Buenos Aires – I love irony, especially when it’s enveloped in self-importance. For several months I’ve been reading, and occasionally participating in, a couple of online forums about life here. I started as a way of getting ready to come, and have continued to get tips on day-to-day life.
One of the regular contributors to two of the forums made a comment recently about how Argentinians love to argue. It’s built into the culture. He, an Argentine himself (but highly educated you know), is of course above such things. A couple of weeks ago someone made a comment in one of the forums about an aspect of Buenos Aires culture in regard to discrimination. This contributor waxed philosophic in response, about how he never saw the type of discrimination that was being talked about (racial), and he was sure that it didn’t really exist (he, of course, isn’t of a minority race) – and then went on to villify the U.S. (the original commenter’s home country) in regard to this. He further went on to point out that in BA discrimination is more class and fashion (what one wears here does definitely affect how people treat you) based.
This week, in a different forum I follow, someone commented on how little racial discrimination they see here, but how common it was to find themselves disriminated against because they weren’t de moda, or “in fashion.” Their take was that social class is far more determinate in discrimination here than race. The same contributor as above, once again launched forth. This time he trashed the new commenter for his obvious lack of ability to determine the realities of discrimination. He went on to assert that fashion and class are never an issue in BA (and once again contrasted this with the horrible way such things happen in the U.S.), and that the one deplorable thing here was that race was often a problem, and this commenter should open his eyes to what was really going on around him.
Some folks just have to put forth an opinion, regardless of what they actually think. By the way, I’m not finding this to be unusual here, he’s just more of an extreme example. (I, of course, have no opinion on this subject.)
“Never argue with a stupid person. First they will bring you down to their level. Then they will beat you with experience.”