We’ve been away for a week, traipsing about the stark beauty San Juan and La Rioja, and in our brief absence it seems that our adopted home has reached the end of days. Beef shortages in Argentina?! That's a modern sign of the Apocalypse. What’s next: a condescension shortage in Paris? A lack of binge dringing in London? The mind reels at the possibilities…
To whit, here’s a brief roundup of the weird and interesting that's happened in our absense. Just notes. No need to bore anyone with in depth pontificating about what’s already gone down, right?
1) Were it not scary enough that people in Argentina just can’t friggin’ drive, now it turns out that it's an international problem: every year, traffic accidents kill more people worldwide that do AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria.
2) As if the farm strike and the attendant lack of beef, weren’t bad enough, the Wall Street Journal’s resident right wing Latin America ideologue Mary Anastasia O’Grady has logged in yet again with an inflammatory, simplistic, and downright inaccurate explanation of the problem. The lead of the story, for example, says that Buenos Aires protestors were protesting “food shortages and inflation” when they were, in fact, expressing solidarity with farmers striking over what they felt were confiscatory export taxes. The food shortages came after. But, hey, what’s so important about accuracy when you’re chasing the right partisan goal?
3) As the current wave of court cases related to the Dirty War, desaparecidos, and stolen babies forces Argentina to relive its last military dictatorship, another chicken has come home to roost: Dirty War offer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo was extradited to Buenos Aires today.
4) Brian Winter’s “Long After Midnight at the Niño Bien: A Yanqui's Missteps in Argentina”, reviewed by Cintra here three weeks ago, gets its due in the Los Angeles Times.
5) The Washingon Post had an interesting piece by a scientist who first visited Argentina during the dictatorship. "The country, it seems, has been able to weep -- and now, to smile. I'd come a long way in three decades, too. Like Argentina, I wept and raved, and finally threw out the bastards. No longer crude, quick-drunk concoctions, we've both been aged in oak barrels -- complexified, deepened, clarified -- and earned a unique signature: a particular pattern of lagrimas, with notes of cherry, lemon and thyme . . . and a long finish."