Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Semana Santa (which PC touchy-feely education types have renamed "Spring Vacation") and so there's no news since everybody's on vacation already, even though the official Catalan four-day weekend doesn't begin until tomorrow.

Turns out one of the people killed in the gas explosion was the crazy woman who set it off.

They found two containers filled with ten kilos of explosives and a timer in a rural area in Ciudad Real: it was apparently an ETA drop-off for a traveling cell to pick up that fell through. The cops suspect it's just been lying there since 2006.

TV3's top story this morning, and La Vanguardia's second international story on pages 4 and 5, was the Communist-organized anti-war demonstration in Washington. I checked CNN and Fox News, and had to search for the story; it wasn't on their websites' front page. Interesting how much weight the Catalan media puts on such a minor story. The article doesn't mention how many demonstrators there were, but a few thousand at most showed up, so it was no big deal at all.

So how does La Vanguardia's Eusebio Val report the minuscule turnout? "Despite wide opposition to the war among the citizens, the people who act out these feelings of protest in the street are always few. The accelerated lifestyle and the great distances in American cities are not favorable to these demonstrations on a working day...The immense majority of the Americans who reject the war prefer to express it in private and with certain resignation."

If we don't get some rain around here sometime soon, water stocks will be virtually zero by the end of the summer, and there will have to be rationing and cutoffs. Tankers will begin coming in from Marseille and Tarragona in May, and old wells on the Barcelona plain are being opened up. Barcelona citizens use only 110 liters of water a day, while New Yorkers use 500; if people weren't already pretty frugal with water (because it's expensive), we'd have run out a long time ago. La Vanguardia says that the future lies in desalinizing plants, but the problem is that the process requires a good deal of energy.

In case you hadn't already figured it out, all those "authentic" Dalí and Miró lithographs being sold on Ebay are fake. The FBI and the Mossos busted an art forgery gang based in Barcelona and Chicago; eight persons were arrested here. By the way, I think Dalí is clever but not an artist of the first category, and I don't get Miró's stuff at all. I wouldn't walk across the street to see a Miró. I think other Catalan and Spanish painters like Sorolla, Casas, Nonell, Rusiñol, Fortuny, Utrillo, and Gris, along with architects like Domenech i Muntaner, are much more interesting.

The goddamn bus drivers are on strike again today.

Barça plays at Valencia tonight in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal; in the first leg Valencia earned a 1-1 draw in the Camp Nou, so they win in case the second leg goes 0-0. Ronaldinho is on the shit list big-time; he's being kept out of this game as well. Other players high on the shit list are Deco and Marquez. If Valencia gets eliminated coach Ronald Koeman will likely be fired.

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