Author Topic: Look at me, look at me, look at me ... problem in Spain ... (DFW)  (Read 519 times)

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Offline Texacon

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https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212639457


What a frickin' blowhard.  Mark needs everyone to look at him and acknowledge his 'greatness' in all things international.  He posts under the pretense that he has some mythical knowledge of what's going on in Spain, but his driver was too stupid for Mark to have an 'intelligent' discussion with so what does he do?  He does even more LOOK AT ME, bullshit.   :lmao:


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DFW (34,915 posts)


Meanwhile, back in Barcelona, Catalunya

 
I had to fly down there for work today. No trace of the violence portrayed a few days ago. Nice, warm (for us, not for them) sunny weather, people generally in a good mood, life back to normal. Not even extra guards at the Ajuntament in the center of the Barri Gòtic. The taxi driver bringing me back to the airport in the evening was a young guy, maybe mid twenties, blown away that an American would be speaking to him in Catalan, was more curious to know how in the world I spoke Catalan (I used to live there) than interested in talking about splitting off from Spain (not interested--and he drives a car for a living, didn't see much point in burning it).

The salesman at my favorite cheese stand at the Boqueria market still recognized me after almost 5 months of not having been there (he's Catalan), as did the women at my favorite dried-fruit-and-candy-stand (they are all Filipino). They always dump extra stuff into my bags after weighing and pricing what I wanted, because I'm the only non-Filipino that speaks to them in Tagalog (stress on the second syllable). Now, my Tagalog consists of maybe a 30 word vocabulary, if that, but apparently nobody else even bothers, so I get special treatment, and they all remember me. It doesn't do my waistline any good, but it does spread a lot of smiles around, so if what I buy there kills me, at least I can die happy.

After the Boqueria, I wandered back through the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter to the office of some friends who own a small family business that has been in the same place since around 1910. I hung with them until it was time to get the taxi back to the airport. I have a lot of places that are like a second home to me by now, but Barcelona is one of the earliest ones, as I first set foot in that city over 50 years ago. Like the locals say, "hi ha molt que ha cambiat, però, hi ha molt que és el mateix (there is much that has changed, but there is much that is the same)."

Catalunya is very much Spain's major "giver state," just like New York and California are to us, but the majority of the Catalans still don't see splitting off any more than New York State does from the USA. They have some genuine grievances with Madrid that deserve attention, but splitting off altogether is not what most Catalans want, even if a noisy minority wants the world to think so. I don't blame them. New borders, application to join the EU (good luck with Spain's veto power), application to join the Euro and NATO, doing who-knows-what in the meantime.


Then, per usual, all the DUmmies have to have a 'oneupmanship' thread.   :rotf:


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enid602 (7,191 posts)

2. arroz negro

Sounds like a good opportunity to enjoy a plate of arroz negro.

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CTyankee (54,704 posts)

4. I always think that Spain changed my life. How, I don't know. I was just so impressed with it.

Crossing the Pyrenees was mystical.

Something happens to you in Spain, I believe...not even when I'm in my beloved Florence or my beloved Paris.

But I'm thinking of visiting Arezzo again, perhaps with my daughter and one of my granddaughters so they can hear the bells go every hour...I think it changes your body rhythm. But it is calming and lovely. I wrote a little bit about this in my book, Immutable Truth. I was writing about being on the Piero della Francesca trail. It was truly beautiful and humbling. Piero is not very well known in this country,probably because his work was in frescoes and to visit them in situ is a bit daunting. But so worth it.

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DFW (34,915 posts)

8. I'm almost never in Italy

For some reason, it's a place my work never takes me. We haven't even been to Rome. My wife and I have vague plans to take a week there some day. It's only about a 2 hour flight from here, so it's not like it would require a lot of planning, and I can speak the language passably. But I'm still working, and my wife has her sick mom up in the north, and there's our granddaughter down in the Taunus, near Frankfurt (#2 on the way, too). We also have our two yearly non-negotiable trips to the USA (Cape Cod in the summer, Renaissance Weekend over New Year's). So it's difficult to fit other stuff in.

Spain, on the other hand....well, I lived there as a teenager, and as you experienced for yourself, once it's in your bones, it doesn't leave.


These next 2 posts ... there's something interesting in them, to me anyway.



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erronis (6,938 posts)

5. I've loved Catalunya since the 1960s. Barcelona was rough in the 70/80's

but the region has regained its pride as it should.

Spain is such a rich nation of various groups and generally it has honored the diversity. At the same time I can understand regions wanting a significant autonomy. Perhaps that could work as regional groups within the EU - where national borders are largely invisible.

My best hopes to everyone there, and to Europe as a whole - while under assault by the current trumputin alliance. It wouldn't surprise me to find that many of the worst incidents of disruption are carried out from Moscow or Washington.

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DFW (34,915 posts)

9. I wasn't down there much at all during the 1980s

My "frequent (maybe 6 or 7 times a year)" visits didn't resume until about 20 years ago.

Ever since Franco died, autonomy was restored to the regions most clamoring for it. Euzkadi, the Basque country, and Catalunya both got pretty much everything they lost when the Fascists won the civil war in 1939. I haven't been back to Euzkadi since the 1960s, but in Catalunya, the language is now again publicly dominant. Among the people, of course, it always was. Street signs, newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, schools, all are now again in Catalan. The major boulevards, all renamed after Franco and his fascist generals when they won the civil war, now have their original names back (the locals never stopped using them anyway).

