It’s Friday again!
[Insert small talk here, mention the weather, add patronizing comment towards readers like you do every Friday. End introduction with “this is what you need to know.”]
Yeah, things are starting to get pretty formulaic so unless I came up with something new I will have no choice but to face extinction.
It was a pretty eventful thing, so this is what you need to know to be a smart ass in front of your information-challenged friends.
This is what you need to know:
- VICTORY! After a nail-biting midterm election, the Fernández de Kirchner administration took a serious beating in the polls, redefining the entire political map on a national scale and leaving the political opposition, led by Tigre mayor Sergio Massa, celebrating that the Kirchnerite movement may finally be reaching its unavoidable de…- OH MY GOD THE MEDIA LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL.
- That’s right. The sweet, vanilla-scented aroma of victory was still lingering in the electoral air of Sergio Massa’s campaign headquarters when a putrid smell of ink and court dress invaded his space like an unstoppable tsunami, swiping all his hubris away in a matter of seconds. In what could be considered the worst timing ever, the Supreme Court decided to rule on the constitutionality of the controversial Broadcast Media Law, a bill passed by the National Government in 2009 and the reason why Grupo Clarín, the country’s largest media group, detests Cristina in a manner that hasn’t been since the Romans killed Jesus in 33. And yes, this was a huge victory for the National Government, who in a matter of seconds totally stole Sergio Massa’s thunder.
- After Congress passed the bill four years ago, Grupo Clarín challenged it in court saying several of its articles were unconstitutional, leaving the Media Law in legal limbo until Tuesday, when it was deemed constitutional. And now the media group will have to get rid of Argentina’s largest news network Todo Noticias (TN). The Buenos Aires Herald has been closely following the story and has some in-depth analysis of what happens from now on. So I recommend stories like this to understand a bit more.
- I know you didn’t click on that, by the way.
- Oh, that’s right. The elections. Well, nobody cares now. This was a huge victory for the Government in a battle that was seen as good versus evil by all of society (who’s good and who’s evil depends on who you’re rooting for.) Sergio Massa beat Kirchnerite Martín Insaurralde by more than ten points in the Buenos Aires province (the most important electoral district in the country due to its massive population) and became a lawmaker (or “congressman”). In the City, the PRO party killed while Kirchnerism came in the third place. In the other three most important electoral districts in the country, the provinces of Córdoba, Santa Fe and Mendoza, Cristina’s Victory Front party also lost. The anti-K’s were fast to talk of a “post-Kirchnerism,” the “end of Kirchnerism,” or simply a new “transition period.” But the truth is that four years ago, in the 2009 midterms, Kirchnerism also lost badly. Many said the Kirchnerite movement was dead and buried, and yet two years later Cristina was reelected with 54 percent of the votes.
- Back to the Media Law. Now that Grupo Clarín was walking to the gallows, it was the Government’s turn to gloat. So in order to make their battle even more epic (by the way, that is the correct use of the word “epic.” When you say “I had an epic empanada last night” you sound dumb) they sent Martín Sabbattella, the head of the Federal Authority on Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA), to the door of the Grupo Clarín to hand-deliver the
execution datenotice that they must comply with the law.
- Mayor Mauricio Macri was obviously outraged by this, because anything that favors the National Government in any way is an absolute travesty. Minutes after Sabbatella offered a press conference to announce the impending demise of Clarín and the end of History as we know it, mayor Macri took to Twitter and, blinded by the rage that consumed him, told us exactly what he thought about the whole affair:
“The first thing that must be done in order to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling is to have Sabella tender his resignation.”
- Absolutely! How dare he show up on live TV all smug and stuff, and tell us that from now on we’re going to have to put up with- …wait. Who? Sabella? You mean the coach of the Argentina National Football Team Alejandro Sabella? How is he involved in all this? I mean, I’m always happy to support any decision that directly affects the football world, but this is a little random don’t you think? Unless of course, Macri was trying to say “Sabbatella” and he just fucked up because, well, he’s Macri.
- Yup. Looks like that’s what it was, since the previous tweet vanished quickly and this one appeared:
El primer paso para cumplir el fallo de la Corte es que renuncie Sabatella. — Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) October 29, 2013
- Don’t worry, Mr. mayor. Nobody noticed, except for the entire Internet.
- In other news, the 2nd. US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York still has some love for Argentina,
it seems. Since it rejected a motion by the so-called vulture funds to lift the stay on the payment of US$1.33 billion. Damn, things just keep getting better and better for the Government this week. What’s next, Vice-President Amado Boudou cleared of all corruption charges?
- Great news, people who live in the real world! According to the INDEC, the controversial national statistics bureau known for systematically cooking up inflation numbers, announced this week that poverty in Argentina keeps dropping and it is now currently at 4.7 percent. If you choose to believe this, then this is definite cause of celebration. However, if you choose to believe what critics say, then poverty in the country is actually close to 30 percent. Since both calculations are probably false – one wants to make you think we’re living in Utopia, the other in Raccoon City – I say we settle at 16 percent and call it a day.
- Hey, if everyone gets to have their own method to measure shit, then I get one too. Let me be.
- Because life is not complicated enough, the City Government has announced that it will issued a “multifunctional payment card” that is going to be pretty much like the SUBE card only it will not be a SUBE card. Horribly named “Sólo vos” (“Only you”), the card, which sounds like the name of a cheap telo from Once, will be good for paying for the Subte, the bus and for accessing the city bicycle loaning system. And I think that’s the only good thing about it.
- Surprise! The City Government has been cleared by a City judge to raise the Subte fare from $2.50 to $3.50. Pretty soon you will not be able to afford any sort of public transportation system. Walk or die. But remember: inflation is nothing but a mythological creature created by Clarín that feeds on children’s tears, and if you claim it’s real it will suck your soul. It will also get you in trouble with the Kirchnerites. So shush.
- The Americanization of Argentine culture continues and this week not only we had to put up with the never-ending stupidity of the anti-Halloween crusaders who think the Jack-o’-lantern festivities are the infamous spawn of Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty, turns out yesterday we learned we’re giving people names to storms now. Two days ago the National Weather Forecast Service warned about the arrival of the mother of all storms, which thy decided to name Berta because, fuck it. And while many fell to their knees and prayed that Jesus decided to summon us all to Heaven before Berta ravaged our country and raped our women, many others were fuming at the fact that we’re assigning human names to storms now, clearly a sign that the cultural imperialism of the Great Satan is more alive than ever. The Rapture can’t come soon enough.
- Oh, and Berta? Not a thing after all. The storm came, it rained, and nothing happened. Networks were very upset, considering the amount of airtime they dedicated to a non-event. Not a single death? They already had that black-ribbon-thingy all ready to go up on the top-left corner of the screen and everything! There is no God.
- Well, I mean, the Córdoba province had to declare the state of emergency due to the floods that came with the rain, but you know how BA-centric we all are. If it ain’t happening here, it ain’t news.
Enjoy the weekend, kids.