Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 16.3.17

There's naturally a good deal of concern here in Spain – especially, of course, in the South and East - about the impact of a Brexit on the tourism industry. There's rather less concern, it would seem, about the property market and almost no concern about the Brits living here. El País addresses the issue here, in English. Hang on . . . HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for the info in today's just-read bulletin that El Mundo has an article on the impact on British residents. We're pretty indignant, it seems. Lenox also cites this Guardian article on impending Spanish doom post Brexit. Of course, no one knows what Brexit will bring. Or even if it will take place. My own pure guess is that the British public will be offered the chance to vote on whatever deal comes down the track, and might well reject it. And so breathe some life back into the EU project, currently moribund.

Meanwhile, you have to laugh at the response of that pillock Juncker to the results of the Dutch election. According to him, Europe has been saved from a right-wing reaction. Which neatly ignores the fact that a very significant percentage of the Dutch electorate voted for a populist party of the right. And that the returned centrist party stole some of Gert Wilders clothes in order to stay in power, having been given a golden opportunity to do so by the mad autocrat running Turkey,

Talking of the EU . . . Don Quijones writes: As debates rage in Europe over whether or not to take a two-speed or multi-speed approach to post-Brexit integration, Germany rekindled interest in the creation of a European Monetary Fund. But his/her headline is: There's an air of furtive desperation about the proceedings. Click here for more on this critical development.

There's an estimated 7,100 languages in the world and they're dying out at the rate of 2 a month, it's said. And yet the total is actually increasing, as the discovery rate currently exceeds the mortality rate. Within language, there's vocabulary, which is a lead-in to a new English word for me – bism. This is defined as: Someone who is deliberately irritating or annoying - a less harsh term than 'bitch' when this is deemed inappropriate. And within vocabulary there's pronunciation . . . When I was young, only the poorly educated said haitch for the letter H, compared with aitch for the educated. Now it's commonplace, if no longer common. And listening to a podcast yesterday, I heard the novelist Will Self say ephEEmeral for ephemeral and remIT instead of REEmit. Self has an exceptional vocabulary but one does wonder – well, I do – where he gets some of his pronunciations from. A local dialect? Hardly – he was born in the centre of London. Self has been described as: that rarity in modern cultural life, a genuine intellectual with a bracing command of words and ideas who is also droll, likeable and culturally savvy. All true enough. But shame about his occasionally bizarre pronunciation. Anyone would think he was Dutch.

HT to my fellow blogger, Trevor, for the news of a Galician kid who asked Google how to see narcos free – meaning the movie – and was directed to a local beach. Where, I guess, he could expect to see our narcotraficantes (narcos for short) downloading cocaine from speedboats. See here for the El Mundo report and here for reaction on something called Twitter.

Which reminds me . . . The local press recently reported that, for 30 years now, Galicia has maintained its status as Europe's main entry point for the white powder. When I first came here, I read that our local smugglers turned to this more profitable alternative when the EU compelled Madrid to clamp down on cigarette smuggling. But I've since been told this ain't true. Possibly.

The Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini: It's a tough choice but here's today's:- The West is nothing but a collection of unjust dictatorships. All of humanity must strike these troublemakers with an iron hand if it wishes to regain its tranquillity. If Islamic civilisation had governed the West, we would no longer have to put up with these barbaric goings-on unworthy even of wild animals. Well, the poor man had been in exiled in France.

Today's cartoon:

1 comment:

Anthea said...

Regarding "bism", I can't say I have come across it but I have often heard "besom", which is pronounced "bism" by the Scots apparently.
It's basic meaning is broom, the old fashioned kind made of twigs and carried or ridden on by witches. This is why it can also mean witch. An annoying, interfering old busybody os often referred to as "an old besom". There you go. Aren't words fun?!

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