Saturday, October 06, 2007

In the 9 or 10 months since ETA broke its own ‘permanent’ ceasefire, the Spanish state has had a good deal of success – in both Spain and in France – in rounding up key members of this terrorist group. This week, it was the turn of 20+ members of its political arm, Batasuna. Unlike Sinn Fein in the UK, this is a proscribed organisation. But, like Sinn Fein, it never condemns violence, except on the part of the government. This sort of operation is labelled ‘judicial’ in Spain and a senior member of the government has basically said “It’s got nothin’ to do with us, Guv.” But, 6 months away from a general election, there’s understandable scepticism about this being a fine, if timely, example of judicial independence.

Spain’s Young Socialists this week issued a video which ruffled many feathers. It features a parody of a TV game in which contestants have to guess words beginning with A, B, C, etc. In this version, the subject is the proposed new curriculum subject Citizenship and a female young socialist gives perfect answers. However, her male, right-of-centre opponent comes across a macho, misogynistic, imbecilic snob. Amongst other things. Rather like comedian Harry Enfield’s Tim Nice-but-Dim character. Without the niceness. It’s well done and funny but, of course, essentially juvenile. I couldn’t help but see it as a good example of the sort of personal abuse which is so often mistaken for argument in Spain. It seems to me this sort of thing should be left to comedians and columnists and not indulged in by political parties, even by those with the defence of callow youthfuness.

Here in Galicia, a columnist on the Voz de Galicia whom I don’t normally see as pro nationalist this week wrote that, just as the Galician Nationalist Party [the BNG] was criticised in times past for being weak and faction-riven, now we should praise it for being united and responsible. At least compared with its equivalents in Catalunia and the Basque Country. I guess he’s being serious but it’s just possible this is a good example of the Galician irony-larded sense of humour called retranca. Opinions welcome.

Which reminds me - I wonder what it will take to ensure some Galician commentators to my blog understand that I don't read their posts if they are in Gallego.


Anonymous said...

the presence of Muslim (and Mudéjar) architecture to this day attests to the profound mark left upon Spain.

Most likely you know much more about Galicia and Architecture than me, so could you give us a couple of examples of Muslim (and/or Mudéjar) master pieces in Galicia, please.

I know Romanesque, gothic and baroque buildings, but not any Muslim/Mudéjar/Mozarabe yet.


Anonymous said...

not again.....................


Anonymous said...

I am not a nationalist (I am not even Galician), I have been polite and I have not make a negative comment about the blog.

I have only read the blog, the comments posted and some links and then asked for clarification about some points.

The author is free to give this information, to help me with my judgement, or not.

But, sorry, I cannot understand your comment, Brendan. I you are not interested in what I ask and the possible answer from the author just do not read them.

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the banter immensely, maybe I should have included a ;)

May I have the pleasure of your name?

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous: If this is the first time you read this blog then you must be really astonished with the racists and absurd statements of the author (colin daves) like I once was, and may be you even think this guy has an education and may be there is a base in what he writes here.

Well, NOT AT ALL. I mean this guy is almost an ILLITERATE and ignores almost anything about Spanish history and culture, so dont expect him to give you any intelligent answer. You will lose your time to no avail.

Be sure he ignores everything about who were the mudejares or the mozarabes.. or anything else about our history.

He tries to counteract his lack of culture googling around the net and whatever he finds he trusts.This is the kind of erudiction he exhibits!

What could you expect of a guy that comes to Spain like if he was exploring some remote and exotic african country and that after 3 years living in Spain he can't even write a word in spanish not to mention galician?.

The only thing you could appreciate in him is that he says so much nonsenses that is even amusing to read him.

So have a good time and dont expect too much. Is just fun!!

Anonymous said...

"the presence of Muslim (and Mudéjar) architecture to this day attests to the profound mark left upon Spain.": ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT.

The only thing it attests is that spanish cristian kings were sufficiently intelligent to preserve this muslim monuments heritage and then sufficiently practical to employ this mudejares of muslim descent and use them as arquitects to rise cristian churches, as unfortunately then cristians had less knowledge in the matter.

This doesnt mean that we spaniards assumed as ours this way of building: dont forget this mudejares were in fact MUSLIMS and were forced to conversion 2 centuries later and then expelled. They never were considered "true" spaniards nor by government nor by the rest of spaniards. This was the same case of the contemporary gypsyes that never fully integrated with the spanish and hence once they also were on the verge of expulsion.

I cant see any muslim trace on our magnificient gothic cathedrals or our "rinascimento" buildings. And much less on any modern arquitecture. If we were so muslim I cant really understand why we as cristians never built in a muslim way of building...

¿Can you explain this Colin?

Anonymous said...

Brendan, since you ask, my name is Jorge, from Navia (Asturias) although living in London.

And is not my intention to create any polemy discussing abstract concepts such as race, culture or even History (which can be re-writen as anyone pleases). But I guess Architecture is something objective and that anyone can judge with their eyes.

Anonymous #1 & #3

Anonymous said...

Hello Jorge,

I'm from New Zealand, spent six years in London and now live in Vigo.

All the best