For as long as our most international festival is San Fermín, Spain won't be a normal country
For as long as in Spain there are still people dying in bullrings or being gored by bulls and cows in bull runnings celebrated everywhere, this will not be a normal country. For as long as our most international festival is San Fermín in Pamplona - an exaltation of testosterone and the herd, not only during the morning bull-runs but all day and night - Spain will not be a normal country. For as long as our traditional festivities consist of throwing tomatoes and chucking firecrackers at each other, or decapitating geese hung by their feet for public amusement, or forcing bulls into the sea for the same reason, or bathing collectively in wine, or bursting galloping horses in processions to virgins, or participating in competitions to see who can eat more eggs, meatballs or kilos of pork sausages, this won't be a normal country.
We will be in the European institutions, but we won't be a normal country.
For so long as our institutions continue to be populated by persons convicted of or being investigated for corruption while their followers continue to vote for them, for so long as our most famous fraudsters and scammers come and go from jail as if it were their home, for so long as on the TV and in bars no one is listening to anyone else, for so long as half the population doesn't read a newspaper or a book in their life, for so long as social networks are a snapshot of hatred, insults and beastliness, for so long as the grotesque and the picaresque remain our two most identifying features, for so long as most Spaniards boast of not having the slightest interest in science (nor in the humanities), for so long as we continue to be the noisiest country in the world, for so long as we have the largest number of mobile phones per person - all ringing at once - for so long as we lead the world in internet piracy, for so long as tax evasion and fraud are admired by many people, depending on who the fraudster is - "I'd do the same, if I could!", declare some admiringly - for so long as poor education is highly valued in our society and good education considered a sign of weakness, for so long as it's considered eccentric to speak and write correctly, for so long as listening to others is considered to be extraordinary, for so long as fun is identified with excess in any of its manifestations, for so long as vulgarity is admired and the mob commands, this country will be whatever it is, but it won't be normal. It'll remain crude and dreadful, as it has been throughout its history, no matter how much rhetoric we indulge in, as we're doing now in respect of the dead bullfighter.
On a lighter note . . . . Well, perhaps not:
Is the BBC Real?: We learned from them last night that Isis was claiming credit for killing 80 in Nice. Credit??? How about admitting responsibility???
Visitors: As I've already stressed, my sister and my niece did a fantastic job of cooking for me and my guests during their recent stay. But one downside was the amount of rubbish 2 female visitors can generate, mostly shopping bags and shoe boxes in their case. Another is the loss of small household items that get chucked out with said rubbish, I guess. As far as I can see, I'm down 1 glass, 2 steak knives and 3 teaspooons so far. My sister, by the way, is the world's most professional packer. Her ability to stuff a case to within a gram of the 20 kilo limit is truly impressive. And it was good to see again the arrive-with-3-cases-depart-with-4 stratagem that my second wife employed on all our holidays.
Finally . . . This really is funny. Though not all will agree:-
I imagine there's a simpe answer.