So far, I've declined to get myself a smartphone or tablet or phablet - or even a simple e-reader - as I'm already concerned that my laptop and its capabilities take up enough of my time. So I was always going to find this little video amusing, dealing as it does with technology-crazed I-diots. It's Spanish, by the way, and to me far more eloquent than any of the Turner Prize candidates. You might also like to ponder on the (American, of course) naming of a new phobia - FOMO. Or Fear of missing out. Technology-wise, of course.
Somebody who obviously wasn't missing out was the priest I mentioned yesterday, up in Borja. He's now been charged with offences including sexual abuse, embezzlement and money laundering. The 70 year old cleric is one of 6 men arrested in a fraud investigation labelled Operation Thorn Tree by the police. We await further funny details. Meanwhile, more here if you're interested.
The latest passengers on the Spanish corruption bus are more officials of the UGT trade union and the ex-mayoress of Jerez. The latter is accused of being involved in an €8-9m embezzlement scheme. She's looking at a fine of €9m and 3 years in prison. Perhaps. Meanwhile, she's been asked to cough up bail of €11m. En passant, Jerez is one of the most indebted cities in the country.
Down at Pontevedra street level . . . There's a thoroughfare on the other side of the bridge which I've walked down virtually every day I've lived here. I read on Sunday that from yesterday the traffic lanes would be reduced from two to one. This rather astonished me, as I'd always thought there was only one lane. This, of course, was because the second lane was always occupied by the (illegal) double-parking which, I was once told, the 2 supermarkets in the street bribed the police to do nothing about. Probably just a tall tale.
Finally . . . The final instalment from Bertrand Russell's auto biography. With a nice final note for the non-religious among us. Not to mention the irreligious:-
Ever since my marriage, my emotional life had been calm and superficial. I had forgotten all the deeper issues, and had been content with flippant cleverness.
I went out bicycling one afternoon, and suddenly, as I was riding along a country road, I realised I no longer lover Alys [his wife]. I had no idea until this moment that my love for her was even lessening. The problem presented by this discovery was very grave. . . During my bicycle ride a host of such things occurred to me, and I became aware that she was not the saint I had always supposed her to be. But in the revulsion I went too far, and forgot the great virtues that she did in fact possess.
Pain made me sentimental, and I used to construct phrases such as "Our hearts build precious shrines for the ashes of dead hopes." I even descended to reading Maeterlinck.
What a monstrous thing that a university [in the USA] should teach journalism! I thought this was only done in Oxford.
What we have to do, and what we privately do, is to treat the religious instinct with profound respect, but to insist there is no shred or particle of truth in any of the metaphysics it has suggested; to palliate this by trying to bring out the beauty of the world and of life, so far as it exists, and above all to insist on preserving the seriousness of the religious attitude and its habit of asking ultimate questions. And if good lives are the best thing we know, the loss of religion gives new scope for courage and fortitude, and so may make good lives better than any that there was room for while religion afforded a drug in misfortune.
And I often feel that religion, like the sun, has extinguished the stars of less brilliancy but not less beauty, which shine upon us out of the darkness of a godless universe. The splendour of human life, I feel sure, is greater to those who are not dazzled by the divine radiance; and human comradeship seems to grow more intimate and more tender from the sense that we are all exiles on an inhospitable shore.