Friday, July 20, 2007

The satirical comic magazine El Jueves has been censored. Remember Zap promised us all €2500 for each new kid we have? So on the cover they ran a cartoon of Prince Felipe doing Princess Letizia doggy-style and saying, "You know what? If you get pregnant this will be the closest thing to working I've done in my life." Here's a link; scroll down to see the cover with the naughty bit Xed out. Not very funny or well-drawn, unfair to the Prince who actually works pretty hard as a PR rep for Spain, and in lousy taste, I agree.

However, censoring anything is an extremely bad idea. This whole fooferaw will simply draw more attention to the magazine.

Anyway, Judge Del Olmo of the National Court ordered the issue to be withdrawn from sale, and El Jueves's website is shut down. The basis for Del Olmo's action bans "calumniating or slandering the king and his descendants," lese-majesté, which is punishable by up to two years in prison.

That's ridiculous. The cartoon is clearly anti-monarchical political speech. I'm behind El Jueves, of course, even though it hasn't been funny since Ivà died back about 1994. What pissed me off is that the guy who drew the cartoon claimed disingenuously that it was a caricature of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and that Del Olmo's dirty mind was imagining things. What a jerk. At least show some guts and stand by what you said.

In case you're interested, after that flap about the caricatures of Mohammed in that Danish newspaper, El Jueves's response was a drawing of its sweating, nervous mascot (who wears a court jester's hat) with the title, "We were going to draw Mohammed, but we shit our pants!" The mascot says, "Mohammed? No Mohammed here. Just keep going," while erasing a drawing; all that's left of it are some sandals and the bottom of a robe. The editor said the point was "to ironize the fear that these people inspire," but added that "the reactions of our readers are one thing to keep in mind, but it's different if you publish a drawing that might get your country's embassy burned down."

One more link: The people spreading scare stories about the danger to the Sagrada Familia caused by the tunnel for the high-speed train under Calle Mallorca have made a fake news video showing the "consequences" if the tunnel is built. Note the horrible English subtitles. I need to call these folks up and offer my translation services.

Political news: Josep Piqué has quit as leader of the PP in Catalonia. Looks to me like he was pushed out, since PP headquarters in Madrid picked the candidates for the general election without consulting him. He resigned the next day. Daniel Sirera, who was the head of the Catalan PP youth organization, has replaced him, which just confirms that headquarters was all ready for Piqué's resignation.

They might have to hold new regional elections in Navarra, since the PP, the Socialists, and the Nafarroa Bai Basque nationalists cannot agree among themselves who is to form a government, and they've each got about a third of the deputies.

UPDATE Monday: I don't know why this post wasn't posted when I posted it, if that makes sense.

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