Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For my sins, I today read a Guardian article about Camille Paglia’s views of Lady Gaga. Given my age (and my two marriages), I’m naturally more familiar with the former than the latter. Anyway, I was most interested in the comment that the feminism of Paglia’s era had “rejected female sexuality as patriarchal imposition”. Whereas “post-feminism reclaimed it.” Meaning, I guess, that women are back to flaunting their sexuality. Some commentators have said Spain didn’t see much of the first (or, indeed, any) wave of feminism. Whether it did or it didn’t, there doesn’t ever seem to have been any rejection of female sexuality here. Anyway, you can read what Ms Paglia said here. And a Wall St Journal commentary(sic) on it here.

I went to a (different) Vodafone outlet today to ask for a copy of their contract, to read at home before signing up. I particularly wanted to see if there was a reference to the message translation service my daughter’s partner had ended up paying for, despite knowing nothing about it. To be honest, I was expecting a fight and had my arguments (and sarcasm) lined up. But the charming young lady happily handed me a blank contract, complete with the completion instructions meant for the agent. Life can be a real bitch sometimes.

When I was a kid – and I think for many years after – the Mars TV ad featured a jingle that went “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.” OK, it didn’t refer to certain tooth decay from eating 352 of these treats every year but at least it was catchy. And, to a degree, creative. Today’s ad on British TV went “Mars. 45% less saturated fat. But still the same great taste.” Which should have them walking out of the shops. At least it must have saved them the cost of an ad agency.

There was a review in El Pais yesterday of the diaries of James Lees-Milner, who seems to have chronicled the worst excesses of the decadent British “upper, upper classes”. The writer claims he is Britain’s most famous diarist, though virtually unknown outside the UK. Well, I have a confession to make – never heard of him. And I don’t appear to have missed much.

For those following these things, here are the latest EU forecasts for economic growth this year:-
Germany – 3.4%
EU 27 – 1.8%
Eurozone - 1.7%
The UK – 1.7%
Spain – (0.3%)
Which is a bit depressing.

It’s fascinating – in a Spanish context – to see Real Madrid’s Ronaldo criticised for individualismo. That said, no team could better represent the fusion of individual talents than Spain’s. And Barcelona are doing a great job of the same – against Panathinaikos – as I write this. If you ignore the penalty that Messi just muffed.

Finally . . . Here’s a Galician recipe, intended for concoction in the very early hours of a Saturday or Sunday morning: Take an 18 year old youth and mix him with alcohol. Sit him in a high-powered Series 3 BMW and put him on one of Galicia’s many bendy roads, preferably when it’s raining. Throw in an immovable object such as a tree, a lamppost or a wall. And cook until ready. Which is when the youth takes a bend too fast and hits one of the latter. Phone the parents and ask who bought him the car. Attend the funeral later that day.


Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published five chapters of a novel she describes as “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised Cuba, it’s being e-published at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a week. Click here, if this entices you. If you do go and you enjoy it, please comment. It’s tough being an aspiring novelist. And the father of same.


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