Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anglo hypocrisy

Me: PingPing, come here, I want to show you a picture and tell me what you feel!
PP: I feel nothing. What’s the problem?
Me: Look well, this is the Spanish basketball team. The British and the American press say that the picture is racist.
PP: Racist? Is it because they are stepping on the dragon? I do not think they did it on purpose.
Me: No, it is not because of the dragon. Look at their eyes. They pretend they have slit eyes like Chinese
PP: They look cute.
Me: So, you do not find it offensive.
PP: No, it’s funny. Maybe, they should have stepped back a little bit in order not to step on the dragon.

This is the conversation I had yesterday with my wife, a mainland Chinese. I wanted to acid test whether Chinese felt offended with the picture or not. Clearly she did not feel offended at all. Her only remark was related to the Dragon, something that was not even noticed by the British and American press.

It is clear that Spaniards in general, and I have to include Catalans in the bucket too, lack cultural awareness. Someone in the advertising company should have realized that, in some countries, the picture would not be appreciated and it would be misinterpreted, but unfortunately, most Spaniards have a very simplistic and monocultural view of the world. But the level of racism in Spain is lower than in the anglo world. There is a lot of interest in Spain for China, its people and its culture. After USA, Spain the country with more adoptions in China. In Catalonia, I know many families with Chinese kids, the families adore them, they are great.

It is unfair for the British press to attack Spain for this ad. If the reaction had come from the Chinese, we should have apologized, but coming from the British, what the heck, aren't British notorious for their racism? Wherever they went, they either eliminated the local population (America) or segregated it (India, Africa). If by “accident” a mixed child was born, the child would no longer be Anglo, he/she will be the other race, even today, Obama is black, even if he is 50% Anglo-white.

Obviously, the objective of the Anglo press is to hurt Madrid candidacy for the Olympic games. If you want to know, I support Madrid’s candidacy full heartedly. I just hope that Catalonia will participate as an independent state.

The slit-eyed gesture is innocuous. How many times in China I have been called "gao bizi" (high nose – big nose), how many times people have hinted to me that the size of my nose most probably mimics the size of other appendices south of my belly button. I always smiled and I never sent a complaint to a British tabloid.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mr Suñé, please godfather a Catalan kid

This week, we have been able to witness, once again, some more examples of stupid and unacceptable behavior of our politicians. I will start with the one, which in my opinion, was the less serious, but which attracted front page coverage in most of the Spanish online media. Mr. Lluís Suñé i Morales, a councilman of the town of Torredembara, south of Barcelona. decided to publish a post to call the attention about the unfairness of the current financing systems and the fact that even though the 8.7% of the Catalan GDP goes to support other regions, we are called unsolidary. Up to here, nothing serious. Many of us have written similar things and we have not made it to the front pages. The problem came when in order to illustrate his point, he added a picture that you can find here in which he urged Catalans to godfather an Extemaduran child with €1000, because the 8.7% was not enough. The picture was offensive, tasteless and most probably illegal since it portrayed a boy and a girl playing in the mud, the boy naked waist down, showing what the Catalan politicians do not have, with the logos of UNICEF, the Spanish government and the Extremadura flag.
This childish approach put Mr Suñé on the spotlight and as a good Catalan "cojonesless" politician, he removed the post and wrote an apology in Spanish language.
I would like to show to Mr. Suñé a video clip taken about 30 minutes away from downtown Barcelona, an area, where he, a member of the communist party, has probably never put a foot on, and invite him to start a real campaign in Extremadura to godfather a Catalan kid, since there are more kids in Catalonia below the poverty line that total number of kids in Extremadura. Maybe this video is a better justification to try to retain some of the 14 billion euros that leave Catalonia to support "less favored" territories. Please take a minute to watch the videoclip published by la Vanguardia.

One of the other two awful behaviors that I wanted to comment briefly today, much more serious that the childish behavior of Mr. Lluís Suñé, is the act of pure nepotism displayed by Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, who, without any parliamentary control, appointed his brother Apel•les Carod-Rovira as representative of the Catalan government in France. Even if he were the best candidate, what he is not, I would find the appointment disgusting and criminal, and yes I would prefer that this money would go to buy computers for the Extremadura children, or even better, to support the kids in the videoclip, but neither to the Carods nor to Mr. Ybarra and his friends like the "businessman" Gallardo.
The last one for the week has been the fact that CiU's Artur Mas has started to break the Catalan unity approach to financing, by coming up with a different alternative. He sold the Estatut for a picture with Zapatero. He will do it once again. Mr Mas, you are the botifler of the decade.