It would appear that Mr Apocalypse is going to special lengths to put that extra pinch of karmic ouch in the debacle formerly known as Spain. I say formerly known because the saddest excuse for a gummint we’ve had since Frank-Ohh just decided to cut the “S” from Spain in another austerity fudge-packing measure. That’s right, we are now the Conspirational Mo’narky of Pain. We hope this will not deter international banxters from investing their hard-stole funny money in our most excellent eCONomy; trust us, we’re good for it! Can we have moar now, puhleeeze?
Now, it would appear that Mr A –a sneaky universal force and a poet to boot– has been doing time in the capital of pain, Mad Rid, the institution-city on the desolate windswept plains of Castille where we send our crazies to get rid of them, mostly the sociopaths, kleptocrats and strictocrats. Gone is the froth and foam of the real estate bubble years, when millions were made in minutes manning banxter gloryholes in stadium VIP restrooms and cement came and flowed among the pharaonic structures erected about the city like so many stiffies, chubbies and off-keel boners. All that abundance turned out to be debt-fueled turgidity that siphoned the wealth to tax havens and left the shortage to be divided among the peasants. As they say here: of that mud, this mudslide.
Mad Rid is on a bad roll. Indicators are flaccid and the problems are beginning to pile up. The ongoing trash collection strike –one week and counting– puts forth images of heavy symbolic import, but this is just another nail in the coffin of slumping tourism, tattered reputation and a mayor who is the laughingstock of trannydom. Her lapidary “relaxing cup of café con leche” was perhaps the only thing that will be remembered of the city’s third unsuccessful bid to host the Olympic Games, except for the payments on debt interests for those massive sports facilities that nobody can afford to use or maintain anymore.
Then there are the honor issues, those that affect the capital’s morbid competitivity with other Spanish cities, in particular one on the Mediterranean that starts with Bar Sell and thinks it’s the capital of another country. The Mad men think the Bar flies are a bunch of separatist pricks who speak another language just to be ornery, while the Bar flies think the Mad men probably don’t enjoy bowel movements with the regularity recommended by Bhutan happiness index guidelines. This ancient rivalry, which is played out by twenty-two men in short pants chasing a ball around a green rectangle several times a year, has become harsher with Bar’s rise to the olympus of global tourism searching for Mexican dingo ball hats and “My sister fell off the Sagrada Familia and all I got was this bloodstained t-shirt” memorabilia. To make a long, rambling story short, Mad wants to be cool and groovy and loved, but it can’t seem to get the recipe right. Putting high speed trains to the airport was a step forward; blocking the access to the Prado with garbage is two steps back.
One oft-unspoken problem with Mad Rid is the institutional peen nature of many of its residents. As the seat of gummint, the ratio of dickheads per capita is way above index guidelines and has deleterious effects on the quality of life of normal folk. Politicos, businessgreasers and banxters roam the streets followed by their legions of paid advisors, career bureaucrats, enforcement thugs and assorted hog tits, leaving a toxic trail of red tape, hot lead and cheap bourbon in their wake.
At the tail of this ungodly procession scurries the current gummint of the Pay-Pay led from the rear by Marianus Ratjoy, “the butthole who bringeth bliss to rodents”. His disministration is screwing the pooch so royally that even the leeches are getting nervous as the host organism –the body public– gets wind of a new shaftberg every other day. Even the You’re-a-Peen Union, normally so measured in its PIIGS-fcking language, has taken off the stroking glove and is going in with the fist as their spanish debt-enforcement puppets take incompetence to the next level of disbelief. Ratjoy’s “presidential” strategy is to hide behind his pitbull ministers who are only too glad to take on this thankless task in exchange for a turn at the gloryhole, but on the giving side this time. Of these, one stands out like a fleshy protuberance by his own demerits, the minister of culture codename Josephus Ignatius Wart, aka the human bunion.
Since becoming minister two years ago, the Wart’s job has been to take the chainsaw to the culture funds, make enemies at every turn and practice his expressive range from snickering sneer to sneering snicker. At the popularity level, Wart is up there with green toe cheese, but again that’s part of the job description and the payoff will surely be more handsome than the subject. A king’s ransom! All the perfumes of Araby! A new identity, name and life! Plastic surgery, perchance?
Having earned the distinction of being the most booed minister at public events nationwide, the Wart decided to move into the big Peen league and announced that spanish students would stop receiving their Erasmus scholarship money next March. The Erasmus (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) has been getting kids high and laid since 1987 as an EU academic exchange program between union countries, and thousands of spanish students stood to lose their scholarship in the middle of their stay abroad. To justify such a wildly popular measure, Wart told the denizens of Pain that the EU Peens were going to cut the Erasmus funds in the next budget, so there was no choice but to screw spanish youth yet again.
Being blamed for screwing the youth was evidently not to the EU’s liking, and a day later some second-rank peen puppet took the stage in Brussel Sprouts and told the world that there were no cuts foreseen for the Erasmus program in the new budget and the spanish minister’s words were “rubbish”. Spanish press titutes rapidly typed “rubbish” into google translate and found to their surprise that it meant “garbage”, and without further ado ran the story with the headline “EU Says Spanish Minister is Garbage”, without taking into account that the British expression was in this case used to mean “nonsense”, not trash. It was a strong choice of words that got twisted to become a downright insult, and the irony is that most spaniards agreed with it, including the Wart himself. Just another day in Painadise….
At the end of the day and beyond the bombastics, however, the ongoing karmic repo of Mad Rid is no laughing matter, except in a “laugh to not cry” way. Not the catalans nor the basque or even the andalusians find solace over the decline of the once-mighty central power, partly because it’s raining pretty much everywhere and partly because of the old spanish saying: when they shave your neighbour, start soaking your beard. But mostly because we’re all just normal folk standing together under the rule of law and faced by a common enemy regardless of the language it speaks. It is easy to pinpoint post-imperialist power projection as radiating from Mad Rid because that is its historical function, but we must never forget that the city stood three years under seige by the fascist uprising of 1936 together with its sister Bar Sell, and both sold their freedom dearly. For those of us who believe the war never ended and the final battle is yet to be fought, the current state of identity-based politics is nothing but empty divide-and-conquer talk for grazers, pitting us against our brothers and sisters-in-arms for no other reason than which of the four co-official languages we choose to use aside from castillian spanish. Surely we can agree to disagree on issues that relate more directly to our everyday problems, like what to do with the douchebags robbing us blind, and whether to use pliers or a spoon. This point we can debate to our heart’s content, and I’m sure we’ll find we have a lot more in common than it may have appeared at first glance. Life is funny that way. I say spoon.