Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Spanish apologies; The bulls; Corruption; Colonies and non-colonies; and Satellite TV.

From time to time I aver that, because they get a lot of practice at it, the Spanish are the world's best at apologising. The latest example of this is the chap who was responsible for the video of the Spanish kids dressed as Guárdia Civil members invading Gibraltar and gunning down Brits. Proffering sincere apologies to the British people, our friend insisted it was really just an innocent part of a local fiesta and not set in a school but in the street. Specifically, it was an entry in a fancy dress contest and the applause from the audience was for the [truly pathetic] acting of the participants and not for any sentiments apparently expressed. Yeah, well. Maybe. But thanks for the apology.

If you're not a great fan of the mixture of cruelty and artistry which comprises Spain's Fiesta Nacional, you'll enjoy this video of a taurine event in which the bulls suffer no more than frustration and, possibly, embarrassment. It's certainly something from the past and may just represent the future. Incidentally, I see the bulls get changed, just as they do in a corrida. Obviously, this is not because they've died and I wonder whether it's because the bulls wise up and pose increasing danger to the performers.

Corruption: President Rajoy gave an interview to Bloomberg a couple of days ago and said rather more than he'd previously done about the Bárcenas illegal donations/payments case meandering through the courts. Having quickly had second thoughts, Rajoy then asked the station not to air several bits. Unsurprisingly, it refused. On the other hand, the tame Spanish media complied. Which raises a few questions about the true extent of democracy here.

In the latest case of the Public Prosecutor acting more like the Public Defender, the Fiscal has told the judiciary here not to issue arrest warrants for three Franco-era officials being pursued by Spaniards through the Argentinean courts. More here on this.

Just to clarify . . . It isn't the Canaries government which has petitioned the UN for the islands to be included - alongside Gibraltar - in the list of colonies. It's a group of 'united residents', along with an association of 'independent residents'.

Which reminds me . . . If you want the Spanish view of why Gibraltar is utterly and totally different from the places which Spain controls in North Africa and along the Moroccan coast, here it is. I'm not sure anyone outside Spain agrees with this highly legalistic take on things. Doubtless Morocco will seek to get an answer to this in the event that Spain gets the UN to discuss Gibraltar. Which is about as likely as me winning the Miss World contest.

It's been a good year for the British actor Jim Broadbent. After getting an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor earlier in the year, he was last week awarded the Concha de Plata for Best Actor at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In the film "Le Weekend".

The fight-back has begun. Talking on TV this morning, David Cameron correctly referred to "The number of people", not 'The amount'. Mind you, given the phenomenal cost of his education at Eton, I think I might have killed myself if he hadn't got it right.

Finally . . . If you blinked, you may have missed that Monday was the International Day of the Tapa. Or it may have been Sunday.

Finally, finally . . . Brits in Spain worried about losing all their UK programs need to know that the much delayed rocket launch finally took place yesterday, meaning that the new, weaker satellite should be operating by Christmas. Reportedly, this will hit Brits living in the South hardest. As for us up here in Green Spain, we may fare a tad better. But vamos a ver.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Believe it or not, but despite my profound hatred of the corrida, I manage to enjoy the video of the bull jumping you posted. These fellows are indeed skillful, and put up a good show without causing harm. Very nice to see.

Meanwhile, will you allow me to correct your choice of words? The bullfight is not made up of 'cruelty and artistry' but of 'cruelty and acrobatics'. As in the circus, and no more than that.

Yours, Alfred

Colin said...

I think almost anyone would appreciate the performance, regardless of their views on the corrida.

Would you go so far as to say the performers are brave.

As for the choice of words . . . I was combining your word with that of the Spanish, in the interests of balance.


sp said...

On the other theme of the year, I read to the end of this rather long article, all the time expecting the obvious comparison with Gibraltar, but it never appeared.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I still think they are rather reckless than brave. But at least their object is more dignified...

Other than that: the views expressed in these comments are not necessarily those of Alfred B Mittington.

I can be just as coward as you, my dear friend...

Alfred B Mittington

Colin said...

@sp: Yes, indeed, An elephant in the room.