The Spanish king's grandson has shot himself in the foot, leaving me wondering whether there's a genetic predisposition in the family to this sort of thing. For the king, when young, also mis-aimed a gun. Though in the direction not of himself but of his brother. Who died of his wounds. It's said it was an accident. And that it's not done to mention it in company. Or to include it in the official biography you're writing.
I'm sorry but I must return to the subject of Damian Hirst. The Sunday Times art critic has written:- "The nihilistic desire to laugh in death's face positions Hirst among the Ensors and the Goyas; serious artists who make their dark points with comic means." Yes, well. . . Another critic I read last week berated those who don't see much art in Hirst's work and said that, for him, art was anything that made him think. Well, I'm sure that, if I kicked him in the orchestra stalls, it would give rise to some thoughts on his part. But I wouldn't pretend this amounted to performance art. Though I may well be selling myself short here. I guess it'd have to be on a video loop.
I mentioned British youth last night and their habit of flying to foreign capitals for the weekend, with the sole intention of getting so drunk they won't be able to remember anything at all about it. And of trashing whatever place they end up in. Inevitably, some cities have decided they can do without this trade and have banned stag tours and the like. Now, though, as reader James has pointed out, things have been taken further; a group of Manchester students has brought the trinity of drink, fight and trash to a cross-Channel ferry. Terrorising other passengers in the process. The ferry company has said none of them will be allowed back on the boat for a return trip. Which seems like paltry punishment to me.
As for the Spanish economy . . . The government struggles on, against a background of widespread fears and rising bond yields. It's announced a further package of cuts totalling 10 billion euros, from Healthcare and Education. Click here for a lot more on this subject from someone who thinks Spain's lose-lose situation has re-ignited the euro crisis. Which is not what we needed or wanted.
Finally . . . Last week I saw, in the local Oxfam bookshop, a copy of a famous Spanish novel called La Celestina. But I didn't buy it as I wanted to hear what my friend Anthea thought of it. With her positive recommendation to hand, I went back to buy it. But I couldn't find it, despite scouring the relevant shelves at least three times. Checking the shelves a final time before giving up, I saw a book by a Spanish author and recalled that La Celestina had been translated as The Spanish Bawd. Which was the title on the spine. So, there you go. If you're looking for a translation of La Celestina, don't.