Monday, July 30, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 30.7.18

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here. Garish but informative.

  • Looking forward . . . An intolerable strain for Spain?
  • Looking backwards . . . Franco's popularity lives on, this writer claims. Final para: Moving Franco’s remains out of El Valle would be one of most consequential decisions made by any Spanish premier in the post-Franco era. Aside from allowing for the creation of an appropriate memorial to the victims of the Civil War, the exhumation would clear the way for many of the things that the international human rights community, including the United Nations’ Committee on Enforced Disappearances, has for years been demanding from Spain, especially state support for the exhumation and proper burial of those in thousands of Civil War-era mass graves found all over the Spanish territory—the majority of them Republican. Ironically, it is the political stability created by the silencing of the past after Franco’s death that today allows Spain to undertake these painful tasks.
Life in Spain
  • These are words and phrases made in respect of Fart by someone who claims to understand him well, having observed him for years:-
- Childlike temper tantrums.
- His staff, like most other human beings, are only of interest to him as long as they're useful. However, lengthy and loyal their service, if their usefulness was at an end they would be dispensed with.
- He is the only person that matters. His wishes, his feelings, his interests alone counted.
- He remains impoverished when it comes to real contact, cut off from any real meaningful personal relationships through the shallowness of his emotions and his profoundly egocentric, exploitative attitude towards all human beings.
- Incipient megalomania.
- The ecstasy of mass meetings provides each time a new injection of the drug to feed his egomania.
- His methods are, to say the least, unconventional diplomacy – raw, brutal, unpalatable.
- Some comments doubting his sanity reflect the feeling that he has crossed the bounds of rational behaviour in international politics.
- His highly personalised form of rule has eroded all semblance of collective responsibility in policy making.
- The constant Hobbesian 'war against all', the competing power fiefdoms that characterise his administration, take place below him, enhancing his extraordinary position at the fount of all authority and dividing both individual and sectional interests of the different power entities.
- He prefers to let his subordinates battle it out among themselves.
- The inexorable disintegration of coherent structures of rule is not only a product of the personality cult reflecting and embellishing his absolute supremacy, but at the same time underpins the myth of the all-seeing, all-knowing infallible leader, elevating it to the very principle of government itself.
- He has swallowed the myth himself, hook line and sinker. He is the most ardent believer in his own infallibility and destiny. This is not a good premiss for rational decision-taking.
- His narcissistic self-glorification has swollen immeasurably. He thinks himself infallible; his self image had reached the stage of outright hubris.

Except, they aren't about Fart. They were written in 2000 by British historian Ian Kershaw in his book Nemesis. I'm sure you can guess who they were really applied to.
  • Hubris is said to be invariably followed by nemesis. Against that, this writer thinks Fart is on track to win a second term. Can things really be that bad in the USA?
The UK and Brexit
  • There's news this morning of 80% of Brits regarding Mrs May's handling of the negotiations as disastrous. But is that really news.
  • Far more newsworthy is that claim that at least 50% of Brits want a second referendum.
  • Richard North opines in his blog today: I expect the EU to devise some sort of transition period just to buy time and allow more preparation. Sadly though, we must conclude that no amount of planning or organisation could even begin to compensate for the incompetence of the May government and the people advising her and her ministers. Thus, whatever the logical part of one's brain might tell one, there are times when panic is the right thing to do.
Oh, World
  • A Japanese company is paying young women to put ads in their armpits while on on trains and subways where the commercials will be certain to catch the travelling public’s eye. Selling space on the body is not new in Japan and advert agencies have used female thighs in the past.
Galicia and Pontevedra
  • This article by a British wine expert mentions our Mencia red wine, a favourite of mine. Though her preferred bottle comes from nearby León, not Galicia.
  • Interestingly for me, the bottle that cost almost 13 quid in the UK sells for under €8 here. So, I'll be trying it soon as . . . It has lovely, immediate fruit and charm with the racy nerve well in evidence.
Finally . . .
  • Believing that Kershaw's Nemesis was the recent follow-up to his monumental Hubris, I bought the former for my kindle. But when, this morning, I decided to confirm I'd bought Hubris in book form I found I'd actually bought Nemesis 14 years ago . . . But I am enjoying re-reading it. And am noting the parallels. Not to mention hoping that Fart doesn't go so far as to plunge the world into a World War 3.
© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 30.7.18


Sierra said...

As a bon viveur, have you tried caviar limes - only €80 a kilo!?

Colin Davies said...

No. And no plans to. I ate a lot of real caviar in Iran. Blini style sometimes, in a Russian restaurant.

Colin Davies said...

I am still not gettung comments in my gmail but AM getting now my posts . . . Which i dont need to see.