Call me a cynic - and followers of this blog almost certainly will - but listening to Ricardo Arjona promoting his Fundación Adentro only makes me think of Robert Rodrigo's character "El" and his guitar case full of automatic weapons.
Arjona has clearly come to believe in the social benefits stemming from individual creativity. In Colombia, he advised Dionisio Gutierrez on Libre Encuentro last week, almost everyone is a musician of one sort or another. OK....Colombia certainly has one of the stronger economies in the region and an entrenched democratic tradition, but it's not exactly world-renowned for peace and quiet.
For Arjona the guitar was his passport to the counter-culture and totem of a life of vagabundo exile on the streets of Buenos Aires. It also allowed him to give two fingers to his parents and the responsibilities of being a small town teacher. Now somewhat beyond his own cuatro decadas Arjona now returns with an altogether different (and certainly more conservative) type of emblematic instrument for distribution to the Foundation's pupils, one with the power to foster social cohesion and community values. Hmmm. All a bit redolent of the great Jesuit Missions on the border between Paraguay and Brazil where the Guaraní were rather strongly encouraged to take up the violin or join the choir!
Gutierrez has to be one of the worst interviewers ever. His questions ramble on for so long that guests' eyes are soon glazing over. At one point Arjona responded to one of these with a simple "si" and we were so hoping he'd just leave it at that. Instead he politely added that his memory was so-so and that Gutierrez would have to remind him later about some of those interesting points he'd raised. Yeah right.