Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Colombian tabloids

My discussion a few days ago of Jota Mario's awful morning show has me thinking about funny cultural quirks in Colombia, and the tabloids are definitely one of them. Colombian tabloids don't deal much with celebrities. Granted, there is a whole line of what's known as "pink journalism" that covers the Colombian stars' marriages, petty arguments, affairs, and the like, usually in glossy magazines and trashy TV shows. But the most sordid, newsprint tabloids, analogous to the US's Enquirer, cover terrain much darker and more decadent than the innocuous intrigues of celebrities. No, the tabloids sold out front of most small stores usually have a cover photo of some dismembered corpse that died in a grisly accident. The rest of the tabloid is taken up by similar tales of violence, and photos of scantily-clad sexy young women. It's a funny mix of death and beauty, the morbid and the lustful, that is pure Colombia. But a recent issue I saw completed the real Colombian character. The headline accompanying the graphic snuff photo was "A Death Foretold". A literary, erudite touch, amid sex and murder. Pure Colombia!

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