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Darkness of the Light

Cover for Darkness of the Light


First, the moth­er of all slow start­s, and just as it picks up speed... it end­s, ex­pect­ing you to fol­low the se­ries.

Dear se­ries au­thors: the first book of a se­ries HAS to have an end­ing. If it does­n't, the read­er will ex­pect that all the oth­ers are the same, and feel cheat­ed.

The mid­dle book of a tril­o­gy CAN be a cliffhang­er, but not the freak­ing first one.

Not only is Argentina not like this: it was never like this.

I just stum­bled in­to this video in The ar­gen­tine post, which is a "doc­u­men­tary" from 1932 about trav­el­ing in Ar­genti­na.

There you can see: a ban­doneón and gui­tar duo play­ing (for some rea­son) on a speed­ing boat.

Folk­loric dancers in high heel­s. Very, very very bad ones, too, spe­cial­ly the wom­en wear­ing said high heel­s.

A re­al life crazy law: coats were manda­to­ry, so men wore py­ja­ma coats in the streets (no, they were not manda­to­ry on the streets al­though you would­n't get in­to al­most any bussi­ness with­out one).

A man sell­ing milk from a cow in the street. Ri­i­i­i­ight. Ok, that is al­most plau­si­ble. Could hap­pen some­times.

The world's worst mate, with about as much sug­ar as yer­ba (be­lieve me, that's not even good for tourist­s).

A com­ment like this "It is sel­dom that an ar­gen­tine wom­an is trou­bled about the rights of her sex".

If this was paid for by some tourism pro­mo­tion agen­cy: they re­al­ly pushed it. If it was paid by MG­M: crap­py pro­duc­tion val­ues in the staged sce­nes, dudes!

The re­al­ly re­al­ly bad side of this kind of thing you can see in the com­ments by peo­ple that seem to be ar­gen­tines who say things like "It was such a coun­try. What have they done with it?".

You know what? Ar­genti­na in the 1930s sucked as a place to live in for most peo­ple. It was ok if you were a mem­ber of the Jock­ey Club, I sup­pose, but the av­er­age guy lived like crap.

Sure, the per capi­ta in­come was high­... com­pared to a world rav­aged by the great de­pres­sion, and even then 70% of the peo­ple lived in pover­ty. And trust me, pover­ty in the 30s was a bad place to be! Read some freak­ing Arlt.

What was the life ex­pectan­cy of the av­er­age ar­gen­tine? How about 55? (see here) Yes, this "rich" place had a life ex­pectan­cy 20 years low­er than to­day.

Of course you had al­most no po­lit­i­cal rights be­cause less than 35% of the pop­u­la­tion over 18 years old had the right to vote.

Those who did vote could just as well not both­er, since there was ram­pant fraud.

There was no pub­lic health sys­tem.

There were no re­tire­ments. You worked un­til you could work no more, then you lived with your kid­s, if you had them. If you did­n't, they bad luck for you.

You lived un­der laws that would now seem dra­co­ni­an, the po­lice could ar­rest you with­out cause and hold you al­most for­ev­er.

But yeah, Pa­ler­mo was a nice race­track (Hel­l, it still is!) where the dis­so­lute rich could waste the mon­ey they earned as ab­sen­tee land­lords of vast ranch­es, and you could swim in the Costan­era (now pol­lut­ed).

The gist? We are bet­ter off now. The av­er­age ar­gen­tine cit­i­zen has more right­s, lives bet­ter and longer than the av­er­age 1930s ar­gen­tine.

The rest is touristy crap and false mem­o­ries.

Yay! sphinx-rst2pdf-builder works!

Ok, it kin­da works a lit­tle.

I got com­mit rights in the mer­cu­ri­al re­po, so now you can get the very very al­pha ver­sion here.

This trig­gered sev­er­al bugs in rst2pdf, so you need SVN rst2pdf for it to work.

What work­s:

  • Glos­sary

  • Plain re­struc­­tured text ... with some caveats (ex­am­­ple: foot­notes are semi-bro­ken)

  • In­­dex gen­er­a­­tion (not 100%, but maybe 75%)

I don't know what oth­er pieces of sphinx re­quire spe­cif­ic rst2pdf sup­port, but I will be hit­ting them as they come.

rst2pdf: almost sphinx-ready

Some guys at PyAr are trans­lat­ing the python tu­to­ri­al to span­ish.

That tu­to­ri­al, like all the new python doc­s, us­es sphinx.

Since sphinx is very pop­u­lar, I want rst2pdf to work as well as pos­si­ble as Sphinx's PDF pro­duc­er. So, two dif­fer­ent things itch­ing, I start­ed scratch­ing.

Well, progress has been made. While the sphinx changes cur­rent­ly re­side on­ly on my com­put­er, I will pub­lish them soon, and the rst2pdf changes are al­ready com­mit­ted.

Here's a sam­ple to whet your ap­petite.

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