Monday, July 07, 2003

A quick roundup of the news here in Mudville. They've got a shell (from a gun, not the beach) that they can connect to the guy who confessed to being the Madrid "Playing Card" killer. I still haven't seen any articles linking this guy, who shot six people dead and wounded a couple of others over the space of a month and a half, to the Americanization of Spanish society. If you wait for it, it will come.

Yola Berrocal, a professional prostitute who sometimes strips in the Barcelona imitation version of American girlie bars, has been on a TV program called "Hotel Glam", a Survivor / Big Brother-like atrocity that was later rehashed every night on "Cronicas Marcianas", Javier Sarda's trash-TV vehicle which I got to be on once. The twist was that the contestants were all people on the fringe of celebrity society, sort of like Spanish Sally Kirklands or something. One of them was the notorious semi-celebrity asshole Pocholo, old Generalisimo Franco's grandson, who apparently said all kinds of awful things about Yola on these two really sickening TV programs.

Get this. During the time of the Iraq war, Pocholo was apparently slagging off Yola big-time on Hotel Glam and then later on Sarda's program. Yola is accusing Prime Minister Aznar of being behind Pocholo's verbal aggression toward her, because he wanted to divert people's attention from the war.

I once came across a first-person my-experiences travel story on Salon in the late Nineties by a young American guy who'd gone out big-time partying in Madrid. Seems he latched onto a crowd of Madrid pijos and they all wound up at Pocholo's house. Drugs were being passed around freely, the guy noted, and Pocholo was a lousy pool player but thought he was hot shit.

American TV is awful. British and Japanese TV are worse than American TV. But Spanish TV is a grade Z ripoff of all three of them. At any one time they have two or three of these people-living-on-a-desert-island programs going, not to mention Sarda's nightly recap of the whole thing. Something like a quarter of all Spaniards follow these televised atrocities. Then there are the "Noche de fiesta"-type variety shows, a format as dead in the United States as Ed Sullivan, in which sixty-seven year-old chanteuses who are on their seventh facelift show up, lipsynch their way through a bad disco number, and do an interview with the gushing, airheaded hosts about their latest husbands from Cuba and babies adopted from China. Or vice versa. Whatever.

No comments: