Saturday, July 27, 2013

F Word and Oil Spills

Tonight, when I walked into the kitchen to eat desert I was shocked to hear the Lily Allen song, F*** You playing on the television. Running across the screen was pictures of the shows viewers giving the finger, adults and children alike. While all this is happening, keep in mind that my host sisters that are 8 and 12 are both sitting in the kitchen not even noticing.

I was a little taken back by it all. Even though the use of profanity isn't particularly immoral or terrible for me to listen to, it was the fact that it was playing on regular programming at 10PM on a Sunday. It was just one of those, I don't think I'm in the United States anymore moments.

The host of Periodismo Para Todos

I asked my mom about the show, called Periodismo Para Todos (which means Journalism for All), and she said that for most Argentinians the f word wasn't that bad because they generally had no understanding of what it meant. To them, it's like saying damn rather than something generally offensive to most people.

After I got over the fact that the show's logo was a hand flipping the bird I starting actually watching and found out that it was really awesome. The talk show is on every Sunday night and the host investigates corruption and the truth behind what is really happening in Argentina with the government and other related organizations. In fact, it's a highly respected program and not just a lunatic with conspiracy theories.

Tonight's show was about Chevron/Texaco's impact in Ecuador because they are beginning to drill here in Argentina, and the host wanted to show what possibly could happen here. Though it was all in Spanish I could understand enough and see enough of the visuals to see that it was showing the Amazon river, thick with petroleum. It was absolutely disgusting. Imagine when you see the oil filled puddles on the road, except blown up into country wide proportions.

But seriously, this is awful. Source

All I could think about was how even in Argentina, they are willing to recognize and talk about the damaging effects these US companies are having on the rest of the world. Though we are perfectly within our right to discuss these atrocities on television, we don't. If a river in the United States was quite literally turned black with oil there would be an uproar.

In fact during the BP oil spill people were outraged! Yet, essentially the same thing is happening with Ecuador and we don't give a shit because it's out of sight out of mind.

I really respect the fact that people and newscasters in Argentina demand the truth and demand issues to be talked about. At least with my host family, they are anything but complacent. I really wish I could take some of that tenacity back to the US with me!

So this essentially turned into a minor rant but I think it's just a really interesting comparison between our country and the rest of the world. Also it's another reason living with a host family is great because you get to really understand the politics and social issues of the country. If you made it this far in this post than thank you!


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