Almost six million people have watched this video.
Why? I’m not sure. It’s not that interesting. But it’s interesting enough. It’s a tale that’s been told a million times, over and over again, in all countries and in all languages.
Part of what’s interesting about this video, perhaps, for Argentina observers, is that it dispels a couple of myths about the country.
One of those myths is that the cops are all bad, all untrustworthy, corrupt scalawags. That may be the case some of the time, but it’s certainly not the case all of the time, and the attitude of the cop in this video seems to underscore that notion.
He couldn’t be more polite. It’s as if he were cast especially for this role just to show how decent cops behave. Just listen to the way he tells the drunkard to refrain from using vulgarities in the presence of a lady.
Another myth, one that’s often propagated by Argentines themselves, is that everything that’s what’s wrong with the country is the fault of Argentines, themselves. Some problems – alcoholism and drug abuse among them – derive more from human nature and biochemistry than from nationality.
At one point in the video the woman (let’s call her the Good Samaritan) becomes so frustrated by the lack of help from others that she says, “Thanks for nothing, we’re Argentines.” What she’s doing, of course, is denigrating all Argentines because of the actions of a few select people.
By doing so, she’s exaggerating the nature of the problem she’s confronting and illogically extrapolating from it to conclude that the entire nation of Argentina is responsible for the trouble she’s experiencing.
In reality, the events shown in this video could just as easily have taken place in my hometown in Colorado, or in your hometown, or on the streets of New York, or Beijing or Cairo.
Alcoholism, drug abuse, stupidity and violence are universal demons (I’m using the word figuratively) whose causes and consequences are endemic not to one people, or one city or country, but to the entire human race.
Perhaps it’s because of this that so many people, in so many countries, have deemed it worthwhile to watch this video.