Thursday, July 19, 2007

Antena 3 led off its afternoon news today with the steam pipe explosion in Manhattan, which killed one person. TV3, by the way, got the story wrong, saying it was a transformer that blew up. Both networks took the opportunity to remind everyone who might have thought that America is a normal place just like, say, most of Europe, that the panicked Yanks spend their lives shaking in fear of terrorism.

This meme is very common in the Spanish press, and I think it's rooted in the wishful-thinking idea that, well, the US may be richer and stronger and more important, but we're better than they are at quality of life and we have to continuously remind ourselves of this in case we forget. This is why there are so many reports on crime and guns in America, though violent crime in the US is not much higher than in much of Europe and suicide is far less common. It's also why there's so much to-do in the press about the so-called "Mediterranean diet" and its superiority to fast food, as if that were the only thing Americans ate.

The steam-pipe explosion that killed one person was clearly more important than the sinking of a cayuco south of Tenerife in which fifty African illegal immigrants are missing and feared dead. We have been saying for years, literally, that it is time for the international press to wake up to the horror story of the African boat people; they're too interested in criticizing the American plan to put up a wall along part of the Mexican border, though.

Breaking news: This morning a suspected ETA member bailed out of a taxi near Castellón when it stopped at a police roadblock. He left his sports bag behind him, which contained explosives. The guy is currently on the run but they'll get him pretty quick.

13.4% of people living in Catalonia are immigrants, almost one million total; the rate of immigration is slowing, but not by much. In 2006 more than 50,000 immigrants arrived, fewer than in 2004 and 2005 but still a lot. Some professor dudes say that many of the jobs immigrants are occupying are the lower-status ones abandoned by Catalan women as they move up in the job market.

They ran an extremely foolish documentary on channel 33 last night called "The Corporation," which featured about ten minutes of Michael Moore, along with the other usual suspects like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Naomi Klein. It went through all the old bogus propaganda stories, from the alleged "business plot" against FDR to the alleged collaboration of American companies with Nazi Germany, and called for "democratic control" over corporate actions. Of course, what that means is giving the government control over the economy. Now you connect the dots and guess which political parties control channel 33. Note that, of course, they won't be showing "Free to Choose" anytime soon.

The Washington Post, Tech Central Station, and Spiked all say the movie's a bunch of crap. Here's the whole damn thing on YouTube in case you want to watch it.

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