jueves, 14 de enero de 2016

Spinning plates.

It's an old circus trick. You try to keep a load of plates spinning on thin sticks. If you forget to give them a shake, they stop spinning and smash to the ground.
A bit like the social media. I am told that I should always be on top of my accounts - Twitter, Facebook, a Blog, a website. On a daily basis preferably. That way I get more likes, more traffic, more exposure.
Allow me to disagree.
If keeping the plates spinning means that I have to air an opinion on everything that goes on in the world, from politics to sporting events via celebrity smalltalk, then I will just let them fall to the ground. If to get more followers I need to tell you what I had for supper, if I am feeling happy or depressed, if I have an appointment with the dentist or if I am off on holiday, then screw the plates.
A photo of me, (who else?), in the shower? My feelings on injustice and the latest Hollywood scandal? My favourite things in general?
I write and compose because I feel moved to do so, not because my intention is to sell my wares and myself to a wider audience. My works are freely available to anyone who is interested. But I have no desire to flaunt MYSELF in your face or to demand your attention. I am not that egocentric. We should be concerned with the art, not the artist.

So these entries will trickle in as always, from time to time. I'll leave the social networking to others.

martes, 1 de diciembre de 2015

¿Miedo al cambio?



Veo con inquietud la intención de voto para las próximas elecciones. Según la mayoría de los sondeos, gana el PP, seguido de cerca por el PSOE y Ciudadanos. Podemos llegaría en cuarto lugar, IU quinto.
Después de la Ley Mordaza, después de tantos y tantos casos de corrupción, hasta incluso en la construcción de su propio sede. El rescate con dinero público a los bancos, todos ellos entidades privadas con ánimo de lucro, mientras miraban por otro lado ante los preferentes, las clausulas suelo, los desahucios. Después de la retrógrada arrogancia de la Ley Wert o el ataque frontal a la cultura en general con la subida bestial del IVA. Después, en fin, de una legislatura de la derecha más rancia e hipócrita de Europa, resulta que el indignado pueblo español, con su infinita bondad, vuelve a confiar en los que les han burlado durante cuatro largos años.
La alternativa era de esperar. El PSOE, tan acostumbrado al bien vivir del poder, llega casi empatado con Ciudadanos, la cara aceptable de la política de siempre. Los apuestos jóvenes de buena familia que no nos engañarán, dicen.
Y luego, regazados en cuarto y quinto lugar, los únicos que sí podrían llevar un soplo de aire fresco a la inacabada Transición. España no es una democracia total. Durante años nos han dicho que es una democracia joven, que necesita tiempo. Pues han pasado cuarenta años sin el Caudillo, y ahí siguen las familias e intereses corporativos de siempre.
Parece que hay temor a un cambio demasiado profundo, un cambio que nos acercaría a las democracias reales del resto de Europa. Pero si no hacemos nada, si todo lo dejamos en manos de los que consideran que el país es su finca, el resultado será mucho peor.
Es hora, cómo dijo Ayala, de levantar la vista del plato de sopa. Hay que espabilarse, desenmascarar a los ladrones del Estado, y votar por un cambio de verdad, un cambio de actitud. Gobernar no es mandar a callar. Es servir honradamente al pueblo que te confió el voto. ¿Cuántos pueden presumir de ello?

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2015

Truly the Best Comedy of the Year

Last night I saw the final episode of what must be one of the funniest satires I have seen in a long time - True Detective 2.
Three tormented cops. One with, wait for it, a drink problem and an estranged wife! And a fat kid who is teased at school. But just a second, maybe he isn't your son after all, because your wife was raped around that time, wasn't she. That's right, so you killed the culprit. Only you didn't, because it was the wrong man!
Another cop, a woman in a man's world. Alas she too has a cross to bear. A weird, hippy family background, a hooker sister, a rape that maybe wasn't, or maybe was. How about if she ends up falling in love with the first cop?
And the third one, maybe gay? Gay but hasn't fully accepted it? Bit suicidal, as they all seem to be. Murky past, needless to say.
And the baddies? Pulled straight out of the fifties B movies. Hilarious dialogues between the gangster, friend of cop A, and his wife. White suit, white dress, our baby! Heaven.

Don't miss the salute cop A gives to his son. And the tears of the ex wife as she finds out that this true detective was indeed the natural father. Or the way the lovers of the dead cops know that they have died via telepathy and burst out crying.

It's full of all the most topical typical clichés possible. It had me in stictches. Let's hope that at the American Awards for Best comedy True Detective wipes the board.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2015

Our European Fortress

This is not new news. Immigrants have been literally dying to reach our shores for decades. But now, with the Syrian crisis, refugees are once more back in the papers.
I sincerely hope that one day, this short piece, Bellavista, will no longer ring true.
http://www.abctales.com/story/tommy-dakar/bellavista

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

A crime is a crime is a crime, luckily.



The International Day of Peace.  The International Day of Happiness, of Malaria, of the Full Moon.  Even World Statistics Day. But as far as I know, there is still no International Day of the Delinquent.
This may sound flippant, but it falls into line with the American National Gun Association and its claim that the weapons industry employs thousands of workers. Or that the tobacco firms also help sustain not only jobs, but State Finances through the amount of taxes paid.
Thieves, murderers, embezzlers, fraudsters and infringers of the law in general give employment to thousands upon thousands of workers. The Police Force is the first to spring to mind, but we should not forget the prison system and its service industries. Nor the lawyers and judges and social workers needed to redirect these dysfunctional criminals.
Wrongdoers are indeed an essential part of the fabric of any prosperous nation. Without the corrupt there would be no need for investigative journalists. Without financial engineering endless hours of judicial scrutiny would become unnecessary. Without international skullduggery the innumerable and well paid watchdog committees would soon be twiddling their thumbs.
So an International day for Miscreants, Felons and Malefactors is something worth campaigning for. After all, it is in the government’s interest, isn’t it?

lunes, 15 de junio de 2015

Zapatazo



Mucha polémica con los chistes en Twitter del concejable de cultura en Madrid. Los (ahora sí) puritanos, dolidos por su derrota, le han linchado públicamente por falta de sensibilidad, y por ser un impresentable.  Se indignan los españoles (ahora sí) honrados y respetables porque ellos nunca utilizarían el humor negro. ¡Jamás!
En el mundo Anglo-sajón estamos más acostumbrados a este tipo de humor, y no nos ofendamos con tanta facilidad (vacuidad).
“Humour is tragedy plus time”. El humor es tragedia,  más tiempo. Así lo dijo Mark Twain.  Y es una tendencia muy humana. El Holocausto fue, sin ninguna duda, uno de los episodios más oscuros de la humanidad. Es un horror casi inconcebible por su magnitud, pero aun así hay chistes, miles y miles de ellos, sobre esa tragedia. Incluso los judíos, y conozco a bastantes, se ríen con el humor negro de estos chistes.
Dicen los expertos, y la vox populi también, que el humor ayuda a distanciarnos del horror, a asimilar situaciones drásticas, a sobrevivir. Con el tiempo, somos capaces de reírnos de casi todo, pero sobre todo de lo que se llama ‘la violación moral'. Es decir, que encontramos más divertidos chistes que de alguna manera hace que nos cuestionamos, o que directamente voltean, nuestros estándares de moralidad.
Pero aceptar esa realidad no hace daño al rival, así que no creo que sirvan de nada estas palabras. Seguirán hasta conseguir algún beneficio de su repentina falta del sentido de humor.
Pero quizás, pasados unos años, podrán mirar hacia atrás y reírse de su postureo político y del ridículo que están haciendo.

jueves, 30 de abril de 2015

Self criticism



There was an interesting programme on Spanish TV on Monday night.  Three journalists, from leading newspapers in France, Germany and the United States, were discussing the current political climate in Spain.
All three of them pointed out one aspect which particularly surprised them. After years of austerity and cuts in social spending, to date no right wing xenophobic party has emerged (unlike in France, Greece, UK…).
That this should catch their attention shows how little they understand the Spanish electorate.
The party in power, Partido Poular, is right wing enough for most Spaniards, nostalgic as it is for other, now discredited regimes. It embraces not only the moderate right, but also the far right, those who would happily bring back authoritarianism and recreate a centralised, Catholic nation. So there is no need for another, extreme right wing party, as the poor response to Vox has so clearly underlined.
But more than that, the fact that Spanish politicians have under achieved does not mean that the Spanish electorate is undemocratic or tired of the format. The famous Transition was left unfinished, that is undeniable now. Perhaps the politicians believed that with left wing/right wing rotation real democracy would be achieved. Unfortunately they now realise it takes a lot more than that. Eradicating corruption is only possible with stricter control, and that means breaking down the oligarchies and corporate interests that riddle the Spanish state.
The irruption of alternative parties such as Podemos or Cuidadnos proves that the voter is mature, unafraid to do away with bipartisanship if necessary and embrace alternative politics.
There is a desire to have a modern, truly democratic state, honest and efficient.  Because democracy is not about political leanings, but about how a government can best serve its people. 
It would be simpler to blame immigrants for the current situation, but it would not ring true. The problem with Spain lies in its political leaders. So they will be changed.