Friday, February 12, 2010

El niño terrible para Presidente

One small but significant change that occurred in this household during my absence was a re-jigging of the evening TV viewing schedules around the 9pm Bayly show on NTN24.

V has always been drawn to public figures with starkly unconventional outlooks on the world. That the Hispanic media consistently refer to this bisexual, right-of-centre novelist* and political commentator as "strange" was good enough for her in this instance.

These days Bayly is using his current affairs celebrity to launch his candidature for the Presidency of Peru next year. Last night's show was dedicated to an interview he conducted with his novia, Silvia Nuñez del Arco Vidal, a would-be writer just out of college, now being offered up to the nation as their future first lady.

Golden-haired, fair skinned Silvia is "una delicia" who has cured him of his impotence, the 45-year-old Bayly admitted during their discussion. It struck me that the whole thing had been staged primarily in order to cause her father the most exquisite form of paternal pain.

When the couple recently went to Miami on holiday to catch a Ricardo Arjona concert, Bayly was briefly held by police after their hotel manager reported that he'd checked in with an under-age girl.

Silvia has a book in the oven and has therefore resisted Bayly's plea that she should have a bun in it. "Writing a novel is like giving birth..." Hers is due in April, but I suspect Vargas Loser needn't lose any sleep over the impending competition. Nor perhaps need he fret about this other upper-class hack achieving the political milestone he fell just short of, as Bayly is the sort of character who tends to get up the noses of dirt poor indios and the Miraflores set in equal measure.

He is at his funniest when he deconstructs the speeches of Hugo Chávez. The other night the arch-clown announced a series of measures to limit the use of electricity in Venezuela, which he blamed on el Niño! (...but not el niño terrible! ). These were encased in so many layers of bureaucratic conditionals that even Chávez faltered as he tried to explain them and had to keep re-reading from his notes. The people of Venezuela are going to be thrown into a permanent state of domestic paranoia over their utility bills, the Bolivarian leader's regular tormentor suggested.

Bayly is a bit like a Latin American Charlie Brooker, but he could learn a thing or two from the latter about brevity and not over-labouring his best gags. V and I have agreed you could improve his nightly show immensely simply by giving him a slot half the size at 30 minutes.

Here's Bayly on Hugo's performance in Copenhagen:

And here's Charlie Brooker on US News Networks:

* Jaime Bayly wrote La Mujer de mi Hermano and other works with homsexual/bisexual themes, such as the semi-autobiographical No Se Lo Digas a Nadie.

1 comment:

Miss Trudy said...

Fascinating commentary on Bayly. We can't stand the guy. I have tried to watch his show but just can't, he makes my skin crawl pretty much the same way that guy ... what's his name? Beck? ... does. I did enjoy the film version of La Mujer de mi Hermano, though. Maybe he should stick to being a writer and talking head, and let presidential runs to others. There are already clowns enough ruling countries.