Monday, September 06, 2010

The Hyena's Laughter

I just spent 18 days in the capital of the Bolivarian Revolution, which also happens to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. There was a huge uproar while I was there because the former Minister of Communications and current head of a government TV news channel appeared on a CNN en Español segment about the crime problem in Venezuela and he laughed about the crime statistics.
I heard reports that he had laughed, and I imagined his laughter to be more of a sarcastic, dismissive smirk, but then I saw the segment on internet.
Basically, you had to be there. It was harrowing.
Here was this dude, listening to the other talking head's laundry list of homicide statistics off camera, and you could hear him guffawing and laughing hard, as if he was listening to Don Rickles. Then they cut to him and he is literally slapping his thigh with forced, insincere, brutally mocking laughter. To add insult to injury, behind him is an oil painting of none other than Fidel Castro's mug.
Why the portrait of the head of another state? I find this even more offensive to the people of Venezuela.
When he finally could put on a straight face, the minister chose to answer with informal language that was more suited to a drunken discussion at a bar than an international news program. That the man has not been asked to resign by his boss is amazing to me, but Venezuelans just shrug it off. Never going to happen, they say.
The Fidel Castro effigy is not a coincidence. Castro is good at this kind of heavy, dripping sarcasm he has been directing at his imperialist nemesis for almost fifty years. It's the same bitterly unfunny, witless sense of humor of Maoist mock trials, as hilarious as putting dunce caps on intellectuals. It is childish, defensive, resentful and deeply patronizing. It's the cowardly behavior of a bully. Of course, the government will say that the enemies of the regime are making up the numbers. In truth, the minister's response would have been adequate if he had said exactly what he said in a dignified way. Instead, he took a tone of savage mockery and disrespect in a country where most people have lost someone they know to violence.

There is nothing I loathe more than Latin American leftist propaganda, with its worn revolutionary clichés, and its shrill, infantile, hysteric defensiveness. I fucking hate it with every fiber of my breathing being.

1 comment:

  1. Hola Judy,

    La de Izarra no es risa de humor sino de burla, justo ayer publicaron en El Nacional una entrevista a Laureano Marquez en la que comenta al respecto del tema. Acá te mando el link:

    Me dio mucho gusto conocerte, pasamos un rato super agradable. Para la próxima los torteloni serán mejores.

    dale saludos a bea.

    que estés bien,