Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Chiki-Chiki guy bombed at Eurovision and came in 16th. Bummer.

More boat people: A cayuco carrying 68 black African illegal immigrants washed up on Grand Canary early this morning. Two of them had died at sea, and three more were urgently hospitalized, suffering from exposure, shock, and thirst. Fifteen of them were minors. El Pais gives the story two paragraphs. La Vanguardia doesn't mention it.

It's raining pretty good today, and the rains will continue for most of the week, which is just what we need. Reservoir capacity in Catalonia is now at 35%, up from 20% just a few weeks ago. Now they're talking about not needing the aqueduct from Tarragona or the tanker ships full of water. I dunno: we're going to have more dry years sometime in the future, and having the aqueduct there will end fears of Barcelona running out of drinking water.

Good news: The Colombian air force killed the FARC leader, "Tirofijo" ("Sure Shot"), in a bombing raid back in March. Hope he's finding it nice and warm where he's gone. The Colombian government says it's the strongest blow ever suffered by that gang of terrorists.

Hillary's gaffe about Robert Kennedy has made the press over here, and there's wild speculation that the Americans are so racist they'll never elect Obama in the first place and if they do he'll be assassinated.

The pro-ETA crowd in the Basque country had a demo yesterday "against the Spanish flag." They managed to bring out 250 people in San Sebastian. It never ceases to amaze me that 15% of the Basques support ETA, terrorists and organized criminals, extortionists and murderers. If this were an oppressive dictatorship such as Burma or Sudan or Syria I'd understand--hell, I'd support--a resistance movement, but Franco's been dead for 33 years now.

The Prado has a very cool exhibition opening soon and running through September: the subject is Renaissance portraits, 70 of them, by Durer, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, Van Eyck, and Botticelli, among others. El Pais has a slideshow that you should check out. I'm going; it'll give me an excuse to take a weekend trip to Madrid.


The Man From Kazakhstan said...

I must be your one of your few hits from France. Let's hope I get some reward. Cheers to you, Remei, the family, the cats and the gang.

I am still waiting for a public review of the CDs I donated to the cause. While that happens, just in case you do not read comments from previous messages, the song you are looking for is called "Never Kissed A Girl", from the Woodbox Gang. It can be found on their albums "Born With A Tail" (2003) and "Live at Hangar 9". I shall let you do the rest of the search.

Au revoir! A bientot!

john said...

Our reservoirs are overflowing here in Galicia and it's raining gatos y perros. Everytime I take my fluffy dog out for a stroll she comes back looking like a chihuahua.

Akaky said...

Yes, for the ETA, Franco is dead, more's the pity. It would be easier to organize resistance against him than against a democratically elected government. But remember Carlos Marighela, John: if the state is not oppressive now, the dedicated revolutionary can make it oppressive using terrorism, which will eliminate the "soft center" of democracy and lead to a takeover by the military and all the oppressive measures you can count on a military dictatorship to impose. The ETA is hoping by underming Spanish democracy it can create the conditions for a true revolutionary movement, just as Marighela said it would. There's only one problem with Marighela's theories: they dont work. Every guerilla movement that has used his theories as a basis of action and has successfully caused civil disorder to the point where the military has taken over the government has gotten its revolutionary teeth kicked in. The ETA may want a new Franco, but if the new Franco is anything like the old one in his younger days, the ETA is going to long for the good old days of democracy.

John said...

I agree, Akaky. I've read Marighela's book (it's available on the internet, and I encourage people who want to understand terrorist strategy to read it), and it doesn't work.

What happens is first a bunch of cops and soldiers get killed, then a larger bunch of revolutionaries get killed, and during the whole thing even more innocent citizens get killed.

What's appalling is how easy Marighela makes it all seem, how a bunch of kids with guns can actually overthrow an established government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Marighela is to blame for the deaths of a great many idealistic and wrongheaded youths in the 1970s in the Southern Cone of Latin America.

John said...

Hey, Big T, it's great to hear from you. Thanks for identifying the song. I'd never heard a country song about booty call in the state pen before. CDs related to the cause: Loved the two by Dave Alvin. Great stuff.

Cats, dog, and wife all doing well. No warrants out for my arrest as of now, so I'm cool. Elisabeth is coming to visit in May and bringing her boyfriend, who is all right, the first one who's a solid citizen. Remei and I are trying to encourage this one. The only problem is he's got a really hard Cockney accent and none of us can understand him very well, not even Elisabeth, unless we make him talk really slow and enunciate.

Murph and Mireia bought a flat over on the left side of the Eixample. They're moving in about September, which should give you some idea of the conditions the place must be in.

Hope everything is going great for you in Paris, and give my regards to your lovely wife. Let us know when you're coming back and I'll cook you up some Mexican food.