Can 100 teenagers performing oral sex on one another in a public park not be a political statement? That's one of the questions the sight of horny, apolitical, bisexual Chilean teenagers are prompting among their appalled, mostly Catholic compatriots, Newsweek reports from a country still haunted by General Pinochet's repressive ghost, yet taking full advantage of his free-market legacy.
Chile's orgiastic Pokemones—think Japanese cartoons—don't aim to shock a nation out of its conservatism, but to embody a specific consumerist image: tight jeans, credit cards, camera phones. "It's basically a fashion thing," says one. Pokemones' sexualized materialism is less a rebellion against their parents' generation than its apotheosis: Economic reforms birthed a Chilean middle class, and these are its children.