Chile From Within

“You know ( Bachelet ) she is the Chilean Obama”

Posted in chile, Chile culture, Viva Chile by tomasdinges on June 25, 2009

On Tuesday, minutes after Obama dodged a question about US culpability for the 1973 coup in Chile, the Chilean press pool asks for a photo opportunity with Obama after his press conference and meeting with President Bachelet. They ask him for a photo, he stammers, seemingly in disbelief.  They then proceed to walk outside, almost forget about their own President Bachelet, the Chilean Obama, according to one of great little video by Fox news White House reporter and blogger Anna Siegfriedt.

The assorted prensurri clamored to be around Obama, and say something, anything, like, for example, “You know she is the Chilean Obama,” said one, who I believe is Constanza Santa Maria, from Canal 13 (immediately left of Obama, with short brown hair.”

The comment by the Chilean reporter set off a wave of Twitter comparisons in self-deprecating, and highly revealing irony, and a blog post by Miguel Paz.

“En Estados Unidos se acostumbra que el Presidente se retrate con los periodistas. En Chile, no tanto. En Estados Unidos los periodistas acostumbran a hacerle preguntas difíciles al Presidente. En Chile, no. Esperemos que esta foto sirva de precedente en ambos aspectos,” said Paz in a Gchat today.

SQP is the Chilean E! The Soup Hospital de Talca is the chilean “Hostel” La Torre Entel is the chilean Statue of Liberty

3:44 PMRafa Araneda is the chilean Ryan Seacrest.
Ponerse en 20 uñas is the chilean Doggy Style
and so and so
El PC armado is the chilean DELL

Comparisons ranged from the historical:

Combate Naval de Iquique is the chilean Pearl Harbor

to the culinary:

Randomfull: Sopaipa is the chilean pretzel.

to the political:
dlazo: Lily Pérez is the chilean Sarah Palin.
dennistobar: Pinochet is the chilean ¿Saddam Hussein?
(with Pinochet I only found two references making him equivalent to Hitler, and a handful to Franco. Pinochet is noticeably absent in this grand conversation.)
to the entreprenuerial:
Daniel Undurraga @eldani is the chilean Mark Zuckerberg jaja! | cierto
to the cultural trends again:
dlandsk: RT @drblood: ¿Pirata is the chilean blockbuster? <- JAJAJ y no es chiste
to the insulting and funny:
tinchocalderon: Paty Maldonado is the Chilean Susan Boyle
to the insightful commentary about Chilean class aspirations:
sophiekitt: Celular de palo is the chilean iPhone
to the geo-political/immigrant commentary:
Outhen: @Contu Jajajaja alunos muy buenoos..pero gusto el “peru is the chilean mexico” xD!
to the cultural again:
Catherine Orellana is the chilean Rihanna
oscarcubillos: Aplaplac is the Chilean Harvard University
natryst: Puente Pio Nono is the chilean Brooklyn Bridge xd
diegovb: “Lanzaso” is the chilean stealing style

dlandsk: callate culiao is the chilean STFU
It goes on and on, independent, spontaneous and unique transmogrifications of Chilean cultural icons to American ones. I don’t know if it an exercise that strengthens Chilean cultural icons, or dilutes them by pairing them with an American counterpart.
But, it does function as an incredibly useful cultural dictionary and a guide, because I would argue if the comparisons are not primarily earnest and a reasonable approximation, they are ironic and contradictory and thus reflective of how the consistently wry Chilean humor deals with the often infuriating experience of living in Chile, as a Chilean or otherwise.