January 7, 2004

Snippet of conversation with my Malaysian prof...

Him: But how much democracy is there, exactly, in Venezuela? I mean, the situation there is not like in Malaysia, is it, where the opposition are not allowed anywhere near a TV camera, and elections are "blacked out" if the governing party don't get over 2/3rds of the vote?

Me: Well, it's a far different thing. In Malaysia you have an actual authoritarian regime, full stop. In Venezuela, the problem is that we have some kind of tropicalized dadaist fantasy instead of a government. Your problem is bigger, no doubt, but ours is much more entertaining.