Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When Caliban Met Ariel: Tales of the Ugly Gringo

"Latin America:  Where single men come back married, and married men come back single"  -- Kurt Silverfiddle quote

Latin America is a sexy, exotic place, from Mexico all the way to the southern tip.

In a drunken stretch of the imagination (or a Picasso-esque one), Latin America even looks like a sexy woman, twisting perhaps to a samba or merengue beat. From busty Mexico down through her slender waist of Central America, where moving south her hips blossom and enclose the steamy, verdant tropicalia before tapering down to a sexy pair of legs terminating at the tip of the Southern Cone.

I've seen many a man dash himself upon the rocks of lust in Latin America. It's never a pretty site. You have the best of intentions, but the devil lurks around every corner. The young woman cheated by the dumb and cheap Secret Service agent (never a good combination, especially in a strange place) is a saucy little firecracker. I've known a few like her, and it always ended badly...

Every now and then, something will hit the news and it will transport me back to another time and place. It's part of the curse of having lived many lives.

Mark Sanford's Argentinian Adventure

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's slow, sad human car wreck over his Argentinian lover was gut-wrenching. Some held out hope he would snap out of it, but I knew he was a goner. Done. I had been there, mentally and physically, and I thank God I came back to reality and didn't wreck my marriage.  Prior training as a young bachelor living for years in Central America is probably all that steeled me against falling into a snare.

Sanford had been transported half a world away, in a swirl of exotic mystery and romance. He may have been standing in the harsh reality of South Carolina, complete with the blinding TV lights, clicking cameras and shouting reporters, but his heart and mind were captured and held prisoner at the other end of the world, a completely different world of sultry, sexy exotica.

A famous actress, can't remember who, talked about filming in Brazil, I think, and how the tropical atmosphere amped up your libido. She made some reference about it going straight to your groin, or something like that. All of Latin America is not tropical--in the crisp Andean air of Quito or La Paz, women wearing luxuriously feminine capes and tall leather boots is also very sexy--so it's not just the hot, moist climate.

Not So Secret Service

I've never been to Cartagena, but I was a young single man temporarily assigned just up the coast in Maracaibo, Venezuela, back before the Chavez regime.  I imagine it's about the same, complete with the humidity sinking into your loins and clouding your brain...

... A steamy tropical beach, stripped down to swimwear, sweatily dancing to salsa and merengue, afternoon "naps" when the rain comes, dancing and dining, air conditioned rooms and crisp cold sheets a luxuriant night refuge from the heat of the day, until the unforgiving sun starts it all over again...

I wasn't there, but I can describe that morning in Cartagena, when the Secret Service sex party came to a crashing end. It was dead still as only a Caribbean party town can be at that early hour of breaking dawn. An indignant female voice pierced the silence, echoing down the cool marble hall scrubbed pristine with that peculiarly-scented cleaning agent you only smell in northern South America. The crowd in the hallway grows, curious faces, hotel staff, later policia. The other gringo partiers, still dreamily in the arms of their paramours, feel their guts drop.  One guy just blew it for everybody, and the jig is up. A sharp descent from heaven to hell. Bad stuff happens fast down there.

Ugly Americans

So I wasn't really surprised by any of the news, but I was struck by the stupid, stunning arrogance of the agents. If just one of them had understood the culture and displayed more than a passing facility with the local language, it would not have blown up in their faces. If you're going to be venal and break the rules, at least be smart about it. Some prearrangements with the bar and with the hotel staff, some exchanged cash, so nothing shows up on the bill you have to submit with your travel voucher, and none of that gringo arrogance, inflated to pompous proportions by official diplomatic credentials and badges.

This did not do any damage to our country or our image. It just reinforced the stereotype. Everyone down there is laughing their asses off at us, and some marriages here in the states are probably in peril.

End Note:
* - Caliban and Ariel are two metaphorical characters in Jose Enrique Rodo's classic essay, Ariel.  If a Latin American "expert" hasn't heard of it, then beware, he is not an expert and probably got his Latin American Studies degree at the University of Taco Bell.


California Girl said...

What a great way to start the day. I never laugh so hard in at least 4 years from reading those dog jokes in your previous post.. MOOCCHELE how do you call BO for lunch when he is in the middle of a meeting? With a dog whistle?

Always On Watch said...

IMO, this Secret Service sex scandal did do some damage, particularly to the image of the Secret Service and the executive branch.

Most Americans have, until now, believed that the Secret Service put their tasked duties first. Apparently not!

I find it hard to believe that this particular party was the first such party on the part of the Secret Service. For one thing, so many agents were involved. Surely, there were previous such parties that were swept under the rug -- parties with fewer participants who got away with partying before wheels up. Did not the director of the Secret Service know about any previous parties?

We all know, I think, that lots of American men are attracted to Latinas as lovers and brief sexual partners. However, this particular scandal, which occurred before the wheels were up, could well have put into jeopardy Obama's security.

Since this story about the Cartagena party broke, government employees here in the D.C. area have become reticent to sport their government ID's on public transportation. I'm sure that this reticence is temporary, but it is indeed an interesting phenomenon right now here in the D.C. area.

