Friday, May 23, 2014

First times; Bankers; The Revolution?; The bulls; Evictions; UKIP; & Spanish anger.

I arrived in Madrid early this morning. It was cold and wet. Always a first time, I guess.

On a BBC podcast they read a letter from someone with the name Charisma. Always a first time, I guess.

I read today that, despite all their greed and their crimes, no bankers have yet been jailed in any country except little old Iceland. Several of them are in the dock in Spain, of course, but no one expects anyone to serve a prison sentence. Even if convicted, they'll immediately be pardoned under the outrageous powers the government has here.

Meanwhile, perhaps the Revolution has finally begun. It's reported thataround 50 people attacked a car transporting Spain's Minister of Finance and the leader of the Popular Party in Cataluña while they were on the European elections campaign trail near Barcelona on Wednesday.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, it's claimed that cheating is going on in Spain's bullrings. The horns are being filed down so they do less damage to those matadors who are gored. And because this exposes the animal's nerves and makes it less willing to charge. It's big business so, in this 'low ethics' society, fraud is inevitable.

More relevantly, nearly 50,000 Spanish families lost their homes in 2013, up 11% on 2012. This almost certainly reflects the fact that Spain's harsh laws allow banks to summarily eject those who default on their mortgage payments. Without even crediting them with the value of the house.

Over in the UK, the eurosceptic UKIP party has, as forecast, triumphed in the local elections, though they haven't gained control of a single council. As someone has put it -"The UKIP fox is now in the Westminster hen house" - even if they're unlikely to win any seats in the 2015 general elections. Such fun.

Finally . . . Here's a useful list of the ways you can express anger in Spanish.


Perry said...

Filing the tips of the horns is a very old practice, A bull accurately knows the length of its horns & if they are carefully filed then the bull misses the Torero & the capework is more flamboyant & the audience is none the wiser.

I have been to one or two Corridas however, where the tips of the horns have been blatantly hacksawed off without any pretence of disguise & the afficionados vent their fury in no uncertain terms. - However, the tip of the horn is made of keratin, the same material as your fingernails, so no pain!

Colin Davies said...

All true, but once you get past the keratin there's the nerve. No?

Perry said...

The keratin is the whole of the horn & grows out of the head. There are no nerve in the keratin & the horns are very long.

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

For many decades cattle ranchers have been putting tight rubber seals around the base of the horns of young bulls. These seals separate the horns from the head in 3-4 weeks without any pain at all. As indicated by Perry, the entire horn is like finger nails in humans.

SF Bay Area

Colin Davies said...

Same process as piles I think!