Because I got a note from thesociologist  about the previous Spanish post, here goes a (rough) translation, first of the Anonymous question, followed by my response:

I am Argentinian and I am a bit offended because of what you wrote about my country, we are not all gossip TV shows, that’s just afternoon entertainment that one can choose to watch or not, and I have seen worse in other countries. I know that the quality of life in the First World is much better than in Argentina and I can understand that one would prefer to live far away from it. We are still a developing country and we have a long way to go. But I cannot see what you have written without feeling sadness because of all the Argentinians that leave (I am not sure if you are Argentinian) and I see resentment towards the country that makes me value and love Argentina even more since I live here and I am aware of the daily struggles.

My response:

(The question above was triggered, I suspect, by this post I made yesterday)

Look, I am as critical if not more of the country where I live now as I am of Argentina. In fact, I am so critical that I have devoted a blog to the subject (which you can find linked on the left side of the screen). In that sense, I am equal opportunity. I do not believe in nationalism or in flags or even in loving a country simply because one was born there. I also believe that no country is immune to criticism.

Now, if you regularly read what I write, you would know that the majority of my commentary about pop culture is sarcastic and humorous. I am sorry if I offended you, it wasn’t my intention. However, the fact that you left a comment defending an entire country tells me we hold very different positions. I couldn’t care less what others think of the place where I was born or where I live. Such nationalism only leads to intolerance.

And this I didn’t write in my original response but it is as good a place as any to continue ranting: I am shocked that anyone would consider that, because one no longer lives somewhere, then one has also lost their rights to express an opinion. And that expressing an opinion that reflects negatively on the country is somehow akin to resentment. It is a very dangerous proposition and actually, quite authoritarian. Policing people’s opinions on the basis of their place of residence is not only dangerous but insular as well. Actually, it is an argument that the military junta used during the bloody dictatorship that cost 30,000 lives. They would regularly dismiss the concerns of human rights groups with the argument that they were foreign enemies and as such, they had no right to speak up.

My (very tongue in cheek) comment about gossip TV shows cannot possibly be compared to socio political criticism but the fact that someone felt they had to leave a message attempting to invalidate said opinion based on the fact that I might be resentful is quite telling. And also an argument that I have seen repeated on several Argentinian blogs every time an Argentinian person living abroad leaves an unpopular opinion.

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