25 de Feb de 2020

Nacional

Pay for a song but not for the poo

You know what I’m talking about. Yes Margarita, the winner of the Latin America Idol “contest”.

You know what I’m talking about. Yes Margarita, the winner of the Latin America Idol “contest”.

In the latter stages the contest revolved not around the singing but the amount of money that could be handed over to the partnership of Cable and Wireless, Movitstar, Sony and Fremantle Media, with a little on the side for all those corner stores and street sellers hawking cards for the unthinking to send text messages.

Some, who should have known better, spent untold amounts to rig the vote. One acquaintance spotted a neighbor spending $300 on cards from Arrocha. A whole country wrapped in mass hysteria, that finally poured around $5 million into corporate coffers.

This is not to decry Margarita, the 17-years-old kid from the interior who was the focus of the spending orgy. She did her thing, sang well, and made money for the organizers. What more can you ask in the world of showbiz.

But does the name of Erik Jimenez ring a bell? Unlikely. Erik, one of our indigenous countrymen, aged 14 months, died of malnutrition in Volcan Chiriqui last week.

A needless death in a country that boasts the highest per capita income, in Latin American. A country that, according to our leaders and real estate hucksters, is safe from the global economic crisis.

There are scores of thousands more of our fellow citizens suffering from malnutrition at worst, and daily hunger at best. Are there planes standing by to ferry them to a hospital, or to carry food supplies. $5 million would feed a lot of hungry kids.

And did any of the people rushing to buy phone cards spare a thought for the 40 percent of the population living below the poverty line?

Why would they? It’s not something that concerns them on other days, so why miss out on an opportunity to display pride in a Panamanian achievement, however loaded it might be.

If the masses can accept corporate blandishments like the Idol (Mammon) they will be well prepped for the promises of candidates in next year’s elections? zero corruption, transparency and soon and so on.

ATTACK DOGS. Another “Star” now starting to lose her bloom, is Sarah Palin, the running mate of US presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Described as “feisty” by columnist Phil Edmonston, she recently became the Republican attack dog, spouting the half truths and untruths that her handlers dug up about Senator Barack Obama.

The crowd rallying hyperbole had its effect. Soon crowds were yelling “Off with his Head” followed by racist epithets, and statements like “He’s an Arab”, with the implication that there is something unsavory about Arabs.