Why Spain is different? Chapter 1: Amigou!! Fiesta!! Sangría!! Paellia!!
Originally, this was supposed to be the typical article where I throw a little bile, a valve for releasing steam and pressure from the nastiness that this country rewards every day. And it was planned to do it in a serious tone, as necessary.
After the first paragraph I recalled that this country is impossible to understand if one takes it seriously, and giving it a try only leads to deep depression, becoming catatonic and applying for a voluntary lobotomy.
I have therefore decided to expand what was a safety valve to a therapeutic exercise, and make a small apocryphal story to try to explain why Spain is different.
NOTE: This story, although based
on real events wikipedia, is not fictitious. The text includes deliberate attacks on catholic hierarchy and the names of the characters have been changed to protect privacy and honor. Not any superior primate, including paedophile catholic priests, has ben tortured nor damaged during the writing of this text.
Why is Spain different?
A normal person who believes in self initiative, who values meritocracy and who thinks that what one works is for him or herself, living in a country like Spain it is very difficult.Spain is different. It always has been so. Manuel Fraga, minister of Tourism and Propaganda during Gral. Franco’s dictatorship, was the first to write it down, almost 60 years ago. Spain is a country where anything but logic works, from the big-shot culture to ramble with everything you can before somebody else does it (or the police come to take you). Here in Spain you can steal, the more the better, and be considered a hero. Who in Spain does not remember Dionisio “El Dioni” Rodriguez, thanks to whom the company Candi SA had to close for bankruptcy and, for years after his theft, has been interviewed on TV and tabloids, or Enric Duran, the hippie who helped the banks starting the cut off, long before the crisis, by scamming them half million euros, and then went off on ‘solidarity’ vacation for one year and a half?
But apart of popular heroes, we have bankers, regional presidents, suburban mayors and a whole range of wildlife thieves, worth of admiring, probably subject to debate and which possibly served as models for countries like Zimbabwe, Libya and Somalia. Or vice versa.
One such species is the employer of the construction, the artist formerly known as Boss of town. But to understand well the steps from-boss-to-builder, the real estate boom-bubble and its subsequent exploitation, we must look back about five or six centuries ago, to the formation of this thing we now call Spain … but to understand the formation of modern Spain, we must look back even further behind. The Romans brought to Hispania, among other things, the wine, roads, drinking water, irrigation, public order and the Pax Romana. Centuries later, some vandals from northern Europe began a tradition that still lasts today: getting here, blow out themselves with beer, break everything, impose incomprehensible laws and necrophile-pedophile-monotheistic beliefs.
Christian vandals and goths from icy northern European liked the place, and so began to carve up the remains of the Roman Empire, which they had looted in their entirety elsewhere. Roman Provinces Tarraconense, Lusitania and Baetica were reorganized, the former governors of provinces were renamed ‘Dux’, and finally, between binge and binge, the invaders ended up creating different Visigoths kingdoms.
Meanwhile, the Arabs, who had just conquered the Maghreb but where still looking for a greener area, decided to use one of the Gothic hangovers and invaded, dominating in only 15 years, all of what was known as Hispania: once one of the most prosperous territories in ancient Rome, now converted into little more than a dunghill.
There is a theory that would explain the quickness of the Muslim conquest: the inhabitants of the peninsula, very proud of their Roman civitas and the rights and freedoms involved, and most were practitioners of polytheism long before Hercules was strolling through future Emporion, and they did not took very well that some newcomers pissing up and imposing those bizarre practices of worshiping a manipulator from a distant land whom, once the scam was discovered, was unceremoniously lynched, but thanks to a strange manipulation of older cults as it could be Attis’ and Mitra’s, returned to life three days later.
Between this and that, after the invasion of thousands of Europeans drunkards, the pax romana was not pax nor anything anymore, and going out at daylight was just as dangerous as to do it at night, so hispaniards collaborated actively expel them newcomers.
The Andalusis took advantage and improved roads, irrigation, public order, health, gardens, culture and knowledge that the Romans had bequeathed. And allowed religious freedom. And imported oranges, tiger nuts and invented the horchata.
But Hispania was different. A peasant named Pelayo, the first town-boss in Spanish history that has been given the title of Don, did not took very well all that religious freedom, public toilets, sanitation, homes with running water or mathematics. He surely hated horchata and preferred beer, and possibly got rich charging two silver talents for a half pint of watery beer to gothic Europeans. And of course, with his business winding up, Pelayo decided to revolt and claim the legacy of the necrophilic faith and the moral values of binge tourism, previously imported by Northern Europeans. He was captured and sent to Corduba.
But as ignorance is bold (and Andalusis were soft), he managed to escape and eventually start ¡The Reconquista!