Monthly Archives: April 2008

…and in other news…

There is, along with the exciting details of the back and forth between Chabelo and our state government, an article on the IMSS. For the uninitiated, that stands for either Importa Madre Su Salud or Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, depending on whether you are an official of the instution or someone who has had to use their services.

Apparently, according to the newspaper ( must be true – salió en el Diario) under a headline titled ‘Sensibilizacion en el IMSS‘ the IMSS announced a campaign in which they are encouraging their staff (nurses, receptionists, doctors, etc) to be more efficient and nicer to patients. Apparently, and this must be a recent problem since gosh, no on has ever mentioned this before, a few folks have been complaining that the IMSS staff is a little less than professional or courteous in their dealings with patients.

I wish them all the best in their quest and look forward to positive declarations by the fine people running the IMSS in next week’s newspapers.

Chabelo Continues to be News

The local paper, el Diario de Yucatan, continues its exciting coverage of the Chabelo affair with the zeal normally reserved for real news and political reporting. If you don’t know what Chabelo is, read yesterdays post or visit his website.

Yesterday, Sunday, the paper had more info on ‘what happened’ during Chabelo’s truncated performance as a guest of the state government. The report included exciting details of the state government officials (paid by our tax pesos) went on a Chabelo hunt looking for the ‘artist’ after he left the stage and found him in the Liverpool parking lot, waiting for a taxi. The heart-stopping events that followed were also reported, indicating that the government officials convinced Chabelo not to take the taxi (even though it had already arrived and was sent away) and they managed to get Chabelo to get into the official, tax payer funded, vehicle. What they did after that is unclear, since the show did not go on and Chabelo appeared in Mexico City the next day to do his Sunday show.

Today, there is even more news. Hard to believe but thank goodness for this breath of fresh air, because if not, we would be reading news only about the never-ending problems between the PAN, PRI and PRD political factions, narco executions in Sinaloa and the latest man (it’s always men, never a woman) to fall down a well, leaving behind children and a distraught wife. The latest report is not really news of course, but a rehash of previous reports and the addition of new ‘facts’ to the case.

It seems that Chabelo offered a public apology to the people of Yucatan, who he professed to ‘love very much’ and that the problem was with the ‘organizers’ (the state government of Yucatan, whom we are supporting with our taxes). He apparently didn’t love them enough to continue with some kind of show, though.

Pedro Borges, the local empresario who rented the sound equipment to the government (with our tax pesos of course) to the Chabelo technical crew, and who handed control over to them for the actual performance, indicated that he had noted a feedback problem and commented to the
audio guy working the controls that the problem was with the monitors and that the audio guy took offense at this, closed his laptop containing the Chabelo program and walked away, leaving the suspender and shorts-clad, falsetto-speaking 60 year old ‘amigo de los niños‘ on stage with no tech support.

From a purely Yucatecan POV, this is yet another typical demonstration of why the waches are so hated in the Yucatan. The wach technician (he must have been a wach; I am sure that if you ask people who were there, they will tell you that at least he had an aspecto fuereño) got offended that some country bumpkin from here would tell him, the knowledgeable expert from the big city, about a problem he might or might not be having. And to actually dare to suggest a solution; well, that would be just too much for the ego of this wach and this is why he walked away in disgust at the preposterousness of the mere implication of him not knowing that a) he had a problem and b) that he might not know how to correct said problem. That’s what I suspect will be the typical Yucatecan POV, and it’s probably correct.

Personally, I am enjoying seeing how our tax pesos are being spent on this ridiculous show, and all the government resources – vehicles, staff, the governor of the state herself taking the stage to apologize for a hissy fit by a self important fossil that could only call himself an artist in a third world culture – alloted not only to the planning of, but also the damage control surrounding the program and it’s spectacular failure.

Chabelo Has A Fit

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.