Analysis | Aníbal vs. Máximo: An unexpected resurrection of the Billiken

In the times when populism with money could indulge in all the luxuries, Aníbal Fernández was encouraged to publish a book that barely survives today, completely resigned to his fate as an unrepentant tenant in the liquidation and sale bateas.

That book had the intention of continuing the Manual de zonceras argentinas, by Arturo Jauretche, updating the novelties. He began by telling Don Arturo that he had found new forms of silliness, among which he highlighted that of the “great contemporary producers of nonsense,” the media. “Perverse installers of concepts, modern inquisitors”.

Now that populism without money every day provides a controversy and every hour a new foolishness so that the perverts of that time and the newcomers have a free feast, Aníbal Fernández has just retraced his steps to pay homage in the best way to the most old of the Argentine magazines. At the turn of history, he came to coincide with the Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, who this year, interviewed by the writer Jorge Fernández Díaz, recalled that in the childhood years he lived in Bolivia, his bedside reading was the billiken magazine.

How did that coincidence occur? Aníbal Fernández listened to a speech by Máximo Kirchner in which the hijísimo disqualified the President of the Nation calling him an “adventurer”, because of his persistent illusions about a remote possibility of re-election. The next day, Aníbal sharpened the destroyer of zonceras and responded to Máximo that in the government they are not necessarily stupid for the mere fact that the deputy with the surname Kirchner knows everything about everything.

In case some unsuspecting person did not realize that he was playing with irony, he threw out an explanatory line. He told Máximo that it was not necessary to “go look in the Billiken” for an unknown word to insult the President. An involuntary tribute to Billiken, that gateway to culture that educated entire generations. Like that of Vargas Llosa. And a slap in the face to Máximo, who with almost half a century of life still shows no signs of having expanded the language of initial education.

But Aníbal Fernández’s criticism is novel because of something other than what he said about the Kirchner’s culture that the Kirchners propose to the future. It is novel because for the first time someone in the ruling party suggests that Cristina’s son lacks political merit beyond the inherited surname. A daring that no one had had so far. Not even Alberto Fernández, the offended president, had dared to say that the prince walks naked.

Aníbal, Jauretche’s admirer, launched himself with Borgean sincerity. Adolfo Bioy Casares said together with his friend Borges that among the things that literature should avoid were psychological curiosities: homicides by benevolence; suicidal for satisfaction. Aníbal has just explained that Máximo Kirchner is not up to the task for any epic narrative: he is not ignorant by training.

There is only one precedent as illuminating as this one from Aníbal Fernández. It was enunciated by a rude idiot, at the time responsible for security in the extremely powerful county that the eldest son of the Kirchner family manages as his own ranch. Sergio Berni made, some time ago, the most precious synthesis that no organic intellectual could elaborate on the internal dynamics of the governing coalition: “Whoever brought the drunk, take him away.”

After the act that Kirchner’s widow presided over last Friday at the UOM, the official adviser Horacio Verbitsky lowered the tone of the versions about Cristina’s imminent presidential candidacy for next year. “She is sure that if inflation does not ease, no candidate from the Front of All will have a chance in 2023,” Verbitsky wrote. A very curious variation of the closing of her message to the metallurgists in the sense that she “will do what she has to do” so that the town can recover her happiness. Translated: he will do what he has to do, except expose himself to certain defeat, more was missing.

At the Patria Institute they must be applying voodoo pins to the doll of the screwdriver Aníbal Fernández. In defense of the devalued Jauretche, it should be recognized that he at least subtly collaborated with Cristina, helping her install a more strategic objective: he said that the Kirchners have not been involved in managing the government for a long time.

It is what Cristina needs: for someone to repeat ad nauseam that this government is not hers.

Edgardo R. Moreno (Article published in La Voz)

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Analysis | Aníbal vs. Máximo: An unexpected resurrection of the Billiken