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'?
- 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 . . .
- 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.
- This is a fascinating article on the woes of both the country and its president, M. 'Jupiter' Macron.
- 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.
- 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.
- Word of the Day: Energúmeno. Another one new to me.
- 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 . . . . ?
- 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