Thursday, June 26, 2003

Guess what, everybody! Baltasar Porcel is doing, not just an article but a series, on the United States! Of course I'm not going to spare you. Read it and suffer. He started it on Tuesday:

The Americans invoke God frequently and George W. Bush belongs to a church or cult (secta)--it's difficult to differentiate between them--which might be Anabaptist and is simplistic and, also, more or less fundamentalist, and for which he felt a frenzy of devotion when he grew up and needed to maintain ethylic sobriety. That is, based on Bush's self-evident possession of the truth, interpreted loquaciously by a Texan priest reading the Bible in a clean little clapboard church with a little garden, lying has become the great support of American politics. Bush has aggravated it because in the economic world, for example, it's beeen going on for a long time; let's remember Enron, accounting fallacies and legal frauds, definitely robberies of the citizenry, which is now affecting another giant, one of vast social responsibility, the company that controls 18%! of the mortgages in the country.

A) Bush, as I said recently, is a Methodist, the third-largest church in America after the Catholics and the Baptists and not precisely a cult. It is not seemly for Mr. Porcel to ignorantly slam the Methodists because he don't know a damn thing about them. Mr. Porcel shows here a great miscomprehension of the various Protestant churches, which is sadly very common in such a heavily Catholic-culture country as Spain. The Methodists, for folks who may not know, are a moderately liberal Anglo-American church, which originally split off the Anglicans in the late eighteenth century. They allow, nay, encourage, women ministers; they are not anti-abortion or anti-divorce or anti-gay. There are virtually no Anabaptist groups surviving. The Baptists, the only Protestant church bigger than the Methodists, have nothing to do with the Anabaptists or Germany; they are a further split off the Anglicans. They are generally more conservative than the Methodists, but there are several different brands of them. By the way, the Bush family is historically high-church Anglican. George W. converted to the Methodists when he married Laura. As for the lying and corruption in business crap, they've found about five or ten occurrences of fraud. Those people involved are being prosecuted. There is no indication that America under Bush is any more corrupt than anywhere else, and it is certainly one hell of a lot less corrupt than the Spanish Socialist Party.

X comments on this to me in his little office in the center of Wall Street, in New York, that miracle of miracles. Pure finance, the stock market, are the systematized miracle: from nothing to everything, from the nonexistent to the tangible. X's several computers vomit forth lists of numbers and names, but he is desolate: "Lying for so long, until disasters break out, like these top directors do, shows a hedonistic and publicitary ambition which has nothing to do with the strict Protestant moral. Old Henry Ford didn't even have a car. Tom Wolfe in his bitter novels has best portrayed this unhinged capitalism." He points to the huge void of the Twin Towers, right there, he adds: "Bush has made war on Afghanistan and Iraq to catch the terrorists and their terrible arsenal, but we know nothing of Bin Laden, of Saddam, or his chemical weapons. Tricks and failures, like the famous odyssey of Jennifer Lynch."

Mr. Porcel, who is X? Is he a real person or someone, as I suspect, whom you made up and in whose mouth you put words? No one talks like this except you yourself, you old blatherskite. Note further lack of comprehension of Protestantism and the absurd statement that Henry Ford didn't have a car.

He explains. The supreme heroic act of the Americans in Iraq consisted of the commando attack by the Special Forces on the hospital where Private Jessica Lynch lay among Republican Guards who had captured her after shooting her full of holes and torturing her without stopping. Well: Lynch's famous wounds were from a car accident and she was better cared for than the indigenous patients, the hospital had been abandoned by the (Iraqi?) soldiers a couple of days before, and what the commandos did was to grab stupefied docters and blow up doors that were open, while their television was filming it and Bush cried happily. And as for the legendary and amnesiac Lynch, they are selling various objects on Internet with her name trademarked.

First, note that this particular account of the rescue of Private Lynch has nothing to do with the truth. Second, note Mr. Porcel's scorn for the Americans' puffing themselves up as heroes. The truth, of course, is that no puffing up was done. Instead, alleged puffing up was invented out of thin air by the Left looking for something, anything, to criticize after the overwhelming Allied victory in Iraq. Third, I just Googled "jessica lynch" and "trademark", and then "brand name", and there are no products for sale. Mr. Porcel done told a lie.

