Narcos is a show on Netflix, i think, about Pablo Escobar.
the PSE and i don't have Netflix, we're not about to pay $12 a month for entertainment when it ought to come for free as a human right, so, like everything else, we stole it off the torrents.
because we don't have Netflix, and we don't have TV to get commercials, and we don't really have any other way of knowing what's going on in the culture, the only reason i ever became aware of Narcos was because i overheard one of my Law School classmates talking to another about how they were excited that Season 2 of Narcos was coming out that afternoon one day, a few weeks into my first semester.
so, based on the overheard excitement of the Frat Boy in my Legal Writing class, i put Narcos on my queue.

i was surprised to find that Narcos is primarily in Spanish.
there are parts in English, but, maybe sixty percent of the show is en espanol, which means you constantly have to read along with the subtitles.
fuck you, Netflix, don't you know that Americans hate having to read their TV!?!
this is America for fuck's sake, if we wanted to hear a bunch of ugly gibberish noises that don't make any sense we'd move to Miami or LA.
but, i read an article that says Netflix is looking to expand into the Spanish-speaking markets and they're doing that by producing what is ostensibly a big budget telenovella.
if i had known how much Spanish i would have to suffer through and how much reading-along i would have to do just to follow the story i might have given the whole series a pass, but, once i started i can't very well stop, so now i'm learning all kinds of different ways to call somebody a fag en espanol.

Narcos - Season One:
Season One of Narcos frames the story of Pablo Escobar against the story of some gringo DEA agent who gets sent down to Bogata to try to catch him.
i don't know why the DEA thought it would be a good idea to send a gringo who doesn't speak a word of Spanish to go to Columbia to fight the drug war, but, i guess back in the late 1970s, nobody really knew how important being bilingual would be.
anyways, down in Columbia the Gringo teams up with another DEA agent, some kind of Mexican who could speak Spanish and the two of them start fighting the war on drugs.
that's it. just the two of them.
the American government had other assets in Columbia, the CIA, and the Military, but they were more interested in fighting communists then doing much of anything about drugs.
meanwhile, Pablo Escobar discovers cocaine.
before that he was a guy who smuggled grass and, i don't know, cigarettes and Betamax tapes or whatever, into the United States but after some Peruvian came and found him and turned him on to their cocoa leaves, he became the man history remembers him for being.
within an episode or two of the ten-episode season, Pablo Escobar is one of the richest men in the world.

Pablo Escobar makes a stupid amount of money, millions per day, off of the cocaine trade.
you would think that after seven or ten or twenty days he would take his money and retire, how much money do you need, but, the motherfucker just kept on being a criminal outlaw and eventually people started to take notice.
Pablo Escobar built his empire on a combination of ruthless murder and building goodwill amongst the poor people of Medellín.
early in Season One Pablo Escobar decides he wants to become President of Columbia one day and, sure, why shouldn't he, so he hires a political consultant and starts fucking a news reporter and he gets himself elected to Congress.
Escobar is quickly run out of Congress for being a goddamned drug kingpin and from that point on his mood sours and he begins a decade-long reign of terror against the Colombian government, conducting a bombing, assassination and murder campaign that killed thousands and brought down numerous political Administrations.
perhaps the most shocking part about Season One of Narcos is that all of his terrorism worked.
the season ends with Pablo Escobar getting the President of Columbia to cave to political pressure and to allow him to serve out a jail sentence for one count of drug trafficking in a prison he built for himself.
there was no 9/11-style United-We-Stand, there was no defiance, apparently, the Colombian people were so sick of getting slaughtered that they were willing to thro up their hands and surrender their country to be a narco-state.
the only Colombian in the entire season who is portrayed as being good and decent and willing to stand up to Pablo Escobar is the head of the unit in charge of capturing him and the season ends with him ordering his commandos to fire indiscriminately into a nightclub to kill one of Escobar's lieutenants.
so, the point of Narcos - Season One is that Columbia is a country of violent thugs, corruption and cowards.
for being a compelling show about what a disgusting, sorry shithole Columbia is, for grating my ears with unpleasant Spanish and for making me read my TV, Narcos - Season One earns a 7.0/10.

Narcos - Season Two:
Season Two of Narcos tells the story of Pablo Escobar's decline.
the gringo DEA agent is still down in Bogota and Medellín trying to catch him but for some reason, despite being at it for over ten years, the White bastard hasn't picked up more then ten words of Spanish.
that might be the most unbelievable part of the story.
anyways, Season Two of Narcos starts with Pablo Escobar living life as a fugitive but still living pretty well.
he has an army at his back and billions of American dollars at his disposal and, every few days his army and his family and his money will move from one palace to another.
you would think the Colombian National Police would just set up shop in every 3000+ square foot house in Medellín, how many could there be? but they don't do that for some reason.
after a while, though, Pablo Escobar's luck begins to change.
an alliance to destroy Pablo Escobar and his drug empire forms between the Colombian Government, the American DEA, the Cali Cartel and the right-wing paramilitary death squads who up until then had been busy stomping around the jungles trying to kill the FARC.
the alliance proves efficient and, after several episodes, the organization, calling itself Los Pepes unleash a reign or terror on Medillin as bad or worse then anything Pablo Escobar ever did.
after hundreds of extrajudicial and often indiscriminate killings, Los Pepes are finally able to murder all of Pablo Escobar's top lieutenants and isolate him financially.
by the conclusion of the season, Pablo Escobar is left with nothing but one henchman and $6,000 in cash, U.S..
the Columbia National Police find him living in some shitty house with a tin roof and they go to arrest and murder him.
Pablo Escobar dies bloody and fat. the end.

the story of Pablo Escobar is interesting, but the story of Los Pepes, and the motley group of people who make it up is important.
Pablo Escobar was a narcoterrorist villain. Los Pepes were, for all intents and purposes, agents/employees of the Colombian and American governments.
it's important that Americans don't forget that. the DEA and the CIA need to sit in that stink and shame.
for telling an interesting and important story about one of Latin America's most evil men, and about several other of Latin America's most evil men that America was happy to hop into bed with, for being entertaining and informative, but for still being mostly en espanol, which is a pain in the ass, Narcos - Season Two earns a 7.9.10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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