I was very saddened to hear about Robin Williams’ death. Rather shortly beforehand I had begun to appreciate his work, both as a comedian and an actor (watch him at work in One Hour Photo
and make sure your jaw lands on something soft) and was toying with the thought of how nice it would be to chat with him, should fate grant me a 1-in-a-million event of coming across him somehow. I'd definitely tell him I love his work, but that the Mass-Produced EVA IS NOT THE GOOD GUY.
His death shook me up, both as a mild fan and a fellow avid fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion
, which was both his favourite show and mine (still is mine, by the way; even Paranoia Agent
couldn't displace it, though maybe Utena
might). This Cracked
article certainly didn’t make things easier, as now I can’t listen to a comedian speaking without shuddering to think what they might be going through. (From my experience, by the way, comedy can also be a simple distraction rather than an alternative persona. Also, my apologies to anyone I’ve forever ruined comedy for.)
It took me a few days to recover from this news (finding out Williams was apparently pro-circ somewhat helped) and it probably forever changed my view on comedy. Also, after finding out he had an accessible Twitter account, I find it somewhat hard to shake the thought that I should have written to him there when I still could. I consoled myself with the thought that a feeling of profound gratitude and appreciation had already driven me earlier to write to my dearly beloved directors Hayao Miyazaki and Hideaki Anno hand-written letters (I wrote to the former as a Hail Mary to convince him come to the screening of The Wind Rises I was at, and to the latter because what the heck). But in general, I think we should all show the artists whose work we care for deeply our appreciation, but not in a creepy way. Who knows how much they need it.
In a recent bout of nostalgia I found myself looking up Chiquititas again online.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Chiquititas
was the creation of producer Cris Morena
, with whom non-Latin Americans/Israelis might be familiar with through Teen Angels
. As the show aired on Channel 6 (later Arutz haYeladim
), which only those who had cable (as, I think, most of my classmates in elementary did, but not me until fifth grade) could watch, I could only start watching it when its fourth season aired here (several years after it did in its native Argentina). So I looked up its opening song, and, thanks to the wonder of YouTube, I found it here
(WARNING: it’s ridiculously ‘90s and obscenely catchy, I’m still struggling to get that damned song out of my head), and, thanks to the wonders of Google, Duolingo, and Wiktionary, I was able to actually understand a great deal of the original lyrics (yeah, I know some Spanish now and I feel like bragging, bite me).
Back in the day, when I was first acquinated with the series, a few boys admitted to watching it casually (as I did), as it was aimed (obviously) primarily at girls. Later on, however, especially after the season 5 reboot, the show became somewhat more stigmatised and was pretty much the exclusive domain of girls, particularly after Rincón de luz started airing (a similar process happened to Rebeldeway). As a matter of fact, this franchise, along with South American telenovelas, pretty much ‘ruined’ Spanish for me, and it took years of being exposed to other sides of the language and repeatedly remnding to myself, ‘Cerventes, Cerventes, Cerventes, Cerventes...’ Nowadays I can admit to myself there was a lot of classism and a bit of misogyny in this way of thinking.
Anyway, I asked an Argentinian friend and classmate from Holon (as opposed to me, who was raised in Hadera), who shall be nicknamed here ‘Vivaldimort’, how the series’ popularity affected him, he told me his mother was apparently popular among his friends who, curiously, were both male and female―‘Everyone loves Chiquititas
.’ (In retrospect it seems a bit odd, considering how absurdly campy and cheesy this show comes across these days; case in point
. Then again, I was also surprised to find out just how ridiculous and campy Batman Forever
was last year.)
I have no idea what that means about gender relations and class or geography or whatever. But it’s an interesting observation to note that long before there was My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, there was Chiquititas.
As of tomorrow morning, I will be living at the dorms of Tel-Aviv University. My dear friend Eli Björk is leaving to study in Germany and was willing to sublet his place at the dorms to me, and then I got accepted for the whole year. I am very excited to finally move out.
That’s all for now.