Before memory fades to a dream, I want to at least make a few islands of imagery from what photos I’ve got left on my camera. For those of you who are just joining this feed, my band, my wife and I just went to Spain for purposes of art and music. This tidbit of imagery is from the day after Jason Harder arrived, October 2nd, when the rest of the band was due to appear in three vehicles, from two directions. As the roads into the art centre, CACIS, are very rural and not easily navigated with even satellite technology, some judiciously placed signage became necessary. Ergo, this morning walk before the heat of the day set upon us.
The little town of Artes, about an hour and a half drive north of Barcelona, is yet uncorrupted by tourism, though it is both pretty at the moderate age of 1000 years, and culturally rich.
The landscape in this part of Catalunya is the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain range, a very dry climate that has been optimal for viticulture for many centuries. Evidence of terraces pervade every square meter of the surrounding forest and in any direction one cares to walk. About 130 years ago, a horrible infestation of bugs ravaged through all of Spain. Having already devastated the grapevines in other countries, it wiped out the industry in Catalunya in less than ten years. Catalunyans have known suffering. Don’t even get me started about Franco.
In September on the 11th, Catalunyans set a new world record for demonstrations with two million people (the police count was 1.5 million) gathered on the streets of Barcelona calling for independence from the rest of Spain. As a gesture of support, I think we should help Quebec separate from Canada. It’s not like we couldn’t still visit.
The signs worked. Soon everyone arrived in a whoosh, and I was surrounded by merry band mates with unbroken horns, an immense relief. The party began in earnest with many libations and foodstuffs aplenty, tongues wagging until we all crawled to our beds, a fine day having passed.
The pieces of our documentation are still coming together. I hope to have sound bites soon, that I can share them with the world, and you, good and patient reader. Until then.
I especially like the title, which I suspect was a glitch – maybe you forgot to delete where it says Begin Spain Document… but it’s actually the best post-modern blog headline I’ve seen in ages.
Though I gotta say, separatism is a two-edged sword… there’s a left-wing urban intellectual element to every separatist movement, with lots of red wine, sexy dancing, etc, but they are often glued awkwardly to a racist rural rabble. Quebec’s independence movement had a bit of a cave-in when they had their Commission on Reasonable Accommodation which revealed that outside of downtown Montreal and Quebec, the sovereignist crowd was little different than the Tea Party… would you want them running ANOTHER country?
The PQ crept into power last month in the wake of the student resistance to the tuition increases… which eclipsed that racial element for now. Even though most quebecers were actually in favour of tuition hike (What Would the Tea Party Say to Kids Who Wanted Something for Free?!), they were all pretty sick of tired old corrupt Jean Charest… and so the PQ minority is like an uncomfortable shoe similar to the Harper minority of 2006-2010… the reason Harper turned that into a majority is that the Liberals were too thick-skulled to get their shit together…
OMG that’s enough political ranting… you never suspected that your missive would spark such nitpicking… but thanks for sending it…
(PS just spent two weeks in Newfoundland… they only joined Canada in 1949, after a referendum… what would happen to those poor guys if Quebec separated? Brrrr…)
What you might not know about Catalunya is that they were forced into becoming a part of Spain, an announcement made from a king a way off in Madrid some centuries ago, about which they are still very sore. Some time later, when Franco came into power, he made friendly with two fellas named Adolf and Benito who promptly sent their respective airforces to bomb the living shit out virtually every city of Catalunya, just to suppress the anarchists who had very briefly formed a republic. Nasty stuff. Then, when WW2 was all over, Franco got to stay in power for the next thirty-plus years enacting plenty of harsh fascista laws upon the little guys like the Basques and the Catalunyans. For instance, it was punishable by death until the end of Franco’s rule, to publish anything in the language of Catala. Children were not allowed to speak or learn their own language in school, being made to study in Castillian. I could go on, but it would involve Wikipedia at this point. Comparing Catalunyans to Tea Party Nutbags is unfair. The country rabble in rural Spain is quite well read as far as I can tell.
If Quebec separated, Newfoundland would be the same distance away. People talk like it would float out into the ocean.