Scooping Argentina is back!
After a lengthy hiatus, I’ve finally installed Final Cut Pro on my new laptop and am back in the saddle again, ready to shoot and edit new videos for your viewing pleasure.
All new videos will be shot and posted in HD. You should be able to watch them full-screen.
This one is from the now classic “lunfardo” series. Enjoy.
My friend Brian Byrnes over at CNN flew across Argentina recently to meet with the philanthropist Doug Tompkins (founder of the clothing giants The North Face and ESPIRIT) and look at his environmental work in the country.
The result of the trip is a very interesting video. Unfortunately, CNN videos can’t be embedded on blogs like this, but you can watch the video in a new window by clicking here.
A Retro Cine Film Festival will open to the public from November 6-8, screening such 1980s classics as Top Gun, E.T., Back to the Future, The Never Ending Story, and, the greatest of them all, Goonies.
The retro fest will take place at the Atlas Cine on Santa Fe 2015, in Barrio Norte.
For more information, previews and show times, click here.
A friend of mine wrote the following letter and sent it to the newspaper La Nación, which published it last week in its Letters to the Editor section. It’s a moving message of hope that I wanted to share with you here.
Despite the Robbery, Hope and Happiness Prevailed
On August 10, someone broke into my car and stole everything I had in it. Among other things, they took my laptop, which contained all of my work and personal information.
A month later I got an email from an unknown email address. It read:
“Natalia, we don’t know each other. Last week I sent you a DVD with all of the files that were on your laptop that was stolen from you. In a package I sent you, you’ll find an envelop with an explanation of what happened. I hope it’s useful to you. Saludos cordiales.”
I went to the post office and got the package. It contained a DVD and a letter. The letter said:
“Natalia, we don’t know each other. I am a computer repairman. A few days ago a person came into my store, bringing a laptop with him. He asked me to reformat it for him. It was evident that the laptop had been stolen. I realized this once I saw the information that was stored on the laptop. I asked the guy where he got the laptop. He said, “I bought it from a kid for 400 pesos.”
“If we were in a country where institutions work like they’re supposed to, I would have reported this guy to the police and the justice system would have taken care of this. But we both know that things don’t work that way here. If I had reported the guy to the police, he would have said he bought the laptop in good faith. Then, later on, he would have made my life impossible.”
“If I had not formatted the laptop, somebody else would have done it and all of your valuable information would have been lost forever. So I formatted your laptop, but not before making a backup of all your information. That information is yours, and surely it’s very valuable to you. I don’t know you, I don’t know who you are, but these kind of things make me feel very bad.”
“I created an email account so that when you get this DVD, you can confirm it’s receipt to me. Your files are still on my “pen-drive” and I won’t delete them until I know that you’ve received them properly. I hope to have helped you out at least a little by doing this.”
I couldn’t help but become very emotional about this. I felt a profound sense of happiness and strong hope. If we see the world as full of possibility, we can change it. If we treat each other with greater care and commitment, we can build a better Argentina.
It’s good to know that the person who sent me this DVD will be able to leave his children with a legacy of values like this. You see, there still are honest people in the world.
Natalia Fossati: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most Argentines consider the Falkland Islands to be an important issue, according to a new survey.
According to the polling firm Ibarómetro, 79% of those polled said the islands – known here as Las Malvinas – are either pretty or very important to the country.
Almost 84% of those surveyed said “the United Kingdom is violating Argentina’s sovereign right to the islands.”
Interestingly, about 53% said they don’t know if they agree with the 1982 dictatorship’s decision to go to war with the UK over the islands. Thirty-three percent said they agree while 15% disagree.
Finally, although Argentines think the issue is important, they’re not all convinced that it’s necessary to vote for political candidates who harbor on the issue.
Less than half of those polled (47%) said they vote based on a candidate’s position regarding the Falklands. Thirty percent said they don’t care about a candidate’s stance while 23% said “it’s not the most important issue” when voting.
Al Gore, the Nobel Prize winning former vice president of the United States, is in Argentina.
Gore will give four talks around the country on Wednesday and Thursday. He’ll be speaking first in the Buenos Aires suburb of Tigre Wednesday, then later at La Rural in Palermo. On Thursday he’ll give a talk in Mendoza and another in San Luis.
Click here for more information.
General details follow:
Tigre at 11am, Wednesday ($500 pesos, $100 for students)
La Rural at 4pm, Wednesday ($500 pesos, $100 for students)
Mendoza at 11am, Thursday ($500 pesos, $100 for students)
San Luis at 5pm, Thursday ($480 pesos)
*This post has been updated to better reflect the more nuanced perspective which I wished to convey in the original post.
