Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Abandon all hope all ye who realize this is the most fun thing to happen to our public sphere this week

So here’s one thing that’s changed radically since the Comandante Supremo went to meet his maker: Politics got dull. Way boring. So boring, that it makes writing my super-tedious thesis seem like a joyous distraction. After fourteen years of bits of bread and tons of circus, this is one development I was certainly not prepared for.

Chávez is gone, and with him, all the fun from the TV Schedule. No Aló Presidente, and now, no La Hojilla either. What am I supposed to watch for shits and giggles? El Ciudadano? Can you believe Globovisión has actually taken to interviewing Cabinet Members about public policy? (Yaaaaaaaaawn.)

You know things have gone South in the excitement department when the most thrilling news of the week involves John Kerry, and his meeting with our rodent-toothed Foreign Secretary.

And if it wasn’t for this picture, even that news would’ve been just as monotonous, since all Elías Jaua did was *gasp* agree to strengthen Venezuela’s ties with the U.S. (I feel myself falling into a boredom-induced coma already).

It’s still months before another election campaign kicks off, so that might be good fun, right? Except this one’s sure to be a snooze-fest. I mean, Municipal Elections? Really? And no Chávez around to sack PSUV candidates and berate them in public?

I get that the CNE chose December 8th in order to give opposition unity candidates, who will have won their nominations almost two years ago by then, ample time for skirmishes and self-sabotage. But honestly, watching Rosales’ wife and Juan Pablo Guanipa duke it out for the Maracaibo candidacy is about as exciting as judging a vegan patacón-eating contest.

But surely some post 14A fodder is still  around to tickle our fancy, no? Well, not really.

We all know the TSJ impugnación was never meant to be a sexy affair, Capriles said so. We are to patiently linger until a complicated legal process full of technical jargon culminates in an inevitable decision in favor of Maduro. That’s totally understandable, our game-plan is long-term. But, what has the MUD prepared for us in the meantime, by way of entertainment?  Basically, waiting around for then next damning G2 audio leak.  Which, when it comes, will be relegated to a buggy internet outlet, at best.

The thing is, if tomorrow a soundbyte is leaked featuring a sinister phonecall with Maduro and Fidel Castro sordidly plotting to poison Chávez in order to seize the Venezuelan Presidency, I doubt anything much would happen given our collective stupor.

And it’s no wonder we’re getting sleepy. All we have left for fun is watching Maduro’s on-the-job training. Like his reaction to out-of hand shortages, for example: in the face of growing discontent Maduro zips erratically between vicious attacks on the private sector and tail-between-his-legs meetings with Lorenzo Mendoza. Chávez would never have done that.

Of all the things Chávez could’ve been charged with – and God knows he was charged with most of them on this blog over the years – wishy-washiness was not one of them. The guy was quite committed, he really let the crazy fly. Getting slammed by Nicolás Maduro is, in the words of David Sedaris, like being flogged with a foot-long bit of yarn: the intent is there, but the means are pathetically deficient. Where are the impromptu declarations of war? Impulsive expropriations? Public eviscerations of character?

So what are we left with, now that our mercurial Comandante has kicked the can, leaving a bland, if amiable, whiskered sack of potatoes to do justice to His titillating inefficiency? Well, we get to read the news: soaring inflation, chronic violent crime, failing institutions, you know, the usual.

Chávez’s antics, while amusing, were much more that a means of distracting from his Government’s ineptitude. His guardedly tyrannical, comically intimidating, selectively repressive tactics managed to simultaneously endear him to his base while fanning the flames that kept his opposition outraged, and thus conveniently around to blame.

Now that He is gone, socioeconomic indicators continue to decline, as does our standard of living. Yet the smokescreens are gone too, and we are no longer outraged. On the contrary. We are bored.

According to the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict ( Observatorio Nacional de Conflictividad Social), 2012 recorded the highest number of protests since Chávez’s arrival in 1999; 2.442 in the first semester. Thus far in 2013, the same NGO has counted 1353, a 46% decrease from the same recorded period last year. Mind you, after two devaluations, scarcity of foodstuffs, a contested electoral result, over 200 jailed student-protesters, added to the same overall shittyness we’re carrying over from last year.

Was Chávez necessary for us to react? or is our heeding Capriles’s calls for patience the sign of our collective maturing? I’m still holding to my stance that we should trust Capriles’s leadership to steer us in the right direction, based on my conviction that we are in the majority. But even the best leader can’t prevent a country from reacting to what is clearly beyond his control.

So while I remain bored by the current daily grind of political affairs, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve also been bored out of being the opposition. It gets old, especially when Chávez is not around to remind you of how much it sucks to be us.

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  1. “agree to strengthen Venezuela’s ties with the U.S.” That sounds so generic that even “you gotta believe in yourself” would call “agree to strengthen…” generic

  2. Good insight. I used to refer to chávez’s government as a truly electronic one. The electron has this strange dual behavior of a particle and a wave. In reality it does not exist, as it is a probability cloud. It can be anywhere and nowhere. chávez government did not exist; instead, we had a cloud of insults, fanfare, bombastic declarations, and little tangible results. Without teravolts to make the electron show its pretty face, the opposition wasted its wimpy energy echoing the totuma, the mar de la felicidad, the gallineros verticales, and countless other nonsense that came out of chávez ass (or mouth, which is the same).

