The Deer-in-the-Headlights as Totem

The government's latest plan to deal with long lines for basic products is one of the most heartbreaking cultural artefacts of the last seventeen years.

When you read Venezuelan newspaper every day, you’re exposed to a nearly limitless expanse of belief-beggaring insanity. It’s easy to get desensitized, it takes a lot to make you do a double take.

But this piece…man, this piece.

In journalistic deadpan, TalCual informs us that the government’s latest bright idea to handle basic product shortages is…switching around which days you can go shopping at state distribution outlets according to the final number on your National ID card.

It used to be if your cédula ended in 0-1 you went on Mondays, 2-3 you went on Tuesdays, 4-5 was Wednesday, 6-7 Thursday, and 8-9 on Friday.

That was too intuitive, so now it’s Monday 8-9, Tuesday 4-5, Wednesday 6-7, Thursday 2-3 and Friday 0-1.

That will help because…well, um. It’s uh. Um. It’ll just help, ok?

But there’s more!

To face down the merciless scourge of people waiting in line since the night before, it has been decided that all people will need to bring documentary evidence of their address to the grocery store (!!!) and then, at 7 a.m., will be invited to drop their national ID in a big, lottery-style drum so their place in line is decided at random (capuskicapubulcoñoooo!)

It’s March, 2016. These guys still have not the slightest hint of a clue what they’re doing.