As for pending divorces resulting from the Cartagena party, I do hope that none of these fellows have brought home to their wives various STD's. Also, for any such divorces with children involved, I can't imagine how the divorce will be explained to these children. "Your daddy is a horndog, and that comes with along with serving in the Secret Service?" Even if no explanation is offered to the children, they will one day discover the information on the web -- if not in their history textbooks or along the locker halls of junior high and senior high.

Ducky's here said...


OD357 said...

Silver, your insightful commentary reminds me of Lieutenant whats his name down there with us in South America. Perfectly good marriage wreaked to heck. She probably didn't even know a thing until he returned from TDY.

Silverfiddle said...

OD: He's one of the guys I had in mind

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...


I must applaud you for putting a mental picture to this debacle as it momentarily set me apart from my dreary Michigan (not my marriage though, thats on-target).

Anonymous said...

What you say about Latin America is true. It is also true of Asian coutries, Russia, India, South Africa and, any third world country. The exttreme poverty causes young women to turn to prostitution. It is sad but sadder still are parents who pimp their daughters to put bread on the table.

The fool who tried to pay for the woman's services with $28 is lucky she didn't accept his mmoney and invite him back to bed for one last romp. He might have carried his manhood home in a zip-lock bag.

viburnum said...

Wasn't Lorena Bobbitt from Equador?

KP said...

Way to paint a picture, SF! Very nice. If you have been down there you can feel it and smell. "Bad stuff happens fast down there". Gives me shivers.

And Ducky, great pull on the music by Michael Smith. How the heck did you find that?

Always On Watch said...

Off topic....I have solved the conundrum as to how to get posts to publish according to schedule; see my comment over at Z's site. If what I typed in is unclear to you, let me know.

Ducky's here said...

And Ducky, great pull on the music by Michael Smith. How the heck did you find that?
Boston's still a solid acoustic audience.

Lots of singer/songwriter, old timey, bluegrass (not much traditional country for some reason).

I've enjoyed Smith for a while. A little weak as a performer but solid, solid songwriter. Caught him back in the day on WUMB.

The Debonair Dudes World said...

The list of Obama's scandals grows deeper and deeper every day. The Secret Service prostitution mess alone would not have been that terrible if it were not presided by slapping down the Supreme Court Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the conversation with the Russian President when the mic was suppose to be off, insulting Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel in the White House, Michelle's access to Vacation with Air Force One as her limousine. ....
It’s time to stop blaming Bush, and Glenn Beck, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sarah Palin. And maybe start putting the blame where it belongs, with the Obama and his goon squad of Pelosi, Reid, Holder, Hillary Clinton, that ACORN bunch, and that bunch of race-baiter that Obama sucks up to Al Sharpton and his ilk.. Obama has made a career of scandals and racial controversy .

Jersey McJones said...

It's ironic how these guys got busted engaged in the world's oldest vice with the world's second oldest vice - greed - arguing over the bargain basement discount price of a South American hooker.



Anonymous said...

Just chalk it up to another Obama failure.
But don't worry, this newest scandal didn't do any damage to our countries image, it just reinforced it.

Ducky's here said...

For class discussion:

The Secretive Service (among others) has gone to crap since it was moved to the authority of that freaking clown act, Homeland Security.

Finntann said...

Honestly, it's quite a stretch to try and lay this fiasco at Obama's feet, and I'm a conservative.

I also have to agree with Ducky regarding DHS. I know a civilian in security who worked DoD, took a promotion to move to DHS, lasted about a year, then took a demotion to move back to a position with the DoD with the firm opinion that DHS was the most screwed up organization he ever saw.

And to support what SF and OD had to say, the last person I know who went to Quito for six months came home with a broken marriage.


Z said...

About 20 years ago, on CSPAN, an ex director of either the CIA or FBI (I honestly don't remember which but this was before Homeland Sec.) did a talk on how they get ZERO good applicants for government security positions anymore. "We used to get all our people from Ivy League schools..now we get ZERO applications from there" (we know why)
He said NONE pass the required lie detectors..everyone's stolen something, most have tried drugs, etc etc. Very scary back then...probably even worse now.

"In a drunken stretch of the imagination.." Silverfiddle, you're a poet. sublime line there.

I care about marriages and the wives back home and the families caught in infidelity, but I truly don't think we need to know what Sec. Service guys are doing in their private time...as long as we're not compromised in any way.

super post, thanks for the insight.

Anonymous said...

It was just not the Secret Service but also some of our service men. The secret service can retire or quit but our military brethern have to live to higher standard. They will have the UCMJ thrown at them.

I am disappointed this happened becasue some can't keep their britches up. Obama is not at fault but those luscious beauties from south of the boerder!! Why or Why do they have to be so beautiful.


KP said...

<< I've enjoyed Smith for a while. A little weak as a performer but solid, solid songwriter. Caught him back in the day on WUMB. >>

Impressive; one has to have his ear down low to hear certain things.

On Homeland, agree.

MathewK said...

I read somewhere a long time ago about the high rate of STDs and HIV in the more 'loose' parts if south America. That's enough reason for me to stay the heck away.

Anonymous said...

Fulsome praise is ore offensive than a direct insult.