Tuesday, October 11, 2005

ASHAMED TO BE ECUADORIAN because of Fabian Basabe?

I like to see how the rich and famous are interpreted by Hollywood and the E! Channel, so I when I’m burnt after a long day of writing a new book or script, or sales copy that just has to get out to the client in time, I’ll lay back on the sofa and watch what they’ve got…

That’s when I was hit by this show called “Filthy Rich”…and I thought TV had reached rock-bottom when TV shows redirected their attention from high school graduate minimums to grade school…but, I’m always learning!

If it weren’t for the ranch hands trying to teach the spoiled rich kids something that might help them get out of just being known as members of what Donald Trump so aptly labels “the Lucky Sperm Club”, I’d be really ticked: those ranch hands (the Iacovetto family who owns the Saddleback Ranch) in Colorado have sure got my respect!

The one who really gets under my skin is Fabian Basabe, Jr…why? Well, like him, I also have an Ecuadorian identity…unlike him, I wasn’t raised as a spoiled brat!

My father met my mother in Quito in 1960, when he had come back from a trip to Peru: my mother was working at the Ecuadorian equivalent of the FBI and they met when he had his fingerprints taken for his visa renewal.

Hardworking my parents, and their parents, too. Sure, the Troncosos came from Spain with a lot of money in the 1800s. But, my grandfather was into wine, women, and song and blew all the family money on cards just after WWII!

I’ve wondered if he hadn’t would life have been much easier?…Would I have had the trials I had—no! Worse, I wouldn’t have been enriched by them…

Look at Fabian Basabe: his largest claim to fame is he has a wealthy father whose dealings with the IRS are shady at best. He’s famous for having dropped out of school, well I can relate…he loves to negotiate, I can relate, too…

But, when he interacts with people, especially when he’s drunk, he’s such an ass! And I can honestly say that if he was back in Ecuador: rich or not, he wouldn’t get off so lightly—shoot, I haven’t been back in awhile because I’m a prime target for FARC guerrillas kidnapping Americans and Europeans to bankroll their war in Columbia! I can only imagine what would happen to el bebe Basabe (who reminds me of “wasabi”)….

Then, you might ask, if I revile this person who shames the name of Fabian (one of my uncles in Quito is named Fabian) why do I even sully your time and mine with him?

Well, I’m always challenging myself to find the light and dark in everyone and everything: Fabian’s light is his keen understanding of LEVERAGE!

If you do any business successfully, whatsoever…interact with people in anyway…you are either affected by or using leverage…

“No!” you may say. All I do is write, or, program, or craft beautiful things out of wood—and I say, “EVERYONE EITHER USES OR IS AFFECTED BY LEVERAGE”.

And here is how el bebe Basabe used leverage according to a quote in the Washington Post:

"I was looking for somebody to help me in a marketing capacity," says David Drucker, formerly of Morgan Stanley, who hired Basabe. "He brought me a $10 million account for a publicly traded company and he handed the account to me on a silver platter. He's very street-smart, this kid, and knows a lot more about what he's doing than people give him credit for. I'll never say a bad word about him."

Now that is LEVERAGE…and do you notice how powerful leverage can be? David Drucker’s last words say it: “I’ll never say a bad word about him.” Now I’d never want to be in the same room as el bebe, but the kid has learned to wheel and deal: just imagine what would happen if he had a scrupulous bone in body, a sense of self-respect?

What good can you do if you consciously used leverage to improve the world?

It helped me get my first job as a foreign correspondent in Bangkok, Thailand, though I had no prior training and I was only 18 years old and had just graduated high school the year before. My leverage?

I would go anywhere, anytime to get a story: and I meant it!

Sure, those of you who’ve read my memoir say it got me thrown in a Vietnamese re-education prison for 11 months; and almost got me shot in an ambush on the Mekong River up by Laos…but those stories got me leverage in getting carte blanche on new story assignments throughout Central America and beyond…well worth it—YES, international FAME and NOTORIETY can be VERY EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR LEVERAGE!

You don’t have to risk life and limb, like me, or face, like El Bebe, but fame, notoriety, and number of other qualities and components I’ll talk about soon can work wonders for your leverage and negotiations.

And so back to the original question so many of you have written to me about after seeing El Bebe Basabe on E!: asking, “Are you ashamed?”

Of course not!

Here’s why: Uncle Fabian Troconso, M.D.; Uncle Franklin Troncoso, architectural/construction engineer; Uncle Washington Troncoso, retired director of the Ecuador National Theater; cousin Eddy, environmental engineer and consultant; cousin Yvonne (Yaici), computer programmer; and my closest, Cousin Jose “Richard” Valencia Torres, Captain in the Ecuadorian Army Special Forces, highly decorated during the war with Peru in 1995, and who fell 12,000 feet to his death in 1999 during his jump team’s practice for the December 6th Founders Day celebration. The list goes on—big families in Ecuador (does el bebe Basabe even have a sibling?)…and the list in a very good way goes on for many others who also claim Ecuadorian heritage.

Every country has bad apples: but can we learn from them…if only how not to act like a spoiled little brat?

Here’s a Washington Post Article on Wasabi, I mean Basabe

NEXT TIME: Just met a wonderful lady from the “ole country” (Scotland), actually from near where the Thomson side of my family comes from. I’ll tell you what’s so cool about her business that’ll get you licking your lips and wanting to order what she’s got for your next family ceilidh…

No comments: