miércoles, 25 de octubre de 2017

Secret information

Last night, my girlfriend happened to be at a party where the high society of Barcelona was well represented. What struck her, was that at no point anybody mentioned the current political situation. While the masses are close to a nervous breakdown, not knowing how bad it will be, the happy few are smiling and chatting like nothing can harm them. And these are the people, you would say, who have most to lose from economic paralysis. Are they the dancers on the deck of the Titanic, or do they perhaps possess secret information? My girlfriend had a great evening, as she is not often invited to the gatherings of the zona alta, but the atmosphere gave her the creeps. She didn't know what to make of it. When she told me, I suggested there may yet be a glimmer of hope, although I had no idea where our rescue would come from. Will Europe finally step in? As they have given Mr Rajoy a free hand, I fear protesters will need to die before they tell their friend to take it easy. Have saner heads in Madrid started negotiations with both parties? If so, they sure know how to keep a secret. Or do the rich simply bank on their money, as they always have? It is well-known that many Barcelonese manufacturers were in with the military uprising, in fact had banked for it. Are they selling us again? It’s hard to imagine how this can be in their interest this far in the twenty-first century. In any case, having the slightest of ties is never wrong.

Assuming that the crackdown starts this Friday evening, after the Senate will have formalised Mr Rajoy's plans and the Generalitat in a desperate move declares independence, the streets of Catalunya should be full of people this weekend, shouting for their right to be respected for who they are. Come Monday, those who already know they are going to lose their jobs may stay out, but the ones who work in the industry and other private companies cannot afford to put a still secure position on the line. I myself live of the classes I give, not the ones I was scheduled to do. Going on strike would be very costly for me. Not only will I have to discard of a lot of income, I may quickly lose most of my courses to people who don't give a damn as they know they can always run to their homelands in case the going gets rough. Being a father of two, I would need to find new occupation quickly, leaving one wondering about the sanity of it all. So, yes, I understand the weaklings. I'm actually one of them.

What makes all this so hard to digest, is that the government’s argumentation is based purely on lies. It is they who started the troubles, we chose independence for an answer as no option to plea our sorrows was ever given. That's how the movement grew, with every no from Madrid. Okay, Mr Mas was quick to embrace the idea and institutionalize it, but the conviction of the people seemed honest. It had grown out of years of being free Catalans. They liked the idea of escaping from Madrid's tentacles. With Spain voting Partido Popular, we felt we didn’t want to belong. We detest the way peperos conduct themselves. We are many, a majority in fact when we discount the ones who don't care. The nationalists are not half that size. So far nobody has been attacked for being Spanish, if no reason was given. The streets are mostly safe, thanks in no small part to smartphones, though Barcelona had well before shaken off her rough edge.

Our children do not grow up hating Spain more than their parents. I work with children and it's never on their minds. So they know the lines that go around, off course they do. We all did. Many have Spanish teachers anyway, and education has always been a mixed affair. It's trying to do well, mostly. I dare any community in Spain to present better results. Nothing to get hung up about, just a fact. Barcelona is about doing well. Madrid is also. Yes, children learn that Catalunya is their home. Their classes are in Catalan and their knowledge about the rest of Spain is less refined. Their command of the Spanish language is more than satisfactory, by the way, as they speak Spanish with their Spanish speaking friends. Their parents want to keep them here, you see, they don’t want to sell them on the cheap to the northern countries. They hope their children will fortify the society they helped build on the ruins left by Franco. They want to be Catalunya, they are by now. And see how Madrid reacts. Right in the moment that Barcelona was hot in the world, the troubles started in all seriousness. Think about that. It makes us fear they want to intervene our intricate web of relation building, put assholes for mayors to block initiatives. We'll have to move carefully not to lose what we have conceived.

What are we to make of all this? Why is nobody coming to our rescue? Calling independence is perhaps not needed anymore. Just let the bloodhounds come and hope somebody takes notice. Our ability to report ourselves may be severely restricted. And that's what this is all about, a cultural genocide. That is their biggest crime, a crime nobody wants to see.

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