Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Apparently there’s been something of a media storm in the USA around a female American Idol contestant who’s appeared in some racy magazines. This caused great amusement on one of our TV gossip shows yesterday, where the view was that, here, it’s effectively obligatory for such young women to get their kit off if they’ve got anything worth flaunting. Like our local heroine, Ana María Ríos, for example. Relatedly, I asked a group of English teachers last night how they felt about Miss Cantabria losing the Miss Spain crown because she was a mother. All 5 women felt this was wrong, of course, but what really interested me was they had to be goaded by the sole male teacher into agreeing – eventually – that beauty shows were demeaning to women. And there was genuine astonishment these had been effectively banned in the UK for possibly 20 years. But they did stress things were equal here as there was a contest for Mister Spain as well as for Miss Spain. I feel this is a valid point and that things should be left as they are. Though I wouldn’t say this to either of my daughters, of course. Thank God they never read my blog. Serpent’s teeth.

Surveying the mindless slaughter taking place in Iraq and elsewhere, it would be easy to be smug about the civilised values of the developed world. So it’s worth recalling that as recently as 1782 a 14-year-old girl was hanged in Britain for being found in the company of gypsies. Fortunately, things have changed so much since then it’s now considered offensive even to use the word ‘gypsy’ - ‘traveller’ being the officially sanctioned alternative. Some may feel this is too much progress, though a price worth paying.

If you’re a regular reader, you won’t be surprised to hear I wasn’t surprised to learn Spain’s most profitable companies last year were the Banco Santander and Telefonica. All the more intriguing, then, that the latter can’t afford to invest in phone lines in rural areas here. Or in providing a decent broadband service where there are lines. That said, my daughter in Madrid says Telefonica have provided excellent service to her to date. So perhaps things are on the mend. Driven, no doubt, by my relentless and fearless criticism.

A bit more Spanglish: In Spain, a super model in una top. But a really great super model is una megatop.

Galicia Facts and Perspectives

February was decidedly not a good month for deaths on the roads here. In fact, at 21, the total was almost double that of last year. Equally depressing statistics are reported for crimes of violence against women. Let’s hope March brings better news, as well as less rain.

Ahead of the local elections in May, I’ve received the first political pamphlet I’ve seen in 6 years. This has depressed me in confirming the huge increase in utility bills here over the last decade but it’s also delighted me with its no-punch-pulling approach to the incumbent administration. Here’s a few headlines to give you the flavour:-
“Corruption is camped in Poio Council”
“The lies of Poio’s mayor”, and
“The PP says Murillo is a liar and demands the sacking of Sobral”.

I can’t wait for more of this stuff from the other 2 parties. Even if they chose to write in Gallego.

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