Friday, January 11, 2008

Somebody left a copy of yesterday's Público, Spain's new left-wing paper, around the café and I had a look at it this morning. (You might remember they were the ones running TV commercials featuring "readers" wearing T-shirts saying "Fuck Bush.") I get the idea this is going to become a steady fount of material.

Here's an opinion piece by one Daniel Vázquez Sallés on page 14 of yesterday's issue on the US primary elections, a popular topic this week in Spain. Its title is, "Mister Barack Obama or the American dream."

At first sight, Mr. Obama looks like one of those clean-cut be-bop trumpeters--close-cropped hair, perfectly-shaved chin, a suit that favors his slimness--, with his deep voice you would say that he's capable of whispering in your ear just like Chet Baker himself under the moon of April in Paris.

Very poetic. But I thought racial stereotyping was something only us Yankees did.

The truth is that Mister Obama has succeeded with the American electorate, and, most importantly, has managed to persuade a new generation of voters that has been active in its dislike for the political class for decades, and does not vote because of the ethical principle of dignity.

Wait. You're saying that those Americans who don't vote do so because they're ethically against it? Does that make any sense to anyone?

...a lacrimogenic Hillary Clinton (achieved) a tour de force which has allowed her to recover the ground lost by asking her loyalists for clemency. Very American. You think, from this side of the Atlantic, that those puddling-up eyes are crocodile tears, pure show business (sic) encompassing a certain old-fashioned tragedy difficult to understand for a European, less used to political comedy...

a) Hillary won the New Hampshire primary because she got a little choked up on stage? Bit simplistic, don't you think? b) My guess about why certain Euro alleged journalists ascribe such dumb reasons for the actions of American voters is that they themselves can't be bothered to do anything resembling research on what the different groups of said voters want from a candidate. c) Notice again how said Eurojournalists love to explain everything American with images. That's because they don't need to understand English to do so. They can't actually read the newspapers or understand the debates. d) Political comedy? You want political comedy, seems to me like Esquerra Republicana is the biggest laugh this side of the Raving Monster Loony Party, and Zap's Alliance of Civilizations is like something out of "Jackass."

Obama's great advantage is knowing how to use the new media and not feel uncomfortable among so much technology. Whether because of his age or his spirit of hard work, the reality is that the senator from Illinois knows how to take advantage of the media outlets not controlled by the big corportations, (like) Internet, YouTube.

a) Huh? Obama can't buy time on the media outlets controlled by "the big corporations"? Their news departments don't report on his campaign? b) So Hillary, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney, etc. just fell off a potato truck and haven't heard of these crazy kids' Internet thing? Besides, from what I've heard, it's Ron Paul who's using the Internet most effectively.

"Barack or the American Dream" could be the title of one of those black-and-white movies filmed by Frank Capra. If Hillary's tears do not conquer, what Barack Hussein Obama does once in the Oval Office, nobody knows. He will probably try to change the warlike policy and environmental strategy installed by Bush, Cheney, and Rice.

But the real hands that rock the cradle are the big majors (sic), the ones who install and remove presidents according to whether the Dow Jones or arms traffic rises or falls. They are the real power, that America that orders that God bless it, that America that orders the universe to bless it.

a) I guess this guy thinks a "major" is a large corporation. b) Note the Hollywood imagery, as usual. c) Conspiracy theory wank, of course--you just know those evil corporations are really controlled by the Rothschilds and the Rosicrucians. d) Foreign arms sales are a tiny percentage of the American economy, and at least we haven't sold any weapons lately to either Gadafi or Chavez, unlike certain Spanish prime ministers I can name. e) What the hell does that last line mean?

Fortunately or unfortunately, this circus they have put on during the 20th century has seen its midgets grow up, little bastards born and trained in camps in Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Venezuela, and an interminable list of nations that grew up under the great creator. Now, in full puberty, they discover that the mother is weakened and they want to emancipate themselves and slam the door.

Meanwhile, the citizens of America, so used to imposing external order as a basic foundation of their precious internal liberty, observe as the world escapes from their hands and they are vulnerable to the virus of terrorism. Faced with such a collective catharsis, a believing society like the Americans receives the candidates like the new Messiahs. Regarding fervor, Obama wins the prize. They have charged him with preventing climate change, defeating the Islamic enemy, returning self-esteem to the citizens, and as the song says, "that's show business" (sic), getting Doctor House to be the next vice-president of the USA.

We, from the provinces, will have to watch and obey.

Note that the author doesn't even pretend to sympathize with the American people, the way some other anti-Americans do.

I guess what I really want to know is: who takes this shit seriously? Does it actually make any sense to anyone? Why would an editor choose to publish it? Does anyone but me actually read it?

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