Thursday, February 11, 2016

Notes on Spain. Mostly.

Spanish TV: As everyone knows (Spanish or otherwise), this is not the finest in the world. One aspect of it always gets me. Admittedly, I don't watch many of them, but, as far as I can see, every serious or semi-serious program (and the weather presenting) is presided over by a willowy, long-haired, twenty-something-year-old beauty in killer 6 inch high heels. If there were such a program as Newnight on Spanish TV, I imagine that this, too, would be presented by a couple of these. I find it hard to conceive of the BBC ever indulging in this practice. The weather presenters on British TV may well all be female but few of them are glamourous. And they rarely, if ever, sport the tightest of shirts and jeans. But I doubt this affects their accuracy.

The politicisation of Spanish justice:
  • Here's the estimable Guy Hedgecoe on the key issue of forgetting (or not) the Civil War of '36-39.
  • And here's an article on the fate of a couple of puppeteers who foolishly gave a performance of their adult, satyrical show to a group of kids. It's hard not to believe that neo-fascists and egregious defenders of Francoism are behind their prosecution and overnight imprisonment.
Dating Spanish women: Dedicated to all my male friends already married to Spanish women (especially Ponters Peter), here's advice on how they should have dated them. And presumably did.

Transiting your Gender: Though it's the law here that people can't change their name until they're 18 years old, a 4 year-old Basque 'boy' has been given permission to do this. Details here. I must admit to being confused and conflicted on this issue. On the one hand, yes. On the other, can kids really take a critical decision on their real gender? Especially if operations follow.

Barcelona: In 1990, a mere 1.7 million people visited this city. By last year, this had risen to 7.4 million, 'bested' only by London and Paris. The VP of the Melia Intl. hotel chain fears this is too many and says the tourism model should be changed. But what he's really concerned about is competition from the likes of Airbnb. Large Spanish companies don't much like competition. Especially if it meets consumer needs.

City Tours: In a city or two along the Galcian coast, you can drive round and peer at the mansions of the the well-known resident narcos, or drug traffickers. The equivalent in London is a bus trip giving you the chance to gape at some of the huge places bought by corrupt ex-Soviet politicians and businessmen, aided by corrupt British estate agents/realtors and lawyers. It's called The Kleptocracy Tour and you can see a video on it here.

Finally . . . Here's a funny video of 2 plastered Northern Irishmen not quite managing a sofa on wheels. God know why the newspaper felt it necessary to censure the language; it's not as if any of us can understand a bloody word of what they're saying!

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