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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 24 November 2020
24 November 2020 @ 12:14

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.  

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'*  

 Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain

Luis García Montero, a poet who heads the Cervantes Institute has this to say on the controversial issue  of Spanish ceasing to be the vehicular language: We should be very wary of language differences being used to foster tensions and hatred, when our cultural diversity — including minority mother tongues that deserve democratic support — is part of our strength. The government, meanwhile, says the real priority is for students in bilingual regions to master both their territory’s languages. But a lot of folk aren't listening to these voices. Says the FT: The centre-right PP argues the legislation represents a “break with our systems of liberties and constitution”. And, on Sunday, demonstrations were mounted in dozens of cities against the measure, which still requires Senate approval.

The FT adds that: The battle has exposed the tensions over education and language in Spanish society. It also highlights the gulf between the minority government — which owes its hold on power to Catalan and Basque nationalists — and the opposition, which views accommodation with such forces as wholly illegitimate and an insidious threat to the Spanish state. The government says the allegations over language are a diversion from the main planks of the bill: an attempt to modernise rote-based teaching and to level the playing field between state institutions and privately run, frequently religious schools that receive public funding and educate a quarter of the nation’s pupils. But when Spanish governments turn their minds to education, intense political conflict is rarely far away.aster both their territory’s languages. Ain't that the truth.

Locally, the mayors of both Pontevedra and Poio don't seem to be listening to the point about people mastering both official languages. Everything they issue is only in Gallego these days. I'm not sure 'twas ever thus.

This chap could be a teacher:-

In fact, he’s the head of one of the most vicious of  our drug clans. I believe his son is currently being prosecuted for a hit and run offence. For the second time.

María's Riding the Wave - Day 10   

The UK

Richard North this morning on Brexit: We're still none the wiser as to what the immediate future might bring. Johnson is quite capable of blowing it at the last minute, but he is equally capable of conceding a disastrous agreement and going to the country telling everybody how "fantastic" it is. The man truly is that much of a moron. Not BJ's biggest fan, then.

The USA 

Below are 2 lists, Trump 1 and Trump 2. The first comprises all the negatives in the article I cited yesterday and the second is a list I posted a while ago of all the adjectives applied to Trump since he became president almost a century ago. It's interesting to note that, comprehensive as it is, the 2nd list lacks some of the characteristics in the first. I do hope future historians are grateful for this labour of mine. But, anyway, as I look beyond my lifetime, I see folk shaking their heads in disbelief that such an appalling dolt could have become President of the most powerful nation in the world. What I can't see is an answer to the question of whether the USA will have healed its divisions by then. But I  certainly  hope so, both for its own sake and for that of every other democracy in the world. If it's successful, then whether it's Republican or Democratic matters little to me. Though it will to others, of course.

Spanish 

Belén: Bethlehem; Nativity Scene/Crib; Bedlam

English

Bethlehem: 'Bedlam', from the old Bethlehem Hospital for the insane.  

Finally . . .

Another random quote, to  raise a smile: Mona Lisa looks as if she's just been sick, or is about to be: Noel Coward.

TRUMP 1

He’s lacking in:-

Class

Credibility

Warmth

Compassion

Wit

Wisdom

Subtlety

Sensitivity

Self-awareness

Humility

Honour

Grace

Humour: His idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, or a casual act of cruelty.

Irony

Complexity

Nuance

An inner soul

Depth: It’s all surface

On top of this, he’s:-

A crowing, jeering troll

Petty: A Picasso of pettiness

Prejudiced

Both nasty and stupid

A bully: Except when he’s among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead. He punches downwards and likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – especially when they are down.

The Shakespeare of shit

TRUMP 2 

Adjectives applicable:

A: Arrogant, Autocratic, Alienating, Anti-intellectual, Angry

B: Bullying, Boastful, Braggart, Belligerent, Bigoted, Blowhard, Bad-tempered

C: Chaos-creating, Clueless, Cheating, Combative, Child-like, Childish, Cruel

D: Disruptive, Dishonest, Deluded, Divisive, Destructive, Disorganised, Devious, Dangerous

E: Exaggerator, Egotistical, Egocentric

F: Fox News-Obsessed, Follicly challenged, Fraudulent, Fantasist, Fast-food-Guzzler

G. Garrulous, Global-warming-denying, Gaffe-prone, Grandstander

H: Hyperbolic, Hateful, Heartless, Humourless, Hollow

I: Idiotic, Insulting, Insensitive, Irreligious, Incompetent, Inconsistent, Ignorant, Islamophobic, Inattentive, Insecure, Inimical, Incoherent, Illogical, Irrational, Intemperate, Inept, Impatient, Intimidatory, Insane?

J. Jealous

K: Kinglike, Kinky, Know-all

L: Liar, Lazy, Low esteemed, Loutish

M: Moronic, Misogynistic, Media-obsessed, Menacing, Mad?

N: Nauseating, Narcissist, Nasty

O: Obsessive, Orange-hued, Obnoxious

P: Paranoid, Putin-admiring, Petty, Pussy-grabbing, Populist, Posturing, Pugnacious, Poseur, Philandering, Phony, Politically inexperienced, Psychologically suspect.

Q: Quixotic, Querulous

R: Russia-dependent, Rabble-rousing, Reckless, Racist, Resentful

S: Short-attention-spanned, Self-centred, Self-obsessed, Stupid, Self-vaunting, Susceptible to flattery, Swaggering, Small-minded, Self-interested,  Shallow Showman, Self-deceiving.

T: Twitter-obsessed, TV-obsessed, Tyrannical, Trade-disrupting, Threatening, Triumphalist, Thin-skinned

U: Unfriendly, Unfaithful, Unintelligible, Unreliable, Unwilling to listen, Unaware, Untrustworthy, Unpredictable, Undisciplined, Un-self-aware,

V: Vocabulary-deficient, Vengeful, Victim, Vain. Vulgar, Vindictive

W: Wearisome, Weird, Whoring, Worrying, Wrathful, Wrong-headed, War-mongering

X: Xenophobic

Y: Yankee . . .

Z: Zig-zagging

 

* A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.

 

 



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