It’s been almost exactly 10 years since this advertisement hit Argentina’s airwaves. It was in many ways a triumphant moment for Carlos Menem, the former president. At the same time, it was a low point, with his approval rating hovering below 30% despite years in power.
Though detractors easily forget or simply – though often fairly and accurately – dismiss his achievements, Menem accomplished many positive things for the country.
Menem is now demonized in black and white terms that are unfair to both him and the nation. That’s not to say, of course, that Menem was a saint. Clearly, he wasn’t. Not all of his actions benefited the country. Indeed, some of them actively damaged the country in ways that still have repercussions today. His legacy has been forever tarnished by allegations of corruption, illegal arms trading and a host of other excesses.
But like so many things in history, Menem’s presidency cannot be fairly critiqued in binary terms. He was in power for about decade, longer than any other president in Argentine history, during which time he radically transformed the Argentine economy, the country’s infrastructure, and the world’s view of Argentina.
Argentina’s modern, functioning telecommunications, transportation and hospital infrastructure networks exist today largely because of policies pursued by Menem. And yet much of Menem’s legacy and reputation – perhaps rightly so – have come undone in recent years.
Yet it doesn’t benefit the country to dismiss Menem’s presidency in blanket terms. Doing so provides us with only part of the picture and therefore hinders our ability to learn from Menem’s achievements – and yes – his mistakes. His privatization policies brought great reform but also at great cost to the government’s credibility because of questions about how the privatizations were carried out.
To learn from Menem’s legacy, it would behove all of us to study it objectively, acknowledging what went wrong but also what went right.
It may well be that the negatives outweigh the positives. But we can only know this if we fairly evaluate the Menem legacy from beginning to end. To paint his government in simpleton terms does justice to no one. It merely perpetuates partisan bickering that lead us nowhere positive.
Few presidents, like few humans, are entirely black or white creatures. Our achievements, as well as our moral compasses, sometimes point in different directions and are sometimes better understood in terms of degrees or shades of color instead of in black and white. To deny this is to deny human nature.
This video is a preview to the next post, which will look at how Argentine presidents tend to attack and undo everything done by their predecessors.
For a fascinating and more detailed look at Menem’s presidency, check out this 1999 Newsweek article.
An exhibit highlighting the work of the famous U.S. artist Andy Warhol will open in Buenos Aires later this month.
The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, or MALBA, will host the exhibit, dubbed Mr. America.
It’ll be the first major exposition of Warhol’s work in Argentina. The exhibit is being organized in conjunction with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, where Warhol was born.
The MALBA exhibit contains 140 works, including 26 paintings, 39 photographs and other materials, in addition to 17 films.
There’s plenty of time to see the exhibit. It’ll be in town through February 22.
Where: MALBA Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415
Contact: email@example.com or 4808-6500
When: October 23-February 22
For more info about museum hours and costs, click here.
The magnificent Teatro Colón, one of the world’s theatrical wonders, has been given the dubious distinction of appearing on a list of the world’s most endangered monuments list.
The anuual list, which was released Monday by the World Monuments Fund, includes 93 “at-risk” sites in 47 countries.
As for the Colón, it says the following:
“Widely recognized as the most important opera house in the Americas and one of the best in the world, Teatro Colón is an icon of excellence in the operatic tradition. This renowned institution is known for its high production standards: everything on stage is made at the theater’s legendary workshops by specialized technicians, artisans, and artists who maintain a skilled craftsmanship now lost in many parts of the world.” (more…)
In this video the fine folks over at Al Jazeera take a look at the bizarre story of Argentina’s “medicine mafia” and the fake or adulterated drugs that it sold to people, even dying people, who desperately needed them.
As Argentina debates a proposal by President Cristina Fernández to raise taxes on technological products, Uruguay is moving forward with a revolutionary plan to ensure that every child, and every teacher, in the country has a computer.
This video provides a surprisingly interesting – if not picturesque and bucolic – look at the program and its accomplishments.
Kudos to my buddy Julian Gallo for the link.
Wikipedia Link: The Ceibal Project
Link: World Politics Review on Uruguay’s Project
Just watch it, preferably in complete silence, with nothing to disturb you or your thoughts.
I found this incredibly interesting, though it left me feeling that there’s a lot to this entire era that I simply don’t understand and perhaps never will.
Link: Al Jazeera People & Power: Interrogating a Torturer