Alright. It’s over.
That wretched democratic process known as “election,” responsible for making your Saturday night a total downer because you couldn’t drink and stuff, is gone from our lives until it comes back in full force to ruin your weekend (and my birthday weekend) near the end of October, when the midterms are scheduled to take place.
Now, if you’re one of those people who take their lives too seriously and only care about untrascendental facts like who won the PASO primaries (what a drag!) let me just say that: A) Nobody really won anything, and B) Whatever. But if you’re still willing to understand more about them, here’s a Wikipedia piece on them, a Reuters anti-Cristina piece on them and a Télam pro-Cristina piece on them. Also, here’s another piece saying that the markets are happy now that Cristina’s Victory Front party has lost a lot of support in the last two years, support that seems to have floundered towards “pro-business Tigre mayor Sergio Massa.” As usual, you get to choose your own reality. You have no excuse.
But enough about the boring part. Let’s talk anecdotes! Because when you meet your friends this Friday night, you will not find yourself saying: “Sir, I find it reprehensible that the Victory Front party failed to muster the necessary votes to acquire a much-deserved triumph in the Buenos Aires province.” Nah. You’re going to go: “Dude! You heard they caught this guy jerking off while he was voting? That’s crazy, yo!“.
Yes. That’s how you sound.
So without any further ado, here are the top seven awkward moments that the mainstream media was kind enough to provide us with this weekend. Enjoy.
- 1) CRISTINA TALKED TO THE MEDIA.- “So what?” you say? Well, considering Cristina hardly ever talks to us, this was an event of unprecedented importance. I can imagine all my colleagues, suddenly standing in front of her in the Santa Cruz school where she voted, quivering as they approached her in fear, microphone in hand, their thoughts going a thousand miles an hour. Imagine the possibilities! Corruption, inflation, crime, football, poverty, income tax, constitutional amendment and the political opposition. So as she turned, winking in slow motion towards the cameras, hair in the air and a big smile on her face, journalists took a deep breath, clenched their fists and fired: “So… how’s your grandson?” They also asked her hardball questions such as “Do you have any good luck rituals?” and, bedazzling them with her nasal laugh, the President grabbed a C5N microphone and pretty much talked to the ones who only asked her the buena onda questions while avoiding the mala onda questions because don’t rain on my parade, bitch.
- 2) ‘CASTING THE BALLOT‘ GETS REDEFINED.- A grave injustice befell on an actively democratic citizen from Quilmes after the national media picked up the story about how he had been caught masturbating in the voting room of an Ezpeleta school. Why the mockery and hate, Argentines? Why do you detest freedom so much? We know we’ve hit rock bottom when a guy cannot even play with himself in the privacy of a public voting room anymore. And after inappropriately calling the voting room cuarto oscuro (dark room), isn’t there a slight chance that the entire situation could have been misconstrued? According to Territorio Digital, the man took over fifteen minutes to cast his ballot (and no, that is not a euphemism for “masturbating” like “spanking the monkey” is, I really mean cast his ballot), so election officials outside the room began to exchange looks of concern. After failing to get a response despite them insistingly knocking on the door, they all barged in fearing that the man could have died or something. Imagine their faces when they saw that the avid voter was actually “casting his ballot” (OK, now it’s a euphemism for “masturbating”) all over the tickets that featured the faces of female candidates.
“According to a witness, there was a used condom on the floor and traces of sperm all over the ballots. The screaming interrupted the man’s actions, who tried to escape the situation by saying ‘he wasn’t sure what had happened to him… he just felt like doing it’. “
- Jesus Christ dude, what the hell is wrong with you?!! Haven’t you heard of internet porn?? And those ballots are given away for free everywhere you go, you didn’t have to go to the actual voting room to “cast your ballot”! (Overkill? OK). And here comes the worst part: “After the police arrested the man, the voting process in that room was temporarily interrupted so the school’s janitors could clean the area.” Wait a minute. “Cleaned the area“?! You mean “burned it down,” right? RIGHT?! Fact: innocent children sat through class in that room one day later. Their pristine souls, forever tainted by the uncontrollable lust of civic duty.
