Or is it Argentine? At the first International Dance Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentinean judge and newspaper reporter Jorge Lafauci was recorded as saying that the "Mexicans are the ugliest; the only good looking Mexicans are on TV".
Now we all know from our history and our current events that Argentineans are a squirrelly bunch. Maybe it's the water, maybe it's the air, maybe it's because Argentina is located so far away from anything that isolation contributes to the national state which is best characterized as 'stupidly depressed.' Or at times, 'depressingly stupid.'
Look at their national heroes, the most famous being ex-soccer star Diego Armando Maradona. Now there is certainly a persona all the Argentinean youth can look up to. Diego has recently taken up politics and since he has already made his cash is now extolling the virtues of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Diego is no dummy. One day he will be telling the world how great and democratic Castro's Cuba is and the next he's entering a Cuban rehab center to dry out from his cocaine habit.
And then there are the Kirchners, the lovely couple that are jealous of the USA like Maradona and all the other Argentineans are. Like the intellectual Maradona, President Mr. Kirchner likes to rub elbows with all the revolutionaries like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. Being the astute politico that he is, Kirchner loves to blast the imperialist USA whenever he gets the chance.
Kirchner seems to have forgotten that not too many years back the World Bank and those Ugly Americans bailed out Argentina from monetary collapse. Were it not for the World Bank, Maradona would even have trouble paying for his Cuban rehab. Well, guess what amigos, looks like it could have been so much fun that Argentina may be headed down another path to doom as inflation has recently reared its head.
Besides, the Argentines don't seem particularly bothered by it all. It's business as usual. Since Argentina doesn't really make anything except T-bones they don't have much to lose by setting up another bail out. And for you that knew that Kirchner's term is up and there could be a chance for the enlightened Argentinean electorate to make amends, well, they have. True to their collective wisdom, they elected the Mrs. Kirchner as President Mrs. Now there is a society that knows what's happening. Remind you of someone?
Ha! This tradition was started by the Perons. Juan died and his lovely wife Eva became presidente, as in the Broadway play 'Evita'. The Perons are national heroes which sets the tone since both sold out the country and were about as inept as national heroes come.
The Argentineans blame their problems on their hot Latin anger and the U.S.; they are known worldwide for their famous temper tantrums. However, the problem is not one of anger management but one of lack of mental horsepower. Take the Falkland War with Britain, for instance. All the Argentines got mad and considered the Falklands theirs and decided to declare war, kick some Brit butt and take it back. The result was they got wiped and had to broker a truce thus proving my point. One normally doesn't start a war with a bigger foe that can run over you. Che knew that and had enough sense to hide in the jungles. Wasn't Che Argentine?
And just think of the contributions Argentinean culture has made to the world. The tango, steaks and gauchos. And, and, and...
What else? We Mexicans have mariachis, novela soap operas, tequila, tacos, chiles rellenos and Diego and Frieda Rivera not to be confused with the Diego Buffoon Maradona. The Argentineans have funny dressed cowboys singing goofy old cowboy songs as they grill a couple of Rib-eyes. Doesn't get any better than that, no? What a cultural legacy!
Ever hear any Gringos say 'we're going to Buenos Aires for the holidays!' That's why you see so many Argentineans in Cancun; they secretly want to be Gringos. The Argentines are angry because the Mexicans are so close to the Promised Land. Argentina seems so far away. It seems that way because it is.
But that's their national character. You know them well. They will badmouth you and your kin and then ask for a loan. Well, next time the bottom falls out of their economy let Hugo and Fidel bail them out. It has to be public sector because the private sector knows that that the terms Argentina and well managed finances are mutually exclusive.
And let's face it. If all the Argentines have is their good looks then even that is at risk as their gene pool is diluted. The Kirchners aren't so pretty and Maradona is downright ugly, before, during and even after rehab.
But hey, it's all in good fun. Obviously this kind of TV dance programming is very important to the future of Argentina. If the Argentineans discover they too can dance, it will do wonders for their deflated national esteem. Maybe it will even lower their anger threshold as it's harder to get angry when dancing.
But we Mexicans know how to get even. The national Argentina soccer team name has been replaced by Los Feos. Forever more. We uglies know how to cope and we know that I'm rubber and you're glue and what bounces off me will stick on you.
Despite the rantings of Mardona and the Kirchners, Argentina will survive. We will all bury the hatchet and become hermanos and hermanas once again. Just because we are publicly told we are ugly doesn't mean we will stoop to childish, vindictive vendettas.
But seriously, besides the tango, steaks, gauchos and mediocre soccer, what else?
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Jack D. Deal is a resident of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico and Santa Cruz, California. Related articlesmay be found at www.jddeal.com and www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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