In the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, North America and Western Europe became cemented as modern liberal democracies, increasingly emphasizing civil liberties, individualism, egalitarianism, and diversity. In the Southern Cone those same modernizing tendencies faced strong opposition from the landed elite and the military, who targeted the counterculture’s young people and staged numerous coups in an attempt to turn back the clock. The propaganda of Argentina’s brutal and humorless Proceso dictatorship attempted to recreate an imaginary past, a caricature of classic ideals such as el ángel del hogar and the Latin Honor Code. But its repressive machinery was countered by another “machine,” a rock band headed by Charly García called La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros, who combined music, film, comics, and pop culture icons in a witty discourse that subtly contradicted that of the military government, at a time when any dissent was extremely dangerous. La Máquina, which cartoonist and García contemporary “Crist” described as “un pájaro progresivo,” deconstructed the regime’s authoritarian discourse, reconstructing in its place a lyrical depiction of liberal democratic ideals.


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pp. 89-107
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