Here's old Balt's next emission, from Wednesday:

Yesterday, regarding Bush, I alluded to the Christian fundamentalist cults and churches. It is like Islamic terrorism, though it seems difficult to equialze both concepts. And in the United States they have a notorious influence, while the Catholic Church, with its cases of pedophilia and homosexuality, which several bishops are mixed up in, is in anguish. These fundamentalists believe that the "Caucasian" or white race, descended from central and Nordic Europe, is the authentic descendant of the lost tribes of Israel and occupies a preeminent place in the divine plan for the Earth, while they hate the State because of its permissive legislation on abortion, attacking clinics to this effect.

WHAT?!? Balt, there are about eight nutcases in Assboink, Idaho, who believe that stuff. Please try to get your facts minimally correct. You see how hard it is to talk sense to Spaniards about the US? How is it possible when their brains are drenched daily in such drivel? And then they dare to call us ignorant.

Not long ago Eric Rudolph, suspected of the massacre committed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and who is linked with the cults Christian Identity, Army of God, Church of Israel, or is protected by them, was accidentally arrested after being one of the most wanted fugitives. We are dealing with a world that is primitive, obsessive, poor, psychologically stunted. Which after September 11 has acquired fierce power, with its preaching based on the idea that America's sins have been punished through Arabs and Moslems, inferior races and beliefs. But the Arabs are much more persecuted than these Christians.

WHAT?!?!? Oh, never mind. Balt wants to believe that America is sinister and evil. Informing him that, no, these groups are not precisely influential in America today will do him little good after the 847 BBC and Channel 4 documentaries Catalan TV keeps repeating over and over that he's seen.

Rudolph has shared media sensationalism with Hillary Clinton's memoirs, which have gained her 8 million dollars and which are selling well, though it seems not so much. I ask several young people in Soho and Brooklyn about them, but they shrug their shoulders; they know the book has come out, but they don't care. The "New York Times" type of press has been severe with the book. Those who buy, therefore, are people of a low cultural level who are stereotype fodder, a stubborn and wide middle class shrunken with fear after September 11 and mesmerized by Bush's tanks. But, is the interest in Mrs. Clinton's book based on the Lewinsky scandal and all? Not exactly: her readers know that she will go off on the tangent and that she is looking for money as she is testing the waters of a possible presidential future. That is, people buy the book knowing it is a scam, in order to know up to what point it is one.

WHAT?!?!? does that have to do with anything? Yeah, right, Balt, I can just see your skinny white ass down in the hood discussing Hillary Clinton's memoirs. Note the contempt Mr. Porcel feels for the ordinary American. Next time some European tells you he likes the American people but he doesn't like the government, explain to him that he is lying through his teeth. Do so politely. Wouldn't want to offend any Europeans, would we?

Now here's today's dose of Balt. Get a load of the absolutely shameless self-logrolling in the first paragraph.

Alexis du Tocqueville, the French thinker of the first half of the 19th century and whom today we would call a liberal or a democratic conservative, appears as one of the key historical characters in my novel "L'Emperador or L'ull del vent"; the other is, without a doubt, Napoleon. Or his immense possessive shadow. So, in Paris, not long ago, at the presentation of the Prix Mediterranee to this novel in its French version, a member of the jury, Jean Daniel, the director of the influential weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, talked to me about how they analyze the American neoconservatives who inspire Bush, for whom the European genius was Tocqueville, who as an aristocrat was a renegade from the Old Regime, accepted the revolution as an evolution, traveled to the United States rather than disdaining them, and studied its democracy with stunning lucidity. "For these neoconservatives he was the opposite of the French of today; we have become activists of anti-Americanism, they think for no reason," smiled Daniel.

Uh, Balt, I thought the neoconservative conspiracy was built on the works of Leo Strauss. Lord, I can't stand this anymore. You're going to have to read the rest of it for yourself. Try the Axis of Porcel HQ.

I have been accused of speaking scornfully of Catalan intellectuals. But, come on, if this is the best they can do, no amount of scorn is unjustified. And remember, Baltasar Porcel is the Official Catalan Candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Wouldn't it be great if they actually gave it to him one of these years?

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