Rodrigo Orihuela

On being banal about evil and human tragedies (in fiction)

Les bienveillantes is such a huge and, apparently, dense book that even most book lovers are likely to go out of their way to avoid it. The original version is in French and more than 900 pages long; the Spanish-language translation has 973 pages. The English-language translations — one in the US, one in Britain…

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Could my wife replace me as president, please?

Two leading international magazines, the New Yorker and the Economist, ran articles in September on political dynasties. Unsurprisingly, both centred on the Bushes and Clintons who will have jointly governed the world’s most powerful country uninterrupted for 24 years if Hillary Clinton is elected US president next year and subsequently completes her term. The interesting…

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Time for kings and queens to put on the gloves

International political summits, those huge events where heads of state gather to debate things such as international affairs and social integration, tend to have one common denominator everywhere in the world: most taxpayers have no interest in them. It’s not that taxpaying citizens are not concerned with those important issues their leaders discuss; it’s simply…

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Pumas, Boks, stats and the hypocrisy of a rugby community

The Springboks’ well-deserved win yesterday over Argentina in the Stade de France was built on three key pillars: a deadly instinct to take advantage of opposition errors; crushing dominance in the lines; and Jake White’s brilliant stratagem to suffocate the rather one-dimensional, albeit effective until then, style of play of the Pumas — a stratagem…

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Che Guevara, marketing icon and Puma inspirer

“I feel sorry for the family of Che Guevara, people who knew him before he became a T-shirt.” The quote belongs to Jeremy Hardy, a British comedian, and came to memory on Tuesday when I saw a few dozen teenagers march in Buenos Aires to commemorate the 40 anniversary of the death of the famed…

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The global appeal of the Pumas

Marcelo Loffreda, Argentina’s rugby coach, was happy at mid-week. The main reason was, obviously, that the Pumas’ victory over Ireland on Sunday enabled his team to top their pool — with the best defensive record in the World Cup — and therefore face Scotland in the second round instead of the All Blacks. Loffreda was…

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How Twitter inspired the creation of a newsroom

Twitter has been criticised almost as much as it has been used since it went public just more than a year ago. The most common criticism aims at the very question all Twitter users are meant to answer: “What are you doing?” (Anybody who doesn’t know what Twitter is can find it wonderfully explained by…

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From blogger to editor-in-chief

A new daily paper is expected on the streets of Spain on Thursday and when it comes out, its 31-year-old editor, Ignacio Escolar, is likely to set an international milestone: the world’s first blogger to become editor-in-chief of a national newspaper. Actually, Escolar is a journalist, and he has worked as such in many small…

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The importance of national anthems in sports

The stunner pulled by the Pumas last Friday with their victory over France in the World Cup opener was a history-making moment for Argentinian rugby. The local press and supporters have been talking about it non-stop since, ahead of today’s game with Georgia. There was, however, another event at the match, aside from the win…

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Rugby, the toffs’ game

Rugby is a toffs’ game. At least that’s what most Argentinians think. Not that you would be able to tell by the Pumas’ trademark rough, on-the-verge-of-the-rulebook style of play. The working classes play football in this country, even though there are be some footy-playing toffs around. But there are no working-class guys playing rugby —…

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