Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sic transit gloria mundi

I've just come out of the most depressing place I've ever visited. And I know a lot about depression. I imagine only Auschwitz could have a greater impact on me.

This was the basilica in the Valley of the Fallen outside Madrid. The location of the tomb of the tyrant Franco, which I had the pleasure of walking over. Twice.

This vast, dour memorial to the fascist dead was carved out of the granite mountainside by republican slave labour, who are not even mentioned in the memorials to the glorious dead.

Both its preposterous exterior and interior are reminiscent of every Nazi construction you've ever had the misfortune to see. And the interior tells you everything you need to know about the grim and guilt-ridden relgion in which I was indoctrinated.

There are huge virgins and angels on all sides. Not to mention the several gory representations of an agonized Christ. All offset by a gaudy giftshop on the way out

As i left. I felt I should have been even more angry but my primary temptation was to vomit.

As Franco was Galician, the restaurant next door is naturally called something like 'The Pride of Galicia'. I feel ashamed eating my lunch here

But I plan to sleep in the car and to try to dream of Franco's month--long death agonies. The will of God, you understand. Which, as a good, stupid Catholic, he endured without medical help. Once a fool, always a fool.

2 comments:

Maria said...

I passed by there once on my way to El Escorial. When I saw there was an entrance fee (at least there was a sign saying so at that time), I decided not to contribute to the upkeep of the place and didn't drive in. May it fall to pieces.

Perry said...

Colin,

Julius Caesar was worse than Franco. JC did it for the money. As a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt.
............................................................................................
As many as a million people (probably 1 in 5 of the Gauls) died, another million were enslaved, 300 clans were subjugated and 800 cities were destroyed during the Gallic Wars.[citation needed] The entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) (40,000 in all)[citation needed] were slaughtered.[13] During Julius Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland) approximately 60% of that nation was destroyed, and another 20% was taken into slavery.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaul#Conquest_by_Rome

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallic_Wars

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaul

Titus was no barrel of laughs either.

Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish.[41] 97,000 were captured and enslaved, including Simon Bar-Giora and John of Jish.[41] Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, as he claimed that he had not won the victory on his own, but had been the vehicle through which their God had manifested his wrath against his people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titus

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