Saturday, September 23, 2006

The sad law of unintended consequences

Well, Hugo Chavez, you did it! You finally united the Great American Nation, one and all, in defending George Bush. Both Republicans and Democrats expressed horrified outrage at your comments and you can be credited for making Bush look good, which I doubt was your intention, and which his camp has been trying to do, quite unsuccessfully, since he took office. So Mazel Tov, Hugo, we have you to thank for that. I'm sure Noam Chomsky is also deeply grateful for the plug. You have made a new bestseller. I'm not a fan of Chomsky, but if you can get people in this country to read a book that is not self-help, good for you.
What amazes me is that everybody took you SO seriously. I think that the gringos don't understand what in Spanish we call your "picardía", your sense of mischief. Now, I think you are an unfortunate bufoon, and it doesn't help your cause to be such a cut up, but I have to say, in all honesty, and without irony, that you crack me up.
Like when you had that spat with Mexican president Fox (I think you accused him of being Bush's lapdog) and you, wearing a huge sombrero, sang three ranchera songs, of those filled with rancor, backed by a full blown mariachi band: priceless. Or when you sing songs a capella or feed yogurt to your buddy Fidel... You are a true original and at least you bring some fun to the party.
Sadly, I was just in your country and could see that you pay far more attention to your expensive foreign high jinks than you do to the folks at home. There you are, building roads in Argentina, while the roads in Venezuela would be laughable if they weren't so dangerous. Believe me, the good people of the Bronx and Harlem need your heating oil less than the poor of Venezuela need food and jobs.
The left can't get a break as long as megalomaniac payasos like you and AMLO and Fidel are camping it up, but at least of all of them you are truly the most charming.
Pity that the folks here don't get your sense of humor.

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