Friday, October 23, 2009

Uno Tango Mas

The most important thing a United States citizen can do while traveling abroad is make egregious exaggerations about an EXOTIC faraway land based on his or her limited, subjective experience while in said land, all the while maintaining an air of solemnity. It's in that vein that I'll spit some truth at y'all about Buenos Aires, about Argentina, about South America, and about the human condition as a whole. Here we go!

So, first of all, it turns out that Thomas Friedman was right. I know, I know, I hate to say it too, but the man has a point. Not about Globalization, god no. And not about the inherent goodness of US-backed invasions or global financial institutions (IMF, World Bank, etc.). No, no. He is, was, and will remain wrong about all of those things. But he sure is right about how tempting it is to talk to a cabbie and then subscribe that dude's views to an entire country!

That totally happened to us. Leez and I were taking a cab to one of the recovered factories (more to come on those later) and we started talking politics with the driver. I say "we," but it was mostly her. My Spanish limits me to saying things like, "America is very not the best!" and "I am very a leftist!", which in truth is basically all I do here. I just dress it up with some fancy hyperlinks.

The cabbie, and therefore all of BA, told us that he liked the economic policies of Keynes--government spending on social programs, put simply--because it was good for the people. Simple enough! Somebody tell Paul Krugman to keep up the good work.

Today we went to a demonstration to dissolve the UCEP, a paramilitary group that goes out at night to "clean the city" of homeless people. It's not clear to me if the UCEP is government sponsored, or if the government just looks the other way while they go out and beat people. Either way, no me gusta. The march itself was a small one, but there were all sorts of different leftist groups represented, drums and firecrackers and all. Pictures are on the way.

On a personal note, now I'm a master Tango dancer. We've gone to classes the last two nights, and I took to the Tango like a fish to water. I don't at all look like a lost White Dude who doesn't speak the language. Nope, not this guy. Hell, tonight I might teach the lesson, en espanol. When you walk in, the lady at the door says, "bailante!" (you dance!) and I said, "Claro que si, mi amor." (Of course, my love.) Then I went out on that dance floor, and showed these Argentinians how it's done. Yep, that's me all right. I'm also an astronaut, so, you know, no big deal.

My Google Reader has about ten million unread items, and I have the same amount of podcasts I have to listen to to get up to speed with what's happening in Los Estados Unidos. If anything crazy has happened, let me know in comments. If we're still just continuing two occupations and talking about maintaining and strengthening a corrupt health care system, I don't want to know. I'll be back stateside on Tuesday, when normal blogging will resume. Por ahora, adios amigos.

1 comment:

Unkie J said...

In 1980 I jumped in a cab in Times Square with some friends and when we asked the cabdriver (a man born in the US) how safe it was to drive a hack in good old NYC he pulled out a pistol, stated waving it around and said in a heated voice "If anyone fucks with me, I'll blow their fucking heads off! No questions asked!" As the cab bounced up and down from the numerous potholes, we watched in horror as the gun bounced in tandem. He eventually stopped ranting, put the pistol away and sped us to our destination for a very fair price and we gave a generous tip. Of course he could've driven around the island five times and I doubt anyone would've said anything.