Thursday, November 7, 2013




Our Skype interview with El Chascas was absolutely amazing! I usually get star-struck but, he was a lovable, genuine person. He even revealed to us that he agreed with the critics – the male protagonist in Santa Diabla is not as strong as the male antagonist, causing a large amount of sexual tension between him and the female protagonist. By giving the protagonist many action scenes, El Chascas attempted to redeem him as the strong, hunky man he was intended to be.

The most interesting thing El Chascas talked about was his style as a writer. Oddly enough, he said he doesn’t believe in inspiration. This is because writing is his job. Everyday he is paid to write, regardless of whether he feels inspired. He noted that he only writes about things he disagrees with in order to communicate something entertaining, not romanticized and boring. I loved when he compared himself to Alfred Hitchcock, a director who is famous for his element of surprise. Growing up, I loved watching Rear Window and (was terrified of) The Birds. With these comparisons in mind, I now understand more clearly the way that El Chascas writes -- each episode reveals small details until there is a climactic moment of energy and chaos.
            Speaking with El Chascas was one of my favorite moments in class so far! And I am sad that means the end is near… :(

               PATRON DEL MAL
            Since this is my last blog post before the final paper, I would like to give some final thoughts on Patron del Mal. Right now I am on episode 46 and I hope to have the series finished in the next week and a half. At this point, Pablo’s appearance has changed dramatically from the beginning of the novella. He looks older in the face and has put on at least 20 lbs. His demeanor has also changed – his compassion for others is EXTREMELY limited. He is now the notorious drug dealer I was waiting for him to become. While I am anticipating the worst, I realize I still have a while to go before he gets caught.
            Overall, I am very satisfied with the telenovela I chose. I knew that I would get bored of an overdramatic and romanticized series. Fortunately, Patron del Mal is based on something that matters. His global influence and national influence is indisputable and I have definitely enjoyed watching him evolve as a character. From being bullied as a young boy to trying to fit in with the ‘Old Money’ to earning respect through fear as a major player in Columbian politics.  

Coming from a family of Cuban refugees, I understand a little better the emotional response of Columbians whose lives were directly altered by Escobar. You buy into the ‘business’ or you risk endangering yourself and your family (why my family was forced to flee after Castro took over). And because I am a International Affairs major, the social and economic consequences that came as the result of one man is awe-inspiring to say the least. From the data we gathered from social networking sites in the Consumption project, people were extremely divided on their opinions of the show. While some felt that it gloried Escobar, others thought it was a story that needed to be told to the new generation. This relates to a discussion that I hoped to bring about in class after our Consumption Presentation. How much power should television have in relation to sensitive topics? Who should tell a historical account when there are so many perspectives? Although we didn’t have time, I wanted to see what everyone thought about using TV as a mechanism for showing social change. Maybe this will come up again when we discuss censorship?

***On a side note, my father recommended I check out this documentary about Pablo Escobar’s love for soccer and ultimately, his relation to the Columbian soccer team. Appropriately named The Two Escobars, Andres Escobar was murdered when he accidentally scored a goal in the Columbian goal on their path to the World Cup. The documentary examines soccer at the time of Escobar as well as the relationship between national identity, soccer, and the drug lords.

I watched the trailer and it looks good! Has anyone seen it by chance?

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