A pox upon the media
And everything you read
They tell you your opinions and
They're very good indeed
—Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys, "I Wanna Destroy You"
On both occasions I've seen Robyn Hitchcock perform live, he has made winking references to his admiration for Bryan Ferry. Ferry co-founded Roxy Music with Brian Eno and a guitarist named Phil Manzanera, who was born in London but spent part of his childhood in Venezuela. So there's the connection, I guess.
Allow me to confess right here that I have never been to Venezuela. I have known a few people from that oil-rich country, all of them from relatively privileged backgrounds. From them I have heard varying opinions on Hugo Chávez and the Bolívarian Revolution, as well as varying impressions on the economic situation there. What they have said certainly varies more than what I've been able to glimpse from mainstream media and analyses of MSM coverage.
From my cushy middle-class existence in the US, I have been rooting for the Revolution to succeed since its beginnings, despite misgivings about Chávez's autocratic tendencies. Since crude oil prices dropped six years ago, a drop from which they have yet to rebound, Team Bolívar isn't doing so well. Why have I been rooting for it? Why do I even care? Because I remember.