So, the separatist movement is no longer about cultural identity, but money. My personal view is that the money should be negotiable, and the cultural identity should not. I think this is why Turkey is still at war with itself and Spain is not. Even the extremist Basques have stopped blowing up stuff. I think of tiny Switzerland with its diverse ethnic make-up, and how it wouldn't even occur to ANY Swiss to want to separate their regions from the rest. My only full-time guy down there is from Geneva, and so is French-speaking. He speaks a little Italian, maybe three words of German, and zero of the Swiss version. Ask him if he thinks any of Switzerland should want to leave the Confederation, and he'd look at you as if you'd lost that last of your marbles.


So ... why is it OK for Spain (or anywhere other than America) to want and to keep their cultural identity?  Isn't that ... just WRONG, and RACIST?  Maybe I'm misreading that.


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DFW (34,915 posts)

10. It does grow on you

To the right kind of person, it becomes addictive, and you just don't want to leave. I know one guy from Houston, maybe early to mid-thirties, happened to pass through on a trip to Europe. A year later, he was there, filling out forms to request residency and taking courses in Catalan. He ditched his job and his life (to the extent he had one--I don't know him well) in Houston and said Barcelona is home. Just like that. An extreme case, you might say, but probably not unique.

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treestar (74,712 posts)

13. I was there a few days in the 70s

On a Sunday, there was dancing in front of the cathedral. I also recall the "Ramblas." The language is interesting to compare to Spanish - I love Romance languages. "Ha cambiat" vs. "Ha cambiado." "Pero" is similar. "es" from "to be" quite similar.


Uh oh ... someone just stepped out of line trying to one up Mark WAY too much.  Let's see how that works out for them, shall we?   :lmao:


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DFW (34,915 posts)

17. You're probably thinking of Saturday morning

The Sardana, the traditional Catalan folk dance, is performed by everybody and anybody every Saturday morning in front of the Cathedral.

In Castilian, "pero" has the stress on the first syllable. In Catalan, it's on the second syllable: "però," just like in Italian.

Catalan is similar to Medieval French (Langue d'Oc". Texts in Catalan predate texts in Castilian by about a century. Anything directly Latin-related will be similar in Castilian and Catalan unless the Arabic expression is dominant in Castilian. Some words of the old Latin stayed on in use when the rest of the Latin languages moved on (i.e. the Spanish "comer"--to eat--is straight from the Latin "comere," whereas Catalan, French and Italian now use the vernacular mengiar, manger, and mangiare). In Castilian, to say "there aren't any," one just says, "no hay." In Catalan, you say "no en hi ha," more similar to the French "il n'y en a pas." In Castilian, to say that something has nothing to do with something else ("nothing to see" in the Romance languages), you say, "nada que ver con....," where the Catalan "res à veure amb....." is more similar to the French "rien à voir avec......" For "cheese," Spanish even uses the Gothic import word "queso," which is the similarly pronounced Käse in German. Catalan/French/Italian use the vernacular Latin "formatge/fromage,formaggio." Where "to find" in Castillian is either "hallar" or "encontrar," in Catalan/French/Italian, it's "trovar/trouver/trovare." In Catalan the unstressed "o" is pronounced like the English long "u," so the first syllable in Catalan is identical to the French.

The Castilian "es" is pronounced with a soft unvoiced "S" where the Catalan "és" uses a voiced "S," like our "Z." "Casa" is written the same, but in Catalan it is pronounced exactly like in Italian as if it were (in English) "caza."

etc etc........

That should prepare you for your next trip to the western Mediterranean!


Ooooh, BURN! 

That's most of it.  If others start getting too uppity with ol' Mark, I'm sure the thread will grow with the international man of mystery smacking them down as fast as he can.

KC
  Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.  Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

*Stolen

Offline franksolich

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Re: Look at me, look at me, look at me ... problem in Spain ... (DFW)
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 09:55:59 AM »
One of the biggest mysteries for me is why Marc, who's exactly what he says he is, and an insufferable braggart besides, feels some need to hang around the primitives, to impress the primitives. 

It's like the Country Club set fraternizing with Tobacco Road.
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Offline USA4ME

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Re: Look at me, look at me, look at me ... problem in Spain ... (DFW)
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 10:13:11 AM »
One of the biggest mysteries for me is why Marc, who's exactly what he says he is, and an insufferable braggart besides, feels some need to hang around the primitives, to impress the primitives. 

It's like the Country Club set fraternizing with Tobacco Road.

Agree. It screams a lack of confidence.

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Offline franksolich

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Re: Look at me, look at me, look at me ... problem in Spain ... (DFW)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 04:01:07 PM »
Agree. It screams a lack of confidence.

The guy's an occasional contributor to The Nation magazine, which puts him in the company of some really elitist snobs.

I'm suspecting that while he intercourses with the primitives on Skins's island, in real life he wouldn't give any one of them the time of the day.
Democrats: A bunch of rich people convincing poor people to vote for rich people by telling poor people that other rich people are the reason they are poor

Life is short, and suddenly you're not there any more.

Offline Texacon

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Re: Look at me, look at me, look at me ... problem in Spain ... (DFW)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2019, 08:28:39 PM »
The guy's an occasional contributor to The Nation magazine, which puts him in the company of some really elitist snobs.

I'm suspecting that while he intercourses with the primitives on Skins's island, in real life he wouldn't give any one of them the time of the day.


My take on Marc has always been that he enjoys being a big fish in a tiny pond. He feels inadequate when he’s with people who have the same societal stature.

KC
  Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.  Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

*Stolen