lunes, 30 de octubre de 2017


España es un país de pandereta. Spain is a tambourine country, a country where la fiesta comes first. What we have seen evolve over the last couple days had high pandereta levels. To sum up, on Friday afternoon the Catalan republic was declared, immediately Madrid evoked article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over Catalunya, and then the weekend started. With scarce news coming from the capital, for a whole two days Catalans enjoyed their republic in the sun. I foresaw something like this when I wrote Real Madrid would hopefully play late Sunday night. They played in the afternoon, but on the right day, and then lost to indepes Girona. By design, one is tempted to believe. This is league is Barcelona's to win, as a thank you for their submission. But back to the main show.

The signs coming out of Madrid hadn't been too pleasant over the last couple days and weeks, you could add here months and years. There was a distinct feeling tough times were arriving. The republic was more and more becoming a final means of rescue. I myself contributed to this collective psychosis by painting ink dark futures, a specialty of mine, I have to say. Still, I was hoping for some kind of rescue plan, and indeed strings must have been pulled, as it seems we are in for a light version after all. Indepe must go, clearly, but the rest of Catalan institutions may escape unscathed, a remarkable result which should also see the economy remain largely intact. Much ado about nothing, if this would be the case. Pura pandereta. It's hard to imagine the genius behind this outcome resides in Madrid. As I wrote, they did their utmost to threaten us with hell and damnation and they struck a convincing pose. Ada and her moneymen were steering in this direction and they certainly will have done their best to get some heads together. The lehendakari, the governor of Euskadi, openly offered his assistance and even had some fruitless talks. But the EU must have been behind it all. They can't afford to have a country which is hovering on the brink of collapse to self-destruct in a vengeful rush. As obnoxious as the Catalan problem was for the rest of the world, it needed to be dealt with in a decent way. But nobody was saying. Yet nobody wants to lose Barcelona. So we get what I was pleading for last Saturday, plus hopefully some well-guided financial negotiations once ERC has won the December elections.

There was a remarkably subdued atmosphere in all my classes today. Everybody has been living through a lot of anxieties over the last month, whatever their persuasion. The weekend came just at the right moment and it wasn't even raining. Now, with the tension gone, people feel the lack of rest they've built up these weeks. Revolution months want to be lived every minute. I must admit I haven't been able to suppress feelings of disappointment over my neighbours' behaviour. Where stronger nations prepare for battle around this time, Catalans shrug their shoulders and shed a tear for the beautiful memories. Another glorious defeat. They're not going to die for their ideals. Madrid knows this and disdains our weakness. The Basques were prepared to kill for their future and got at least something. Our reasoning is too far outside the Castilian mindset to garner any admiration. I believe indepe will quickly inflate to a hardcore resistance, especially millennials seem to've had enough. Families will keep the desire alive, but quietly awaiting the next opportunity. It may come quicker than last time around.

All this is not to say we are in for an easy ride. We have created a lot of bad feelings in Spain, or rather, Spain has created a lot of bad feelings about us. Catalans think they have a right to being as Catalan as they want to be, since they have never in Spain's history sought to conquer or subdue other regions. They mind their own business. This cannot be said, unfortunately, of Castilla. I find the upper classes of Madrid quite arrogant and possessive, wherever I meet them. I know la alta burgesia catalana isn't approachable either, but at least we are eating from their trough. These people are bad news to us and we have so far managed to keep them out. We must seek to maintain this sensation.

First is Soraya, our caretaker governor. It is imperative she falls in love with Barcelona as soon as possible, not an unthinkable task. After all, her anger is inherent, not authentic. I'm sure Ada must be following her twitter account by now. Then the crowd in Madrid needs to be cooled down, the bloodhounds screaming to devour us. The example was set by exterior minister Dastís (we always smile when exterior ministers double as spoke person for the Catalan troubles), when he retracted his claims the 1-O footage was fake and even offered to put the highlights on dvd, or something. Though not all are of his meek kind. And finally, we will have to face our new neighbours, the hideaways who have come out to show their frustration on the street, cheering on the disaster befalling them as well. Meanwhile the hired heavies attack some bystanders. We need to confront these people before they want to take it out on us. I myself live in a mixed neighbourhood with Catalans, Latinos, assorted foreigners and Spaniards, and I am starting to see what I am up to. As I know not too many people are able to effectively calm down group emotions, I fear my contribution is required once again. I'll let you know.

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