Fucho y Taranovelas

Posted by: | March 17, 2009 | Comments Off on Fucho y Taranovelas

This week’s articles talk about two topics that are very dear to me for very different reasons. The first one by Bello’s talks about Brazil, and in specific tries to describe the feelings that embraced the nation before, during, and after the so called “Maracanazo.” Now, I should warn any readers that this is by far my most biased post… sorry I cannot help it; I love soccer and yet hate novelas. Now, don’t think that I am trying to pretend I’m all macho or anything I certainly enjoy watching a chick flick now and then… we all do. However, I do recognize that both football and novelas are two faces to a similar evil.

Both of these ways to get entertained are often used as political tools by the state to ‘control’ the masses. Lets start with soccer, as much as I may love the sport, it is obvious that football stadiums are the new ‘colliceums’ and as long as the soccer season take place the people are pleased and can ignore major social, political, and even economic crisis. Furthermore, these events often carry so much emotion and so little logic that they often end on riots of some sort. This is understandable, as football for some people in Latin America is as important as religion. However, there is no way to justify violent acts as a result of a game…

Moving on, Novelas in my opinion are the root of all evil – well maybe not all, but certainly a lot of it –. In Mexico, you can pretty much watch novelas from 2pm to 8 or 9 pm, now to be honest not everyone watches every novella. However, at any given point there is always a novela for every age group possible: there are novelas for kids (usually at earlier hours), the followed by novelas for mature women, then there are the prime time novelas – these are often aimed at teenagers, and younger women –. My main problem with the novelas is that as Hippolyte explains they are a megaphone for emotions, they blow emotions out of proportion and paint a world where the good always win, the poor become rich by marriage, getting pregnant early isn’t so bad because all you high school friends will stand by you the rest of your life, etc, etc, etc. It is a total misrepresentation of real life, which oversimplifies the already tabooed topics of society, and worst of all it is all feed to the masses by the elite. In Mexico there are only two providers of public television, both are headed by incredibly rich and politically influential characters.

So, football is exploited by the governments to control the masses agreed, and that it can lead to violence and civil disobedience… no argument on that one. However, football never teaches you that the good always wins, or that life will be okai because you’ll marry a rich man, etc.

Anyhow, I would like to end by arguing that mass culture does not equal popular culture… I would argue that mass culture sometimes does not carry any social significance; instead it merely reflects the lack of culture in a given society. How can you make something culture, when all you doing is sitting in you living room wasting time away? There may be cultural aspects that make either waste of time relevant to a culture, yet that definitely does not make the show –either soccer or novelas – a cultural event.


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