Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thoughts from Cologne, Germany: 29.11.18

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.

QUERY: Is there anyone reading this on The Old Reader? Or any other 'aggregator'?

Matters German
  • The Strauss composition I heard the other night is called Ein Heldenleben, or 'A Hero's Life'. In my description of the large orchestra for which it's scored, I omitted at least the tubas. More importantly, I wish I'd known in advance that (as reader James pointed out), the work is seen by some as a flagrant instance of Strauss's artistic egotism. And was met initially with criticisms such as: As revolting a picture of this revolting man as one might ever encounter. And: Cacophonous, blatant and erratic, the most perverse music I ever heard in all my life. The man who wrote this outrageously hideous noise is either a lunatic, or he is rapidly approaching idiocy. To which Wiki adds that: In modern times, the work still divides critical opinion. I quite enjoyed it. One man's meat etc. Youtube has it here, if you want to form your own opinion. For the full experience, imagine a phone going off a milisecond after the final dramatic chord has died at 46.36 . . .
Matters Spanish 
  • It's reported that, as regards the UK, figures for prostitution are hard to come by but possibly 11% of British men aged 16-74 have paid for sex, while the number of sex workers is estimated to be 72,800. With a much smaller population, Spain's numbers are reported to be much higher than these. But, then, it's a culturally Catholic country and things are done differently in these.
  • Spain’s Foreign Affairs minister has been fined €30,000 for insider dealing.
  • And a Spanish footballer has been fined €48,000 for a motoring offence. I thought I was hard done by. I strongly suspect - in this case - there's a provision in Spanish law for taking into account an offender's income. Which makes sense.
  • It has to be good news that the Spanish Attorney General has asked for a “serene reflection” on the subject of hate crimes, in order to come up with a judicial response to them that “is proportional to the crime, acts as a deterrent, and protects civil liberties.”
  • Spanish airlines don't do well in a survey of Spanish customer complaints over the last few years.
  • Here's more on the OTT Spanish reaction to the British suggestion that novel things be done to the virtually tasteless churros. One wit has made an amusing retaliatory suggestion on what to add to chips, as if anyone in the UK would care a jot about what anyone in the world does to 'British' dishes. One man's meat etc.
Matters French
  • This is a fascinating article on the woes of both the country and its president, M. 'Jupiter' Macron.
Matters Russian
  • When I was young, the best example of chutzpah was said to be a little boy urinating through the letter slot in a front door and then ringing the bell to ask how far up the hallway it'd gone. But now I read that Putin has accused the Ukrainian president of provoking an international incident to bolster his popularity ratings.
The EU
  • Here's 6 informed views on what will probably be the next euro crisis. And no one thinks it's Brexit.
The UK and Brexit
  • Richard North takes the British government to task here for its misunderstandings about the Efta/EEA model and its and lack of a global vision and ambition. He asks whether there's a politician capable of these but I suspect it's a rhetorical question, as the answer is crystal clear.
  • Meanwhile. . . . It has just been confirmed that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will take part in a live TV debate before MPs get to have their 'meaningful vote 'on Tuesday 11 December. The two worst performers in modern British political history will each get the opportunity to argue the case for a view they profoundly disagree with (May is pro-EU, Corbyn anti). It promises to be an excruciating occasion.
  • Would you believe 'Energumen' - A person possessed by an evil ghost, spirit, or entity; A frantic and hysterical person. Fancy being married to one of those. Who'd be daft enough to do that. Even for just, say, 2 years . . . . ?
Social Media
  • What we need is a Royal Commission to report on mental health services and on the terrifying epidemic of anxiety among young people, which I am convinced is triggered, in many cases, by social media. But can anything really be done to rein in a monster that lacks a moral conscience? Can some hacking genius take down Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., etc.
Finally . . .
  • I guess I'm one of the few people in the world who didn't know who or what Sponge Bob was. But, after reading an obit of his inventor, I'm now in the know. Fortuitously, just ahead of spending a month or more with my 3 year old granddaughter in the UK. That said, I do know who Peppa Pig is.
© [David] Colin Davies


Sierra said...

A survey of current Galician "club" life:

Geoff said...

I still appear to be alone :-(
Thoughts from Galicia, Spain
1 follower7 articles per week

Anthea said...

SPonge Bob Square Pants. Peppa Pig. Can ypu name the members of Paw Patrol? And do you know all the engines from the Thomas the Tank Engine stories? Including the ones they appear to have created in recent years?

Colin Davies said...

@Geoff. I guess that's Feedly. BUT . . . you might thave given me the route to solve the Old Reader Problem?? I raised it with the customer service people yesterday a computer promised to get back to me soon. But this morning I decided to see what happened on my phone. When I searched Galicia my blog came up with TWO subscription options, one http and one htttps. Following your tip off, I went with the former and up came my blog in my list, with the last 10 posts 'unread'. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will appear in the list of Old Reader readers who used to get my posts. But your latest comment suggests this ain't happening yet over on Feedly.

So, many thanks for that bit info. And now let's see what I get told by The Old Reader.

Colin Davies said...

@Anthea. Ask me at the end of January . . .

Kevin said...

Colin, I should brush up on Unicorns.

Lenox said...

As kiddywink shows on the telly go, spongebob is head and shoulders above the rest.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Spaniards is that they don't have the benefit of a neighbour nation like Scotland, where deep-fry chocolate is normal ... so I think that I will try the vanilla ice cream on chips, in the confidence that nobody will look at me in bewilderment or make any silly comment while I eat them in my local chippy ...

Anonymous said...

Orwell's 1984 is ever present. Russian bad, Putin very bad. When Yeltsin in 1993 bombed the parliament that opposed his plans to take absolute control and sell the national assets to the multinationals there was no problem. Putin won't have that, or Ghadaffi, or Assad, or Maduro, so they are evil. They kill their own people, they are a threat. The world upside down. Fortunately we can tackle them by training and funding "freedom fighters" (not called AlQaida anymore), invading Iraq, Libya, Crimea (no need for horses anymore), Venezuela, Iran ... war is good for business ... ask Theresa May's husband how his stocks in BAE are doing ... America must get its war, and in the meantime let's all wear a red poppy, in remembrance of those who died for "democracy" and "British values" ... war is good for business, but we only keep it quiet ... Why do I pay the BBC licence? To finance the MSM propaganda that is taking us down to hell? Probably ...

Colin Davies said...

@Kevin. Why exactly?

Kevin said...

For the very young any toys etc. showing or in the shape of a Unicorn seem to be popular at the moment.

Colin Davies said...

Ah, thanks.

Not a Brexit comment, then . . .