stuff. This guy even went viral worldwide! And to think that some of you even joined the protests! Look at you, how dangerously adventurous! Your parents would be proud! And here are some even greater news: in order to expand your anthropological studies of the Argentine society even further,  they are repeating it tonight! That’s right, starting at 10 pm, tonight’s nationwide cacerolazo is expected to be even bigger than last night’s! With some luck you may be able to experience what happened here 10 years ago when the country’s economy suffered its worst meltdown in history and it all went to shit. Seriously, who needs to go to the USSR in the 70s when you can go to Argentina in 2001? And you don’t even need an AFIP permit for this one.

  • The Catholic Church is still freaking out about the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion and is now supporting a bill drafted by the clergy that suggests offering cash incentives to women if they choose not to terminate their pregnancies.  Awesome idea, you guys! One question though: who’s supposed to pay for that if passed, the Pope? Oh I see, we’re gonna pay for that. Not you. Us! Splendid. Jesus must be rolling in his grave cloud.
  • Not that you care or anything, but the Iguazu Falls have finally been awarded a plaque reading that they are part of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” a private undertaking led by the New Open World Corporation that is not related in any way, shape of form to UNESCO, meaning that it’s total bullshit. Yeah, I know. I just completely ruined it for you, whatever.
  • Also, if you don’t believe me, UNESCO is not very happy about it either.
  • Oh and also, have you been having problems when sending a text message from your cell phone, especially if you have a Claro or Movistar line? Well, first of all you kind of deserve it because no one sends text messages anymore. Everybody uses Whatsapp. And second of all, don’t worry, it’s not your phone. According to Movistar, it’s Claro’s fault. Then again, according to Claro, it’s Movistar’s fault. And while both companies pilloried each other indirectly in the twitterverse, I’m pretty sure all those text messages you sent and never arrived were added to your bill accordingly. Do you want me to end this one with a happy face too, so it makes you feel a little better? OK, here it is. :)
  •  Now, I don’t mean to freak you out but the new season of the local version of Dancing With The Stars (“Bailando por un Sueño“) officially has a premiere date! That’s right friends! On June 11th. our favorite host Marcelo Tinelli and his army of high-class hookers professional dancers are taking over the airwaves again! So grab your kids, pour yourself some glass of fine wine, light up a cigar and sit right next to the chimney so you can enjoy some quality television with the family. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get some tits and ass, all on the same night! God knows humanity is still recovering from what happened last year (watch the 1:45 mark).
  • Speaking of poor taste: Behold! After many days of uncertainty and intrigue, former has-been model and current Who’s-that-again Katie Price released the much coveted portfolio of her new lingerie line “Katie’s Boutique,” exclusively sold at Store Twenty One (“exclusively” as in “no other store would want to sell it”). Now if you’re wondering why this is news in Argentina (I would be if I were you), it is because as you may recall, Katie is still dating former TV lifeguard and current boyfriend-of-Katie-Price Leandro Penna, who – you guessed it – is featured largely in the racy photographs.  Which means everyone here was talking about it. That’s right people. This is what passes for news nowadays. Deal with it.
  • Also, the British may be sending a nuclear submarine this way, but the Argentines send them Leandro Penna. A nuclear blast may be a more effective, immediate solution to end a conflict, but the dumbing down of a cultural heritage has more harmful, lasting effects than the radioactive fallout. Five more years of his insightful brainfarts on Twitter and BAM! The Falkland Islands belong to Argentina again.
  • Before we jump into the next bullet point, let me just make it abundantly clear that I had nothing to do with it. Got it? So no hate mail. Fan mail is OK, though. OK? OK.
  • Millions of football fans around the world shrieked in horror last Monday when, while checking Twitter to learn the latest about the football world minutiae, realized that Fox Sports Norte tweeted that probable cyborg Lionel Messi had died. As panic began spreading throughout the international football community and many prayed that the tweet was actually referring to the other, less-popular Lionel Messi, the real Messi came back from the dead and announced he was, in fact, very much alive. So I guess all those idiots that have been calling him “the Messi-ah” these last few years had kind of a point.
  • Then again, Fox Sports Norte later announced their Twitter account had been hacked, so no. They didn’t.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

And remember to like this column on Facebook!

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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Weekly News Roundup, May 25th.

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:

  • Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe was close to being non-assassinated this week. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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 town some other part of the world! Former

    If you're wondering what this guy is doing here, keep reading. You'll eventually find out. (Photo/Wikipedia)

    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:
  • 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.
  • 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!

And remember to like this column on Facebook!

Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at adrianbono@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono

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