Wednesday, July 02, 2003

We translate a lot of piffling nonsense from the Vanguardia by the likes of Chemical Lali, Balto Porcel, and Remei Margarit, so we thought we'd be nice this time and translate an article by non-idiotarian Quim Monzo.

Another World Is Possible

Just over a week ago the French police arrested Jose Bove so that he could serve, once and for all, the ten-month sentence that was imposed on him for destroying a field of GM rice. Bove leaped to fame years before when he trashed a McDonalds and, as time went by, he became the most media-friendly antiglobalization of peasant farmers. When they found out that he had finally been thrown in the slammer, the Greens protested, and Bove's union called protests in favor of his release. In the media, it's said that next Monday, July 14, the French national holiday, President Chirac may use his privilege and award Bove a presidential pardon, thus whitewashing this particular problem.

Then, I found, surfing on the internet,, a petition regarding Bove, but this petition was not in favor of his release; rather, the exact opposite, that he should stay in jail. The text asks the reader to send an e-mail to Chirac with this suggested content: "Dear Mr. President, it has been said in the press that you may have the intention of announcing an amnesty for Jose Bove next July 14. If I may be so bold, I suggest that you not do this." The text continues with the justifications: that the justice system has already been too benevolent toward Bove for too long; that this benevolence is a result of his fame; that to pardon him would be to give in to those who, when the result of an election goes against them, respond with violence. Finally the text says, "I hope, Mr. President, that you will be responsive to these observations, and I beg you to accept my most humble salutations."

Usually, those who set up massive e-mail petitions are groups acting in defense of human rights and democracy, such as in the recent case of Ali Lmrabet. (Mr. Lmrabet is a Moroccan journalist who has been imprisoned by the King. There has been a movement on the Spanish Left in favor of his release. Some suspect the Spanish Left of not really giving a crap about Mr. Lmrabet's fate but of trying to distract attention from human rights abuses of journalists in Cuba. --JC) But frequently the motives are not so clear; rather, they are nebulous. The driving forces behind these actions are an amalgam between the "progres" and their sheep-like followers, those people whom Jordi Barbeta calls the Gullibility International. Well, now it turns out that it is the "others"--the supposed mortal enemies of the Gullibility International--who are proposing a massive e-mail petition that nobody should deny Bove (the guru of agrarian protection and the eternal subsidy) his well-deserved ten months' jail time. By the way, speaking of the eternal subsidy, there are a few fervid supporters of this creed among ourselves...

Creatively, the Gullibility International has become stagnant in its politically correct routine: blocking traffic, camping out, chanting "We Shall Not Be Moved", pot-banging, and then starting over again. In Gracia, as part of the annual fiesta, they are going to have a special exhibit: pots which were savagely banged during the populist ruckus of a few months ago. What a bunch of navel-gazers and self-satisfied prigs. Saccharine, mushy, humorless, and full of the tragic concept of life, the last thing they need now is for "the others" to move in and squat on the deserted ground which is the sense of humor they have abandoned.

Quim Monzo has caught the grim humorlessness of the Left. They're not funny anymore, at least not intentionally. Really, when you go back and look at lefty humor idols like Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks, the first thing you notice is they were never funny at all. Christopher Hitchens, OK, he's sometimes funny. He's also moved over to the Right. Name me any other funny leftists from the last twenty years.

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