    In the midst of boredom that an unimaginative Maduro offers, I pray the opposition will have a chance to pin down the ineptitude of the government of the thugs, for the thugs by the thugs.

  3. It is tempting to goose the number of eyeballs with the cha…word,
    and yet, like the monty python dead parrot routine,
    movin’ the cage won’t bring ‘it back

    O: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.
    C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
    O: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
    C: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.
    O: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!
    C: All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up!
    (shouting at the cage)
    ‘Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I’ve got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show…(owner hits the cage)
    O: There, he moved!
    C: No, he didn’t, that was you hitting the cage!
    O: I never!!
    C: Yes, you did!

      O: Well, I’d better replace it, then.
      (he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
      O: Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of parrots.
      C: I see. I see, I get the picture.
      O: I got a slug.

  4. You know things have gone South in the excitement department when the most thrilling news of the week involves John Kerry, and his meeting with our rodent-toothed Foreign Secretary.

    “Why the long face Jaawn?”
    “I have lost my lucky hat”

    /JFK houmors

  5. Super Hyper Inflation is really kicking us in the balls at the moment.

    Im trying to reincarnate the supreme commander….

  6. “or is our heeding Capriles’s calls for patience the sign of our collective maturing?” – Little patience was shown on Aoril 15th when 11 people were murdered.

    I guess of you do not want to be patient you can always go and block he autopista Francisco Fajardo in Chacao or alternatively the Av. Francisco de Miranda, achieving nothing but making other people’s life a misery.

    WTF are you talking about? You mention “fun” God knows how many tims in the text. You sound like a sifrina on the beach in the 1980’s making a Magnum commerical.

    Zero maturity in this “fun” text. Alan Woods is more entertaining that these “reflections!”,

    • *Yawn*

      Also, I see you are still trotting out the 11 murdered Chavistas lie. Why stop there, why not say anyone who has died in Veneuela since the election was murdered by the opposition?

  7. I love the photo of Jaua, looking in John Kerry’s eyes with wonder and a need for approval. The embodiment of hypocrisy.

    • Snowden to fly to Venezuela via Cuba: Russia airline source

      MOSCOW | Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:29am EDT

      (Reuters) – – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then plans to go to Venezuela, a source at the Russian airline Aeroflot said on Sunday.

      The source said Snowden was already on his way to Moscow from Hong Kong and would leave for Havana within 24 hours. The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said on Sunday that Snowden was heading for an unnamed “democratic nation”.

      (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

  8. John Ketchup Kerry looks like an old grandad that everyone loves and always has werthers originals in his pocket

  9. Elias looks like a stereotypical korean store owner whos a kind of bit embarassed for his staunch rhetoric and realises he would have his ass handed to him in a street fight

  10. They should write a book. “How to lose an important election with everything in your favor”. One lost against an unpopular president and the other squandered a petrofortune in trying to unseat a governor. Both lost for the same reason. Theyre cures for insomnia…

      • Well, his daughter’s testimonial didn’t help. That is, when she described her dad saving the family hamster’s near-death experience from drowning. John Kerry gave the critter mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which is all very noble and all, but I couldn’t shake off the eeewww factor.,

        • I volunteered for his campaign in 04. I was only 16 but I loved politics even then and I can honestly tell you that even amongst ourselves we often talked about how boring a public speaker he was. We just thought that Bush was so bad a president that people would be willing to overlook that. Those were tough years for me. The opposition in Vzla was led by Rosales and the Democrats here by Kerry. Needless to say I felt hopeless lol. Obama and Capriles instead are a huge and I mean huge upgrade

          • Hey, I feel your pain. I was in Ohio on election night in ´04. The word “miserable” cannot begin to describe…

          • Waoo you guys are amazing, I mean waooo really!? Kerry??
            Miserable because Kerry lost? *gigles*

            The image of “me iria demasiado” boy comes to my mind…

          • Thats exactly it Emiliana. Jctt If you spend 3 months volunteering for a campaign and they lose you have a right to feel miserable. Specially if that allows a president that you consider inept to “govern” for 4 more years. Venezuelans of all people should identify with that…

          • Emiliana, Antonio,

            That’s the problem, back in 2004 the presidential election was pretty much about Bush, Kerry didn’t gave a strong reason to oust a wartime president, beyond the political motivated need to end the war.

  11. “fourteen years of bits of bread and tons of circus”

    Kudos – worth visiting the blog today for that alone. I’m not sure how better to sum up the Chavez legacy in so few words. Everything else just follows. Including the new lack of circus (not accompanied by a surfeit of bread).

  12. Thank God we have you, Emiliana, to entertain us, making something of the “yawn” stuff.
    Phenomenally hilarious writing style.
    Oh wait, I forgot the picture of the moron and the clown. I don’t know who’s who.


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