Saturday, November 05, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 5.11.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Esquelas: These are 'tombstone' announcements that appear at the back of Spain's newspapers, announcing either the death of a relative or the anniversary thereof. I think the essential purpose is to advise of of the time of the burial and/or a mass. Or perhaps to show off about your relative being an employee of the town hall or a bank, for example. One such yesterday took up half a page of the (tabloid) paper. More interestingly, several of them headlined that the deceased had died 'Christianly'. I wonder what happened to those who didn't.

How to Get Angry In Spanish:- The Local tells you how to do this here.

The Botellón: This is binge-drinking Spanish style. Usually involving large crowds of (non-aggressive) kids drinking en masse in the street on Friday and Saturday nights. I tell visitors that some of the girls look as look as 12 but this is usually greeted with scepticism. So, I wasn't surprised to see this sad report of a girl of that age who died of alcoholic poisoning. It isn't the first case.

Punishing Teachers: A teacher in Ceuta has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for putting a naughty kid in the bin. Click here for more on this. On this basis, none of the teachers in either my primary or secondary schools would ever have been out of jail. Ruler edges on the knuckles, canes and whalebone leather straps on the hands, flying blackboard erasers, picked up by the hairs on my temples, etc., etc.  Did me no harm, etc., etc.

SPANISH POLITICS

The New Cabinet: Not being, by any means, an expert on Spanish politics, I'm mystified why VP María Soraya Saenz de Santamaría Antón - already the second most important person in the government - came out of the reorganisation even stronger. She's the vertically challenged person in this foto, by the way, and is rudely known as La enana. Or 'The dwarf'. Possibly with an adjective before the noun. Shame she had to stand on the other side of a king who's 6 foot 6, or 1.98m.


The woman on the left - María Dolores de Cospedal García - is said to have had her nose put even further out of joint by this development. But, as I say, I'm not an expert and have no idea how true this is. One thing that surprised me is that some people were apparently expecting something innovative from Sr Rajoy, the Gallegos' Gallego. Disappointed, these folk now see the whole thing as Mucho Ruido, Poco Nuezes. Or Much Ado about Nothing. Literally, Lots of Noise But few Nuts. Both of said ladies, by the way, have never worked outside politics but started out as State Lawyers. But at least the taller one rose to become a regional president before being given a role in the Opposition in Madrid. I have to admit to a bit of a crush on her, as her big brown eyes are attractive, not frightening like those of MSSdeSA. Finally on this, the local papers are not pleased that - ignoring the President (easily done) - there isn't a Galician in the cabinet for the first time in 20 years. They fear the absence of a pork barrel, I guess. Not seeing Sr Rajoy as up to mark when it comes to locally oriented beneficence. Which is possibly why he got punched in the face the last time he visited his home town of Pontevedra.

Someone - I think an ex PSOE president - has commented that Sr Rajoy is the only animal that advances by standing still. Quite. But the EU and the banks love him.

THE SPANISH ECONOMY

Tourism: The long Indian summer - el veranillo de San Miguel - has boosted yet further this motor of the economy. The forecasts of revenue from this record year are impressive.

THE UK

Guy Fawkes Day: This is celebrated today, of course, in honour of the capture of Catholic plotters who were aiming to blow up the Houses of Parliament, aeons ago. When I was a Catholic, I used to be a tad ambivalent about this but really can't be bothered any more. And things used to be much more fun back when you could chuck bangers at groups of screaming girls and occasionally blow a finger off. It's all done via big group firework displays on the nearest Saturday now. Usually under freezing rain, as I recall. And the most frightening thing you're allowed to get hold of is a bloody sparkler!

Xenophobia: I almost have to laugh at the reports that Brexit has caused an upsurge in this. Did anyone really not believe there was scum in the UK, as there is in every country in the world? Germany was once the most cultured country in Europe and look what the Nazis did with it. It's a complete distortion to promote the image of Brits as suddenly rampant bigots and racists simply because a few cretins have been inspired to emerge from the primordial mud. It would be equally accurate to regard the internet's pathetic trolls - or the Comments to any online article - as indicative of widespread global thinking. And to believe that nothing should be done that might just set off a twitter storm.

ELSEWHERE

Russia's Propaganda Mouthpiece: The motto of the RT News lie-monger is Question More. This had me in pleats, given how nothing about the mother country or Putin is ever taken issue with. And I mean never. Better mottos might include: Ignore MoreLie More, Mock More, or Slag Off More. I'm sure readers can come up with a few more.

Advertising on RT News: Fascinatingly, The Great Ormond St. Hospital charity says it's just found out its ads were appearing on this mockery of a news program and has put a stop to them. As I've reported before, the chemicals company Reckitt Benckiser is by far the biggest advertiser on RT, accounting for almost 40% of the its ad revenue. Which will presumably be higher now that GOSH(!) ads will no longer appear. Quite why, no one can figure out. Perhaps gullible idiots make great buyers of cleaning products.

GALICIAN STUFF

The AVE High Speed Train: The Galician President, Sr Feijoo, has assured us that the AVE between here and Madrid certainly will be running by the (very latest) official prediction of sometime before the end of 2018. However, by this he doesn't mean that the project will be completed by then. He means that AVE trains will be taking some old tracks for while, until all the new track is available. Maybe 2 or 3 years later. Eventually, though, it will only take 3 hours to get to and from the capital. As against 6-7 at the moment. Flying pigs would be even faster, of course.

FINALLY

The Spanish Language:

  • Swearing in Spanish: The Local tells you how to do this here.
  • Another New Spanglish Word: I wondered what lobistico/a might mean until I came across los lobbies in the next sentence.
  • Not only The Grauniad: A headline in El País yesterday: La Punga de Santamaría y Cospedal.

THE GALLERY
































1 comment:

Perry said...

As you mentioned in an earlier piece, Dr. North has the measure of today's ill-informed MSM scribblers. The farcical ruling by leftist judges is round one. What are the odds for an early general election, which Corbyn would dread?

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86268

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