In this morning’s newspaper, I read with great interest, after checking out the photos in the Sociales pages, all about Chabelo’s latest visit to Yucatan to appear in a state-government program to celebrate El Día del Niño (Kids Day) that was held at the Siglo XXI Convention Center.
Mommy Government is always concerned with the well-being of whomever it is that is being celebrated; there are similar festivals for Moms on Mothers Day where hundreds of hipil-clad moms from the pueblos around Merida are piled onto buses and carted to the Convention Center (the official state government building for hosting ‘popular‘ events) and given a show, some food and a photo op with an Official from Mommy Government. On this occasion, for the kids, the powers that be invited (with your tax pesos of course) Chabelo to come to entertain the masses.
For those of you not familiar with Chabelo, he is a much-loved television show host, who dresses up in children’s clothing and talks in a falsetto voice like a little kid. A little wach kid; that is, and many, many Mexicans think he is an icon. During his show, which I confess to having watched on one occasion, I was amazed at how he pushes all kinds of crappy candy and toys and is a complete sell-out to his corporate sponsors. Did I mention that he is 60-plus years old? Yes, well, this wrinkled old man in shorts, suspenders and the falsetto came to the Yucatan – at the invitation of our governor – to entertain the kids on their special day.
These are kids, for the most part, from the so-called clases populares, which, if you have been reading these writings throughout the 14 years or so they have been appearing in front of you, you know means that they are brown, poor and travel in state-government-provided transportation and have been raised by their parents accompanied by a heavy daily diet of horrendously awful television that has stunted their imaginations to the point that they actually think Chabelo is entertainment and the sadly unfunny Popi Popi clown is Cirque du Soleil material.
OK, I am generalizing. Stop already. And it’s not their fault. It’s Mommy Government that screws these people over and over, generation after generation. I feel a rant coming on. Better stop. Now.
So here they are, these kids – having been bussed in from the dirt-poor marginalized pueblos around Merida that are visited by the well-off on only two occasions: political campaigns and the Misiones during holey week – waiting for up to 3 hours for this magical character from TV to appear on stage, thanks to the magnanimous effort of Mommy Government (and our tax money) who has of course, absolutely no interest in obtaining, from these bussed-in folks, any kind of political support.
Chabelo finally takes the stage! I am not there, but I can imagine the scene: the kids are happy, and the government officials, in their starched white guayabera shirts, beam with pride at their cultural accomplishment.
However, after about 10 minutes, according to the article, Chabelo wants to sing a song (yes, he sings and it is truly a cringe-inducing experience) but someone in the audio engineering area has not provided the backing track over which he will either sing or at least mouth, the song. The newspaper article goes on to say that he gets miffed – on stage – and asks where was the person he brought to look after his audio. Moments later, he declares that out of ‘respect for his audience’ he cannot continue with the show and abruptly leaves the stage, leaving his audience in a complete state of shock. The government officials, their beaming faces now reflecting worry and consternation at the thought of the angry mob scene that might result, scurry about trying to locate Chabelo and have him reconsider. Chabelo is nowhere to be found, however, and the restless crowd is becoming a little miffed itself.
Finally, the icing (IMHO) on this Mommy Government Moment cake – the governor herself (!) takes the stage to apologize for the disappointment suffered by all those little fans and their parents. The governor of the state, apologizing for Chabelo. Unbelievable.