Monday, February 09, 2015

Tania Sanchez; Muslim wars; Banking; Snow storms; European Islamists; Trapping; & G&M again.

This being Spain, the wife of the leader of our new political party, Podemos, has been expelled from her own party (IU) for alleged corruption and has said that, rather than join her husband in his, she'll be following the family tradition and founding her own party. At least, I think that's what's happening but am not 100% sure. I can't help wondering if the husband has told her in no uncertain terms she's not going to join Podemos and damage its chances of a mould-breaking election victory in November. Things could be quite frosty over the Frosties.

The next vicious Sunni-Shia war is brewing in Yemen, it seems. And some say it's already as bad as Syria. God forbid. Except he clearly won't. So what's the point of him? Or her? Presiding over centuries more of internecine religious conflict isn't enough, frankly. Pull your celestial sock out!

Back on earth, who wouldn't want to be a banker? The No. 2 in Spain's BBVA last year took home €6.6m in salary and pension payments. Doubtless justifiable on some criteria or other. But still blatantly immoral.

More than 100 Brits are reported to have been caught in the snow storms which hit northern Spain a few days ago. They were driving down from the ferry at Santander to the sunny south and I bet they weren't expecting that. It's very cold down here on the Atlantic coast but, as ever, no snow. And I can't see any - even with the aid of bins - on the turbine-thronged hills on the north-eastern horizon.

So, which country in Europe harbours the most disaffected Muslims? France, with it 5-10% Muslim population% Britain, with its firebrand clerics? Germany, with its large number of Turks? None of these, in fact. It's Belgium. Whence travel the highest number of recruits to the barbarically murderous Islamic State. Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps they're all employed as interpreters in the EU offices in Brussels.

Well, I finally caught something in my humane trap at the bottom of the garden - a robin. And it wasn't easy to release without damaging it. Whether its willingness to enter the cage displayed bravery or stupidity, I don't know. Perhaps both. Foolhardiness. Still, I hope the experience hasn't put it off my garden.

Finally . . . Another column of praise for the British comedy series Gorge and Mildred, this time from the local Voz de Galicia. It provides a new (to me) bit of Spanglish, el spin-off. Which really should be el espin of:-

Hay sintonías míticas capaces de inducir un viaje en el tiempo y una de ellas es la del sello Thames Television. Su mítica melodía sobre un collage de Londres reflejado en aguas del Támesis acompañó a algunos de los mejores productos del humor británico, desde Benny Hill, uno de sus primeros éxitos, al gafe Mr. Bean, uno de los últimos. En medio, Mildred y George, Los Roper, el spin-off de Un hombre en casa.

Esta semana, la muerte de María Romero, actriz gallega que dobló a Mildred al castellano e imprimió una inconfundible modulación al grito de «¡Geoooorge!», alentó a abrir el baúl de la nostalgia para repasar viejos episodios de un matrimonio hastiado que nunca tuvo hijos, a pesar de haberlo intentado «un par de veces». La serie no es más, ni menos, que una obra de teatro, un trabajo de actores sustentado en un guion impecable, unos diálogos irónicos y unos personajes lo suficientemente certeros como para ser cruelmente reales y los suficientemente caricaturescos como para que nadie se dé por aludido.

El decorado era sencillo; la inversión, poca. Lo que hizo grande a esta sátira que soporta con soltura el paso de los años, lo que mantiene su mordacidad vigente casi cuarenta años después son las ideas, las palabras. Un intangible poco cotizado, pero de gestación más compleja que los efectos deslumbrantes.

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