La Pandilla Basura

Having written 38 blog posts (this is my 39th), I was interested to find out how often each post had been viewed, where the visitors were coming from and why.  Fortunately my advanced data skills were not required as Word Press kindly provide a range of statistics.  As anyone who reads my blog will know, posts are about everything from social media to travel, book reviews, London 2012 and random stuff such as crabs (not those kind of crabs) and even Justin Bieber.  Considering my original intention was to use the blog to market my book, Charles Middleworth, it appears that I may have got a little side tracked.

These are the three most viewed posts to date and the number of page views they have received:


1). Garbage Pail Kids                         673

2). Wenlock & Mandeville                  336

3). Twitter Viruses                               270 

Amazed that a nostalgic trip back to a childhood experience about Garbage Pail Kids stickers could have garnered so many views, I was intrigued as to where the visitors were coming from.  Total visitors to the blog have come from 71 countries to date, though evidently no one has told WordPress that The Isle of Man and Guernsey are not countries.

Bizarrely however the majority of viewers of the Garbage Pail Kids related post have been originating from Colombia.  By the middle of October, it appeared the whole nation had gone Garbage Pail Kids ‘loco’ as the phenomenon spread like wildfire through Latin America with considerable Garbage Pail Kids related traffic coming from neighbouring Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru, though the Brazilians remained largely unaffected.

With the quantitative analysis now complete it is time for the qualitative, to gain an understanding as to the reasons for Latin America particularly Colombia’s 1980’s nostalgia for all things Garbage Pail Kids or La Pandilla Basura (The Garbage Gang)/Bandistas (Trashlings) as they are known in Spanish speaking Latin America.

Relations between Colombia and Reagan’s America became increasingly strained over the course of the 1980’s, as Colombian cocaina or yeyo (the term made famous by Scarface) flooded the U.S.  In the other direction, in addition to American political and military interference in Colombian affairs came La Pandilla Basura.  By the mid-eighties the ‘American Product’ had become an epidemic, surging through schools and barrios from Barranquilla to Bogota and Cali to Cartagena.  In this Latin American melting pot the ensuing buying and dealing in all things La Pandilla Basura reached a crescendo rarely witnessed even in its American homeland.

Perhaps this plague can be understood as a reflection of the era, as Colombian society at large mirrored the sinister, rebellious and unpredictable nature of La Pandilla Basura’s parody of the ‘saccharine cuddliness’ of The Cabbage Patch Dolls, which had been their inspiration.

This might explain why these adults now desire a nostalgic trip back to their childhoods and are scouring the net for all things La Pandilla Basura.

Or perhaps not.

2 Comments

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  • Guy, I always find your blogs entertaining and enlightening. I remember going on holiday with my cousin and her daughter who had a cabbage patch doll, some years ago. The customs officer refused to believe for a while that it wasn’t a real baby – those things are so lifelike.

    • Thank you Diane that is very kind of you to say. Cabbage Patch dolls do indeed have a resemblance to some people though I would certainly not take it as a compliment if I was told I resembled one.

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