Chile From Within

Gringos En Chile, by Cinco Metros

Posted in Andes Mountains, Chile culture, Chile film, People and Places, Santiago, US, Viva Chile by tomasdinges on December 12, 2007

Picking up on the what-its-like-to-live-and-survive-in-Chile-as-a-foreigner conversation over at Don Güill’s Chile blog C.hileno this is an incredible opportunity to feature the excellent short “docu-fiction” by up and coming documentary filmmaker and editor Anthony Rauld about life and love in Chile. Anthony’s newest documentary, created by Lauren Rosenfeld, is about life and water and a big gold mine called Pascua Lama in the Atacama Desert, “Watershed.”

Part II can be found on YouTube here.

Chile in the News (alternative title, “Prostitute auctions sex for charity”)

Posted in chile, Chile culture, People and Places, Santiago, US, Viva Chile by tomasdinges on December 5, 2007

Monocle magazine in its recent issue 8, Volume 1, declares that the architectural debate over the future of the burnt down Diego Portales building, a legacy to when gray architecture brought together Allende (who had it designed and built) and Pinochet (who placed the governing Junta’s offices within it). The gray days of fascism meet the gray facade of socialism. It’s a cute mention, but short. Im thinking they reacted to the letter to the editor posted by the architect of the phenomenally ugly building which ruined the Lastarria neighborhood, in El Mercurio late August. A copy of the discussion in El Mercurio about the debate over the future of the building can be found at the blog Plataforma Urbana here.

Los Detectives Salvajes by Roberto Bolano, and translated by Natasha Wimmer, has been named one of the ten best books of the year by the NY Times. NYC (James Wood) , in a review, is all over Bolano’s junk, as is the guy who commented to me about the cool yellow and black hardcover underneath my arm as I got on the train. On the day of its publication the article was the most emailed article of the NY Times website. Im reading it right now. Its cerebral, and he likes poets. Go Arturo. The book is a “clever autobiograhy” that seems to be about visceral realists roaming Mexico City, Paris, Barcelona, having sex and doing some mild drugs…and reading/writing/talking poetry. Was also in top five of WashPost..a fact which El Mercurio was so sharp as to pick up, despite that the relevance of a WashPost book review for fiction is significantly less than that of NYT. Dumbasses.

Speaking of the WashPost, Don Guill, writer of the Chile blog C.hileno, published a short article in the Spider (you know, like Google technology) blog section this past weekend. This time Sebastian Pinera, principal share owner of airline LanChile (which recently put in an order for like 30 or so Boeing’s, for $1.5 billion over 5 years) is serious about running for President of Chile. So serious that he even got himself a Facebook profile. Oh, digital life. What is next, a Second Life avatar? Not far fetched I’d argue. So, which do I highlight, the Washpost article, or Will’s blog entry?

I was in Penn Station killing time going from the ebony skin mags to other things and found ANOTHER story on Nomads of the Seas I think it was GQ, late in doing a story about the luxury fly-fishing operation in Patagonia. Read about the concept, heli-fishing, in Portfolio (April 2007) The service offers helicopter transport to remote lakes and streams in the Chilean Patagonia, as well as Jet Boat and Zodiac motoring. My draft blog entry was written and never finished like six months ago, when the specialty magazines (luxury/fishing) wrote about it and I checked out the spelling error plagued and khaki/ olive green themed website by Leo Prieto. The fancy, custom boat, for the fancy custom (or self-made?) clients cost $22 million dollars. The original crew are ex-military folks (are they ever ex-military?) including a former bodyguard for Pinochet. I think he is a different generation and was not a part of the real nasty stuff, just the regular nasty stuff.Maria Carolina

The WashPost did another blog post, about call girl Maria Carolina , who donated a days worth of labor (about USD$5000)…all 27 hours of sex, to the Teleton, a famous charity telethon for disabled kids which mobilizes all of Chile around Mario Kreutzberger (famous host of Sabado Gigante and now producer of a movie called Testigos de Silencio about his Jewish heritage (google Elissa Strauss shortly)).

“I’ve already auctioned off the 27 hours of love,” Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. “One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him.

Teleton donation It is normally a family affair. Check out the comments on the WashPost blog.

What they do in the Chilean press, instead of writing about the erratic leadership style and disapproval of Bachelet (November 34.2% approval, 44.2% disapproval), is publish first-person narratives about an author’s first time with a dildo, in this case, Sally Sea (diámetro: progresivo hasta 4 cm. en la base), provided to her by a gringa named Japi Jane the sex shop Sexy in the City in Santiago. Thank God for America.

Oh, and in the real basement of this commentary is news that El Mercurio has teamed up with el Instituto Chile-Norteamericano for translation services for an english language wire service contribution. What is most revealing is that once translated from Spanish to English, you realize the extents to how lame-culo El Mercurio is of its subject-friends, or the opposite for its enemies), like for example in business. Or maybe this is just the nature of the translators..who knows. Maybe I’m being unfair.

The way, way basement…always the best stuff, is that Stuart Copeland, drummer for The Police, made a sexist comment about the two female president’s of South America, Cristina Kirchner, recently elected Presi of Argentina, and our Michelle Bachelet of Chile, recently featured as a banner on the Columbia University Website.

The joke had to do with beer goggles…yikes…two beers for President Kirchner and four beers for President Bachelet. Sounds like a drunk comment from the dressing room. (remember that Sting song about the disappeared ones…he actually goes way back (to the ’80s) with Chile and human rights)

And if you got this far, I might as well as put in some real news, that Bachelet, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Lula of Brazil will have a meeting…It was to be this upcoming Tuesday, but apparently has been postponed by Lula for internal reasons, according to La Nacion (of Chile). This is truly an interesting meeting, basically because Chavez isn’t invited. I hope it happens. Also, follow the Wall Street Journal coverage of Chavez and Latin America…those writers are fucking crazy, I think. It also comes on the cusp of the voting for the Asamblea Constituyente, and the visit to the US by a bunch of representatives…wait..a visit the OAS and the UN by four conservative state representatives (crucial for voting) asking for intervention, and according to Evo Morales statements, help in rescuing their homeboy, ex-president Sanchez de Losada from a genocide charges in court. See this La Nacion article

Shit is going down in Bolivia…Hey look, Global Voices to the rescue, in a country where there is coverage by bloggers. READ THIS RUN DOWN OF BLOGS IN BOLIVIA DESCRIBING LA GRAN CAGADA QUE ESTA PASANDO ALLI.

I reduce (like in cooking) one editorial comment by WSJ this past week, on A20 of the Dec. 3rd edition, by Mary Anastasia O’Grady, titled…”

If a Democracy Falls in the Andes…

” But further south in Bolivia, where Chavez ally President Evo Morales has been trying to consolidate power in a similar fashion, democracy took an even more direct hit last week.

…Earlier this year on Bolivian radio, Mr. Morales said that he was taking Fidel Castro’s advice to avoid an armed uprising and instead “make transformations, democratic revolutions, what Chavez is doing.”

…So last week his government moved to resolve the problem by employing the military, the national police and paramilitaries to physically block elected members of the opposition from entering the constituent assembly in Sucre and the national legislature in La Paz — so that it could push through its centralizing agenda.”

…These events didn’t get much international attention, but they signal that the government has decided to accelerate its accumulation of power in La Paz through the use of force. It is said that Mr. Morales’s vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, is heading up this project and this doesn’t bode well for democracy. The upper-middle-class Marxist of European extraction from Cochabamba has a record of leading “armed struggle” in indigenous communities that goes back decades. All indications are that the tiger has not lost his taste for brute force.”

…mention of Ahmadinejad visit to La Paz.

“…Thirty years later Bolivia‘s potential to destabilize remains.”

…The U.S. ought to also be concerned about the tinder-box issue of poverty. Mr. Morales has used this misery — and his indigenous background — to rally support for his socialism….a retrograde experiment.”

…This then is the “democracy” of Mr. Morales and Mr. Garcia Linera. It’s hardly surprising. Their power came about illegitimately, with dynamite and road blocks that brought down two elected governments. In the short run, Bolivians may have no recourse. But a good first step from the international community would be a recognition that the democracy has been struck down, even if no one heard it fall.”