- 3) SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR
FIGHTINGDRINKING.- Well yeah, it is. I mean, who was the genius who decided that elections should always take place on a Sunday? Seriously, whoever came up with that clearly didn’t have a social life. Why not do it on a week day, like the US does? Sure, it’s extremely annoying and totally discourages people from voting, but hey, going out on a Saturday night is like, so important when you’re in your 20’s. So a brave citizen from Río Grande who was supposed to be an electoral official on Sunday morning decided to start a one-person revolution against the fun police and go binge drinking on Saturday night. However, her sense of civic duty was so strong that despite her alcohol poisoning and lack of sleep she showed up at the polls, ready to help voters, and share some mate and vomit and stuff. But alas! Booze, that serial killer of neurons, did not let her fulfill her obligations. According to the Buenos Aires Herald:
“The lady could not stand up, we had to wait for the first person to come through and vote and he stepped in,” the colleague revealed, adding that the individual “had left work late [on Saturday] and after went to a party with friends and family.”
- Wait. So not only she screwed up her team by showing up inebriated, but she also ruined some poor devil’s Sunday by forcing him to replace her all day? I can imagine the guy, happily leaving his home at 7 am, going: “Honey! I’m off to vote! I will try to get there first so I can get out of there in five minutes and be done with it!” Yeah, no. Blame it on the town drunk.
- 4) THE GHOST OF RELEGATION IS NEVER GOING AWAY.- If you’re a football hater like me, then you may recall that the only football-related joke to ever make us laugh is the one related to the so-called “Fantasma de la B” (Ghost of Relegation), used to tease Independiente fans after their team was relegated to the National B last month. Since mocking them endlessly only via YouTube is clearly not humiliating enough, Racing fans – Independiente’s natural nemesis – visited several Avellaneda voting rooms and left stacks of Ghost of Relegation ballots right next to the real ballots. If you’re wondering why this is here since it isn’t really that funny, it’s because football sucks and nothing that comes from football can be funny. Except for the Ghost of Relegation. So yes. I guess this is a paradox.
- 5) THE DNI IS KIND OF IMPORTANT, FOOLS.- Back in the 70’s, when the dictatorship was in full force and you could get disappeared for, I don’t know… rooting for the wrong team and stuff, people were always careful to leave their home with their DNI identity cards. If you were stopped by the police and failed to produce some form of valid identification you could end up in prison or worse (and yes, I’m being serious). This horrifying threat was so present in everybody’s lives and left such a scar on the Argentine psyche, that even years after the return of democracy in 1983, parents would always automatically remind their children to grab their DNI before they went out at night, “just in case.” It is peculiar, then, that Almirante Brown mayor and Frente Renovador candidate Dario Giustozzi left the house without this precious card before heading to the polls last Sunday. And it wouldn’t have been a big deal, if it weren’t for the following photo showing Giustuzzi’s epic forehead slap.
- 6) IF YOU NEED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN VOTING AND FREEDOM, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY STICK WITH FREEDOM.- Curse you, democracy! Here you are, making us think that what you bring is civility and progress, when in fact all you do is contribute to the advancement of an agenda favorable to the Argentine prison-industrial complex. According to every media outlet in the country (except for this one because we have no money to pay people to go out in the field and do actual journalism) 85 people in the Buenos Aires province alone were arrested while trying to cast their ballot (literal sense this time) on election day. What was their heinous crime? What was the grave offense that landed them in jail? I’ll tell you what: turns out all those people had arrest warrants and were caught as soon as they showed their IDs at the polling station. That’s right, they were all fugitives from the law. But their love for the motherland was stronger than their fear of prison rape and they decided to risk their freedom in the name of civic duty. According to the BA province Security Ministry, 53 of the voters were arrested for homicide, three for rape, 12 for armed robbery and the rest for what is cryptically known as “other crimes.” Should these fine men be deprived of their right to vote just because of some relatively illegal peccadilloes? Uhm. Yes. Obviously. Well, they are criminals! What did you expect? A pat on the back because they are not politically apathetic? You’re what’s wrong with modern day society. All of you are.
