I spent an intense hour and a half yesterday Livetweeting Chávez’s Cadena.
I highly recommend it as a hobby. Livetweeting forces you to pay close attention to the guy, to settle into the rhythms of his mind as he riffs and improvises in front of the camera. You learn a lot.
It was a head-spinning experience. Chávez on full-rant mode was never the most coherent of speakers, but yesterday he seemed to reach for a kind of rapid-fire dada of bluster, contradiction and just plain gibberish you really have to experience to believe.
He’s threatening the opposition… no! wait … now he’s trying to expropriate that bit of idle land – except some lady in the audience tells him it’s a National Park but … hold on! … that was like 12 milliseconds ago, now he’s ranting against Zapatero and … sweeeerve … now he’s singing Zapatero a lullaby and … what’s this? … now he’s ribbing Reyes Reyes for being too formal and … an instant later he’s on a standard rant about the richie-rich people back east before … throwing it to a lady in the Delta who rants for about a minute or so – on Cadena – in an Indian language that 99.9999% of the audience can’t understand …
On and on, for hours on end.
It all comes at you so fast, in such dizzying succession, you find your brain shutting off as you settle into an unflattering version of a giggling 14-year old’s state of dimwitted excitement as you try to tweet along.
It’s really something else.
I feel for my journo friends who have to listen to Aló from beginning to end every weekend for professional reasons. That can’t be doing anybody’s mental health any good.
The thing that always stuns me, makes me feel deeply alone and, somehow, un-Venezuelan, is that this kind of thing clearly has an audience. Some people love it, it’s clear… but … how can it not be blindingly evident to everyone that the guy’s marbles went AWOL years ago?!
I just don’t get it.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
We’ve been able to hang on for 21 years in one of the craziest media landscapes in the world. We’ve seen different media outlets in Venezuela (and abroad) closing shop, something we’re looking to avoid at all costs. Your collaboration goes a long way in helping us weather the storm.Donate