Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are Thatcher and Blair's same mistakes about to be made here?

It seems so.

There is a letter posted on Facebook today from a nurse working at a Catalan public hospital that is extremely frightening.

She claims that from the first of this month she has not been able to go to work because, along with 56 others she will not be paid. Her view is that the severe budget cuts being made are a first step to the current CiU government selling-off public health into private company’s hands.

This is not a rare opinion any longer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A voice that moves you

The Barcelona-born flamenco singer Mayte Martín, who has said that she seeks inspiration and calm in the city’s Montjuïc mountain.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Another dimension"

"Catalonia seems to understand the Jew as few other nations have. And so too the Jew can have some special understanding for Catalonia. The cry “perro catalán” (“Catalan dog”) or “mercader catalán” (“Catalan businessman”) is one that will not be lost on a Jewish ear.

For centuries, after the Expulsion and up to this day, there has been a persistent Jewish fascination with Spain, felt no less by Ashkenazim who may be quite indifferent to their own Eastern European origins than by Sephardim. On one level, it is due to an admiration and a nostalgia for a brilliant epoch in Jewish history. In the case of Catalonia, there is perhaps another dimension..

Frank Talmage in an article from Commentary magazine.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Spanish Civil War as local (recent) history

Yesterday I visited an exhibition about the Spanish Civil War specifically relating to the area of the Penedès that I live in.

What affected me even more than the old hand-grenades and rifles inside the glass displays or the photo of the victors making the fascist salute behind a smug Franco was seeing images of familiar landscapes.

Except these scenes showed uniformed soldiers in places I go through often. I also saw maps showing sites where bombing took place on roads I use every day.

It is the sense that history here is so near, so close behind you. These horrific events of the recent past give me a stronger feeling of connection with this land in the present.