Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fausta has a link to our podcast and her comments on it, so check it out if you haven't already. I thought it went very well; the only thing I didn't get a chance to mention was the humanitarian tragedy of the boat people, probably several thousand in 2006, who die at sea while trying to reach the Canary Islands from Africa. I'm not blaming Spain for this; Spain's coast guard and navy do what they can to pick up these folks, but they can't save them all. It's the whole world's problem, not just ours.

I don't get it. El Periódico devoted its first eight pages to the Academy Awards today, and La Vanguardia published a special sixteen-page insert. I thought we all agreed that Hollywood was shallow Yankee capitalist opiate for the people.

My personal comment on both the Academy Awards and the Grammys: It's quite obvious that prizes are being awarded--for instance, to Al Gore, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmy Carter, and the Dixie Chicks--as a reward for the politics of the recipient. This, of course, devalues the things even more, since they are just PR ceremonies held to garner media attention anyway.

The Basque Nationalists (PNV) and Communists (IU) are demanding that mass-murdering terrorist Iñaki de Juana Chaos be released from prison. Shows you something about where they stand on the issue of antiterrorism, I think.

Day 6 of the March 11 trial: The brains behind the plot, Rabei Osman "the Egyptian", along with four small fry, Bouharat, Slimane, and the Moussaten brothers testified, and denied all responsibility. Mohamed Moussaten claimed that he had confessed previously because he had been tortured. Note to those who believe everything they hear out of Guantanamo Bay: Torture claims are just as bogus there as they are here.

Esquerra Republicana has a proposal that I actually agree with. They want to prohibit killing the bull in bullfighting, along with the pìcadores and the banderilleros; that is, do it Portuguese style. Come on, people, that ought to be good enough, watching the torero do his passes and show his courage as he faces the bull. In fact, it takes a lot more guts to stand in front of a bull who hasn't already been stuck full of holes, I think. I don't want to completely ban bullfighting, I understand that it is an integral part of Spanish culture, but we don't have to kill the bull to have bullfights.

Twelve domestic murders so far this year in Spain. Two yesterday. A strangulation in Pontevedra and a burning alive in Badalona, a suburb of Barcelona.

La Vanguardia reports that when the commuter trains snarl up, as they have been doing repeatedly so far in 2007, more people drive to work and Barcelona city traffic goes straight to hell. There is some sort of grassroots mass movement going on, with people boarding trains without paying for tickets in protest against lousy train service.

Remei and I went to the Barcelona-Athletic Bilbao game on Sunday night, and a good time was had by all since Barça won 3-o. Everyone played well, Ronaldinho was back in form, and Eto'o started the game and scored an excellent goal on a pass from R. Barcelona opened up a two-point lead on Sevilla, and extended its lead on Real Madrid and Valencia as well. The next test is Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey; Barça will have to beat Zaragoza by two in order to make the quarterfinals. Remei had never been to a game at the Camp Nou before, and she was very impressed by the show.

Check out this article by Lang Whitaker in Sports Illustrated comparing FC Barcelona to the New York Yankees.

Quote: This morning, Barcelona remains in first place, after a 3-0 win Sunday night, capped by typically sparkling play from Ronaldinho and a goal from Eto'o in his return to the starting lineup. The Yankees will soon return to the diamond to battle the Red Sox. Gallons of ink will be used on both teams, trying to explain why we should care about either of them. The words within the stories will not matter that much, as it will be a combination of bold letters and color photos on the back page that will move product.

And whether it's in Spanish or English, it's the commerce that matters, after all.

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