16 May 2007

Assorted oddities

Strange things happen all around us.

Last night I was checking the news for late updates before going to bed, and upon getting to Rosario3.com, I found it had been hacked! Being so stupid, I didn't save the page, except as a snapshot of the screen (which I've edited to conceal a few details about my browser — though you can see it's Firefox). The hacker is someone called "JaCKal", and there's a long text in (what I believe is) Turkish, and an embedded sound file.

If someone can read Turkish, I'd like to know what it says.

Then today (with Rosario3.com back online), I learn that a family in Granadero Baigorria (a city north of Rosario, part of the metropolitan area) is pushing their child's school to make him repeat the 1st year... because they feel it would be best for his education. This wouldn't be nearly as weird if it weren't because last year, after unsuccessfully trying to get the teachers to make up for the classes lost due to strikes, the Ministry of Education of Santa Fe decided that no child would be forced to repeat the first year, as this is bad for the pupil's self-esteem or causes adaptation problems or something like that. Well duh! I can imagine, but being unable to read or count to ten is not good for those things either! The parents say the child has barely the minimum notions, and that they complained to Minister Adriana Cantero by letter before. Cantero said no, and again this time when interviewed. The child was supposed to receive extra courses during the summer to prepare him for 2nd year. Right... Like you're going to make teachers work in the summer...

Next. It's not unusual for Carlos Menem to be in denial, or else to pretend that everything's fine when it's not (though being half-senile helps). But when your wife, the mother of your youngest child, appears worldwide in paparazzi's pictures, sunbathing topless beside a well-known Italian businessman, you can't just say "for some time we've had an agreement that we'd make our lives what we believe is most convenient". As Página/12's Sandra Russo says, the expression is one of those euphemisms that you use when you don't know to utter the word "sex" (as in "not getting any"), only in this case Menem tried to keep another word unmentioned: cornudo — cuckold. Russo speculates that Menem's wife, former Miss Universe Cecilia Bolocco, will now initiate a new career, like a mature Britney Spears, and if that were the case, her hit song could be something like "My Life After the Non-Reelected Old Man".

The last oddity for today is the reaction to the assault on the Constitución station in Buenos Aires by our fearless leader, who's giving more and more alarming signs that he needs urgent professional help. "There are some characters without shame (sinvergüenzas) and we're going to respond by kicking where it's due, because we've got compromises with nobody but the people." And then he went on one of those tirades against the 1990s and how the train system had been dismantled while nobody (of those who're scandalized now) complained. Hmm. The people in power back then were the same as today, give or take a few names — by any means they were the same party. No, no, I'm sure he didn't mean that.

Anyway, I don't get what he says. Kicking who? The state should kick itself for subsidizing a company that has already shown it can't manage a railway, and doing a general audit of the train system. The national state pays private companies 2 million pesos a day to keep the ticket at a ridiculously low price, so that the impoverished workers of Greater Buenos Aires can travel cheap (if bunched up like cattle) while the rest of the country pays ever larger public transport fees. And travel like cattle, mostly. I don't see the state doing much better than in the 1990s here.


  1. cecilia bolocco is so famous over here in chile that she has a noun named after her..."un boloccazo".


    her husband isn't much respected in chile-he's just seen as a dirty old lech...similar to what people think of him in argentina!

  2. Pablo -

    I'm sure that if you were Cecilia Bolocco and married to the "Master of Lies", you'd be faithful ;-) Anyway, isn't he still married to Zulema Yoma in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

    The hacked page is defintely in Turkish - run a google search on jackal + hacked ... Sorry but I've forgotten all the Turkish I once knew (which wasn't much). Anyway, in Istanbul you don't have to know any Turkish to buy a carpet. The carpet sellers look at how you are dressed, and then decide in which language to start their pitch. If you don't look like you understand, they move on to the next language, and so on.

    Speaking of your fearless leader, who do you think will stand for the upcoming national election - pingüino o pingüina?



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