Monday, April 22, 2013

Strange happenings in Veggie Square today. I was there with friends at 3.45 when there was the unprecedented sight of two young women staggering around pretty drunk. Presumably having been out on the town 12 to 14 hours earlier. They eventually sat down and ordered another drink, only to be followed by a third young woman, on her own but even the worse for wear. She passed through the square and disappeared. But driving back a few minutes later, we passed her teetering dangerously on her heels along the side of the road. So we took her home, gave her plenty of water and put her to bed. Her 'back story' was a little inconsistent and implausible, as if she'd learnt it. This left us with a query as to what might be going on the flat we later took her to. But, having done our good deed for the day, we left it at that.

I mentioned yesterday that an English heritage is not much celebrated in the USA. Tght on cue, today I read this paragraph in a review of 'The Lady Vanishesby A A Gill:- This was an American co-production, and it played to all the embarrassing and degrading stereotypes of English class and snobbery the Americans love to loathe us for. It's a little worrying to realise that there's a US version of 'Shameless', set in feral Manchester. Or perhaps not, as they don't get to see the original.

Spain's opposition PSOE party has come up with a scheme which is either brilliant or crackpot.With the aim of bringing into circulation the billions of euros of dirty money stashed in one place or another and so stimulate the economy, it proposes that the EU should simply abolish the favourite note of crooks and brothel owners – the 500, called for some time the 'Bin Laden', in recognition of the fact it's so rarely seen.

I happened upon a talk on Jesus's (non)existence today. It reminded of a thought I had about Christianity last week. This was that, if I were thinking - as I am - of starting a new religion, I wouldn't base it on a 33 year-old, unmarried man still living with his parents and consorting with a group of 12 men. And perhaps the occasional (transvestite?) prostitute. Not an original thought, I'm sure, but no less valid for that.

Talking of Jesus, I found myself wondering today what he would do in the following circumstances:- “A mentally handicapped seven-year-old girl has been barred from taking Holy Communion and being confirmed because the vicar says she will not understand the lessons learnt in Sunday school."  What she does understand, however, is that she's not going to be confirmed or have a 3 grand First Holy Communion do. That's Catholicism for you, showing the religious equivalent of Hitler's exclusionist approach to the handicapped.

Down on earth, in the wasteland which is the Spanish property market, prices are said to have fallen by 54% since the peak in 2007/8. Worse, they're predicted to decline for at least another five years, “as weak economic growth, high unemployment and the lack of available credit will prevent the country from a dealing with the massive oversupply of houses built before the crisis.” Which is less than encouraging. Closer to home, there was activity yesterday on the site of the 23 houses behind mine, finished 3 years ago and never occupied because of (il)legal considerations. A couple of vans came to do something to the electricity sub-station but I don't know whether they switched the supply off or on. Time will tell.

Reader SP picked up on my conversation with Telefonica the other day, giving his own example of stupid excuses for bad service. It reminded me of the most comprehensive waiver I've ever seen. It was on the airway bill for the dog I brought home from Tehran. This read:- BA ACCEPTS NO RESPONISIBILITY FOR DEATH CAUSED BY MORTALITY. Brilliant.

Finally . . . Something to please the ladies and amuse the gentlemen. Perhaps.


Sierra said...

Interesting that John Wells (ER, The West Wing), producer of Shameless USA, based it in Chicago's South Side as "..he had to fight efforts to place the show in the South or in a trailer park. He explained, "We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds. The reality is that these people aren't 'the other' – they're people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over""

Sierra said...

P.S. This should appeal to you - only in Spain no.7936:

Anonymous said...

Hello Colin,

Negating communion to the 7 year old in reality does not have anything to do with Catholicism. If I were the girl's father I would be very proactive and raising the biggest stink this side of Jupiter. I would call the press at the local, national, and international level, not to mention the local clergy all the way up to the Vatican if needed. The fact that a particular priest has some archaic ideas on the subject gives him no authority in this matter.

BTW, you did a very good deed in taking the drunk girl home. However, in the US at least, you would have taken the risk of being thrown in the slammer for possible kidnapping and sexual molestation.


SF Bay Area

Colin said...

Hi, Jorge.

Well, the article said that the priest explained that the faith demanded that she understand what was going on.

Here are a few sentences from review of the Catholic catechism and the Wiki entry on Catholicism:-

he Latin tradition gives "the age of discretion" as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion

To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace.

A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament.

If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest should give him Confirmation. Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ's fullness.

Finally . . . . In the Roman Catholic canon law, the age of reason, also called the age of discretion, is the age at which children attain the use of reason and begin to have moral responsibility. On completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have the use of reason, but mental retardation or insanity prevent some individuals from ever attaining the use of reason.

Interesting comment on helping the young lady. Fortunately, one of us was a woman. I would have thought twice (or even thrice) about taking her home, if I'd been on my own. She probably would have refused anyway, even though she was pretty far gone.


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