News or telenovelas?

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, because I’m laid low with a cold I have been watching lots of TV. This is not a normal pastime for me, and doubtful that it will ever become one. But I must say I have seen a wide variety of programs…

There is music: MTV, Telehit, and the not-to-be-missed: Bandamex. The “cultural” channels offer classical music and concerts from time to time. Of course there are also a wide variety of “American Idol” – type talent search shows.

The telenovela channel is not the only place to see your favorite Spanish      language soap opera… they are on several stations, in some form or another 24-7. (By the way, watching these is an excellent way to learn Spanish , and I’m not kidding…)

Sit-coms are plentiful but the funny ones are pretty much all vintage

Sports, sports, sports – they are well represented. Personally I adhere to my friend Marianne’s philosophy and have no interest in any game that involves a ball.

Sometimes there are movies – mind you, not recently released ones. In fact on Sunday I watched “The Fugitive” with Harrison Ford…

Tons of randy doctors on medical shows, clairvoyant vampires teleporting through the Universe, and a guy who whispers to dogs are there for your viewing pleasure.

Religious channels are meant make you feel saintly, especially the program conducted by a nun (in full habit) who is the spitting image of Sister Constance, the principal at my parochial elementary school.

Then there are the News channels. Stay away from them! I warn you… They are way scarier than any of the Detectives vs. The Bad Guys shows or the gruesome horror flicks.

Last night CNN Español’s interviewer Carmen Arestegui had two guests who spoke about the alarming number of drug-related deaths on the American continent. Do you know that 150,000 people have been killed in the period of a year? That is just NOT possible you say. But in fact, it’s true. Corruption, greed, graft, coercion and other nasty business is blamed for the phenomena. But why isn’t anyone pointing a finger at the drug users? If they didn’t buy the stuff, there would be no market, and maybe some of the 150,000 would be alive today.

It is unfathomable to me that the governments of the major user nations are not doing more to stop the demand. I hear so much blah-blah-blah about how they can do very little to prosecute either buyers or sellers – there are too many and they clog up the courts, which need to be kept accessible for more serious cases.  I don’t know about you but I think it is pretty serious to be part of a collective act that contributes to 150,000 peoples’ deaths.

Last fall I had occasion to drive through Vancouver’s east end. The hundreds of stoners were a pitiful sight to see. But sorry, I didn’t feel pity. I wanted to get out of the car and ask them, “Do you know how many people died so that you could do this to yourself?”

Some feel drugs should be legalized and then there would be no drug cartels. I beg to differ… alcohol and cigarettes are legal but you can still buy them for a price at a clandestino – off hours illegal liquor “outlets.”

So, if these Catch-22 scenarios upset you as they do me… be smart and stay away from your TV news! Watch telenovels instead…

Thank you Google Images for the visuals…

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8 Comments

Filed under Vida Latina

8 responses to “News or telenovelas?

  1. By “our culture” do you mean the north of the Rio Bravo one, or the one here. Mexican narcotics use, while it has “shot up” (pun intended) is still a fraction of that of wealthy countries like the U.S. and Canada. As a culture they are still “blaming others” and unwilling to take that first step of all recovery programs… admitting there is a problem.

    I grew up in the wine country of western New York, and my father made a very good living selling industrial tubing and vales to the wineries. I’d no more blame my neighboring farmers and business suppliers like my father for alcoholism than I would say anything about my Sinaloan farmer neighbors finding a crop that willing consumers will buy and … I’m not sure how much, if any, I can really condemn… ahem… “business suppliers” for meeting the demand of those north of the border.

    Let them deal with their own problems. No reason at all Mexicans should die, or be expected to kill each other, because foreigners want our produce. If THEY don’t want it, let THEM not buy it… or let their governments pay our farmers not to produce. Plant trees and call it biosphere protection if it bothers one’s conscience. And spend the money now used for prisons, guns, bureaucrats, “Plan Merida,” etc. for rehabilitation. Alas, too sensible as long as the corrupt Canadian and U.S. and Mexican officials are profiting fro the trade.

    • In my post I talk about the American continent’s 150,000 drug-related deaths. When I say that some of “our” communities have been devastated by drugs, I refer to the many ways this has come about. Either by adiction, violence, intimidation, insecurity… whatever. Selling industrial equipment to a winery is hardly the same as the illegal export of the chemicals used to concoct meth’ and other synthetics in Mexico. I think that comparing the two is stretching it. As for us all dealing with “our” own problems… I don’t believe it is quite that easy and neither is rehabilitation. Paying farmers not to plant… good idea I say.

  2. smokesilver

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  3. norm

    I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I think it is all about the money and it is not just the outlaws who are worried about their golden goose being killed.

    • Point made… the corruption at every level is unbelievable. But still, something needs to be done. Most of us live in a bubble where we have the luxury of indulging in the occasional cool “vice” But how would we feel if we lived in one of the areas that have been destroyed by the effects of the drug culture. In such places there’s no way out. I think the people who feel that hopelessness must have a different take on the issue. Every day I count my blessings…

  4. norm

    Vice is something people indulge in, it is normal, to make something that is normal against the law goes against my grain. Laws should be for things like killing folks, stealing, bearing false witness, that kind of thing. If we learned anything from the 20s, it is that regular people of all stripes are going to engage in vice, the law or no law. To make the outlaws the source of the product that people abuse is asking for trouble. People are not perfect, to ask them to be perfect under threat of the law is to abuse the law and what it is for, it is to keep the peace. A war on ones own population is not what the law is for but I will say: that war pays a whole lot of peoples’ bills-it is not cheap keeping people in cages.

    • Everyone is entitled to their opinion Norm but I feel the drug culture has encroached so far into our everyday lives that it has morphed from “personal vice” into an all-pervasive threat. It might not be cheap to “keep people in cages” but it isn’t cheap to sustain what drugs have done to society either… not to mention what could lie down the road. I believe it has gotten way out of hand.

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