Thursday, May 29, 2014

Art?; The EU; Strange town names; Priapic priests; & Political stars.

Yesterday I mentioned Tracy Emin and her derisory bed. Today comes even worse news - Yoko Ono will be exhibiting at Bilbao's Guggenheim when I visit it with old friends next month. I wonder if the place is flammable.

The EU: Here's our Ambrose's take on what Sunday means for the technocrats who run the project. A taster: "The EU authorities are now in a near hopeless situation. The logic of EMU is a further erosion of nation states." About which no one will be unhappier than Marie Le Pen of the National Front, who feels that: "The euro blocks all economic decisions . . . France is not a country that can accept tutelage from Brussels. We have succumbed to a spirit of slavery". Fighting talk.

But Omar Khayam said it all several hundred years ago:- 
Life is but a chequer-board of nights and days. 
Where Brussels with the states for pieces plays, 
Hither and thither moves and mates and slays 
And one by one back in the closet lays 

But can this go on much longer?

Talking of several centuries, the Spanish town hitherto called "Killjews" (Matajudios) has voted to change itself to something less offensive. Reading about this I discovered the answer to the question of why so many places in the south contain the word frontera (frontier) in their names when they're nowhere near Spain's borders. It's because they were once along the border of the Muslim Kingdom of Granada. Simples.

I frequently say the Spanish are exceptionally pragmatic. I was reminded of this today when reading there are around 6,000 married priests in Spain and that bishops turn a blind eye if priest in question stays out of the media, doesn't attempt to persuade colleagues to abandon celibacy and if marriage doesn't compromise his faith.

Finally . . . A new political party shot into the Spanish firmament on Sunday, gaining 5 seats in the EU parliament, even though it's a one-man-band. The party is Podemos ('We can') and the man is Pablo Iglesias. Here's the reaction to his success and here's a profile of the man himself. I doubt anyone knows where the party will go from here or, most importantly, how much impact it will have on the next general elections. So, interesting times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

Following up on our repartee about British women, well, I don't know if they are the ugliest but it seems that, allegedly, they certainly are the fattest. But does fat equate to ugly? That is the question, n'est pas?



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