Monday, January 04, 2016

Sp. Politics; Al Andalús; Religion; Politicos; Secret Beaches; & But not as we know it, Jim.

SPANISH STALEMATE X 2
  1. There's no sign of a viable coalition emerging as the next Spanish government. The betting now is that the PP party will return as a minority government with - astonishingly – the discredited Sr Rajoy still at the helm. I guess it makes sense to someone. Things will change if the socialist PSOE party's infighting is brought to an end in favour of supporting a secession referendum – but not secession – in Cataluña.
  2. The even more discredited President Mas of said Cataluña hasn't been able to get his main coalition partner to support his continued presidency and so a second regional election is now virtually certain. All bets are off for this.
SPAIN AND ISLAM: London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has said we should do more to acknowledge the contribution to our culture of Islamic Spain. Or Al-Andalús, as it was/is known. “The Muslims ruled this part of Spain for 800 years,” he's stressed, “and their legacy was colossal”. But, quite rightly, he doesn't “go along with the notion that it was all a kind of multi-cultural sweetness and light, with Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side in perfect harmony.” But “You cannot deny the scale of the Muslim achievement,” he stresses. “It was the intellectual flowering of the Cordoba caliphate that helped to protect and transmit ancient Greek texts and eventually to propel the European Renaissance. And the Islamic architecture of Granada is simply astonishing”. There's a slight irony to all this. The Spanish, whom you might think should be most grateful of all for this legacy, don't like to be reminded that virtually all of them have Moorish/Islamic genes.

TALKING OF RELIGION . . . It took Western Christians more than 16 centuries to stop killing those co-religionists and others who didn't entirely agree with them. And they're still at it in some parts of the world. The Muslims have only been doing this for 13 centuries and are still awaiting their Reformation and Renaissance. So, maybe we shouldn't be too optimistic about any imminent changes. Even if some, at least, think the process has begun. Let's hope they're right.

SPAIN'S BEACHES: Today's Daily Telegraph have a (probably sponsored) article on Europe's 10 Best Hidden Beaches. Impressively, two of these are here in Galicia. 1. Viveiro, and 2. The Cíes Islands. Laughably, the recommended hotel for the latter is said to be “right by the beach, just outside the town”. This would be the town of Bayona, back on the mainland. The islands are said to be “known to locals as the 'Galician Caribbean' or the 'Galician Seychelles', which came as news to me.

POLITICIANS: Nice quote from Kissinger: “90% of politicians give the other 10% a bad reputation.” Of course, you'd have to increase the first percentage for Spain.

FINALLY . . . BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT, JIM: Today's kids live so much in the virtual worlds available to them via their ubiquitous smartphones that they have an acronym for where the rest of us live – IRL. Or 'In Real Life'. Where will it all end? Not that I really care; I won't be here to see it.

1 comment:

Sierra said...

Must be a holiday for Telegraph "journalists" in Mumbai - that is a repeat of an article from June 2014

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