- 7) IF YOU DO THE ‘OSO’ I WILL SMACK YOU IN THE HEAD WITH A BASEBALL BAT.- Here’s something I never thought I would find myself explaining to you, especially because it involves memories from a decade that we would all be happy to forget. Back in the 90’s, when Argentine streets were paved with gold and everyone went to Miami for the weekend, Marcelo Tinelli’s infamous variety hour “Showmatch” was officially known as “Videomatch.” It was still as horrible as it is in 2013, with the only difference that instead of having naked “artists” parading themselves in front of the cameras, it would feature over simplistic hidden camera videos with a production cost close to zero. One of those “funny videos” involved a bald guy called “Leo,” who approached random strangers in order to shake their hand and then did this:
- Isn’t that absolute genius? I honestly do not understand how Endemol didn’t buy the rights to turn it into a reality show around the world or something. Anyway, the mindbogglingly stupid “oooooso” phenomenon got so big that people in this country stopped shaking hands out of fear of being oso’ed. (There’s a sentence I can’t believe I just wrote.) You went to a job interview and tried to shake the boss’ hand? Oso. Meeting your girlfriend’s father for the first time? Oso. Sealed a multi-million dollar contract? Oso. Eventually, after many handshake opportunities were lost forever in a sea of perpetual acquaintances, a new pop culture phenomenon (the Spice Girls) caught our attention by storm and the Oso tactic was never to be repeated again. Until last Sunday, when it came back from it’s grave to haunt us all once more. When mayor Mauricio Macri went to a school in Palermo in order to cast his ballot (seriously, stop giggling), he decided to be polite and shake hands with all the electoral officials sitting outside the voting room. Unfortunately, a traitor lurked among them. A sinister young boy whose allegiance lied with the Kirchnerite enemy. A sleeper cell who had suddenly become active after being called to sit at the table with the grownups and martyr himself in the name of common good. So when Macri approached him to shake his hand, this is what happened:
That’s right, he pulled an “oso” on the mayor! This young padawan, clearly untrained in the arts of diplomacy and good behavior, probably thought he would be hoisted as a national hero. A revolutionary who would one day see his own portrait hanging on the walls of the Casa Rosada’s Gallery of Latin American Patriots, along with Che Guevara and Diego Maradona, the two true grand rebels this country has spawned. But alas! It looks like the popularity born out of the boy’s death blow to Macri backfired and minutes after their awkward exchange took place, #elboludoquenosaluda (loosely translated as “the asshole who doesn’t shake hands”) became the top trending topic on Twitter. You want to be famous? Twitter will make you infamous! (I stole that line from Spider-man, by the way. Except for the Twitter part.) At the same time, the creative elves living in the dense woods of the Internet were also hard at work minutes after the eventful meet and greet, and came up with the following memes in order to mock both of them, because yeah:
- One elf in particular went even further and created a simple online game in which you have to avoid Macri’s handshake. If he grabs your hand, you lose. Unfortunately you can only play the game on java-enabled Internet Explorer, so only those of you living in 2002 will be able to enjoy it.
- 8) ALF HAPPENED.- Leave it to this country to reminisce about a time that is no longer relevant. For reasons we don’t really understand, ALF is still a thing in Argentina. Not only that, ALF still is in Argentina. And he was an election official, checking DNIs and stuff, and was seen standing in line to vote.
I have no idea what the hell is going on here, who’s behind it or why they are doing it. But this is Argentina, the country of “anything goes” so let’s not try to understand.
I can’t wait for October.