Sunday, December 17, 2006

Having a Laugh

Since Ollie of ArgyBargy alerted me to their web-site's make-over, I have checked-in a number of times for a good dose of professional journalism worthy of The Guardian.

Recently, Ollie loosely translated an editorial of La Nación which apeared on December 14th with a heading that sent the message "Tourists Go Home!" Guillermo and I proceeded to read the original text in Spanish via the link provided.

First of all, La Nación is the right wing conservative newspaper supporting el campo (the countryside) and the landed classes of Argentina.

The newspaper's readers, mainly the wealthy elites of this country, are most likely the ones who bank overseas and therefore tripled their already enormous wealth overnight from the forced and compulsory conversion of all bank deposits in US dollar to peso, in Argentina, during the financial crisis of 2001; and are the ones who continue to benefit from the booming exportation of agricultural products and meat resulted from the new lower peso.

Any objective observer would probably think they are having a very good deal; but no, that's not quite enough for this spoilt bunch. They have raised their hands for more – how dare taxes and poverty of their compatriots stand between them and their complete lording over the country! And the poor? They can't see them from their estancias (ranches) anyway! Can't afford meat? Let them eat cake!

Now that I've filled in the background, let's go back to that editorial. All in all, it may just be the writer's harmless but poor attempt at satire. Guillermo has long had issues with the poor grammar and quality of writing of the newspaper; with all their privileges and private school education, he logically expected better.

The editorial in question certainly got me laughing because I am still enjoying steaks along with all the trimmings at my local greasy spoon for less than A$25. A$4 gets me through my occasional craving for cafe con leche con media lunas (a cup of flat white with 3 brioches). But of course, these landlords who bascially already own this country wouldn't dream of stepping into my centrally located greasy spoon or a drab local cafe in case they have to be in close proximity with the plebeians (oh, sorry; I mean their compatriots!)

This is the irony they face: The wealthy and the landed want to lord over this country by squeezing every last bit out of it at the lowest costs to themselves possible; and the tourists are an inconvenience because these hard-currency carriers are making privileged living cost more than they got used to paying.

For this bunch with their severe one-way tunnel vision who went on strike because they thought it was only fair that they charge fellow Argentines international prices for their produce to actually feel indignant that they have to pay still-less-than international prices for top drawer local goods and services...sorry, I've to stop right here and roll around laughing. It's simply too funny!

Oh, do excuse my poor attempt at satire; I'm just one of those "gringos de todos los colores" that should go home, according to La Nación.

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