Monday, April 28, 2003


Raven is pecking thoughtfully at his toast.

Penny for your thoughts, guy.

“I was feeling a big blast of pity for the human species. I think it’s the only one where masochism is considered an acceptable lifestyle.”

What gave rise to this?

“Argentina. Where masochism has become a form of mass hysteria. Did you look at the results of the presidential election?”

No time, Rave. I was thinking that another country’s president—one who specializes in washing underwear—should be here helping with my laundry so that I could do things like read the news!

“Ah, The Leo of Your Dreams. Fat chance when it shows him here running around in Brazil. In Argentina they are going to have a run-off election—and it looks as if Menem could end up sitting in the prseidential chair again! Listen to the editorial from La Jornada (loosely translated, of course):

“When it seemed as if all possible catastrophes had taken a crack at Argentina and that nothing worse than what it has suffered up to now in the present century could happen, the verdict of the ballot boxes placed Argentinians before the perspective of a an historical, political and moral involution that could take them right back to the origin of their tragedies: a new presidency of Carlos Saul Menen, the maximum in corruption, the most unscrupulous privatizer, the most frivolous and irresponsible politician—and the principal culprit, in the eyes of the majority, of the socioeconomic nightmare that’s currently beating the crap out of the country.”

Beating the crap out of the country?

“I told you it was a loose translation. It says there were 21 candidates, and that although the voter turnout was around 80%, no candidate received more than 25% of the vote.”

Okay, how does that put Menem back in the Casa Rosada?

“He and Nestor Kirchner were the two who received the most votes, so the runoff election will be between the two of them. Both are “peronistas”, apparently. Incidentally, didn’t they have any whole grain bread in Pochutla?”

Juan and Evita must be spinning in their sarcophagi, Rave. The whole grain bread wasn’t fresh. If you had wanted it for playing carambola, it would have been fine—but for eating, no.

“Too bad. Anyway, I am looking at this situation in Argentina and seeing the handwriting on the wall: even when they have options they seem compelled to make the same bad choices. Over and over.”

Maybe they believe that the devil they know is better than going with an unknown element. Even if that devil put them in the hell they are living in now.

“Look, no bird—no matter how bird-brained—would make a choice like that. It’s not a choice that insures survival. I think your species is doomed to extinction.”

Which sounds bad. But maybe it isn’t really—if pathology implies extinction maybe there is hope for a fresh start?

Rave shrugs. He’s not putting his money on that....

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