Why Spain is different? Chapter 4: from the reality show to the differential fact
When the Iberian peninsula was divided among four Christian kingdoms and several small groups of Muslim diabetics, the thing was very clear …. Or at least it could be to any civilized strategist: the Christian kingdoms were easy to form a common alliance to get rid of that called fuckingmoorishbastards.But remember we are talking of the Iberian Peninsula. So the four Christian kingdoms, after looking south a split second, followed the biblical tradition of resolving hereditary disputes by clubbing, unless the agent and sole legal representative on Earth of the Palestinian lynched a thousand years ago sneaked in the dispute. Then all were silent and obedient.
And thus was formed the lore of the Albigensian Crusades, the Battle of Muret and the confining of a small blond boy in the castle of Monzon.
And while the blond boy was visiting Monzon, a French monk who had invented a portable writing system consisting of small sheets tied which fitted in the pocket, was having a walk at Poitiers. While he was thinking there could be built something spectacular in the future, there was a couple of peasants who spoke of cheap beer and spicy women.
The monk, named Aymeric Picaud, asked for more, and farmers responded to him,
Allez allez! Visitez l’Espagne! Soleil et biere pour peu d’argent!
He didn’t wanted to know about all that nonsense of sun, beer and easy women, telling the peasants that he had a friend who told him there was a lot of architectural works and cultural performances.
Both farmers started to laugh their way, and went on singing a strange song that talked about an ancient kingdom, and a country very dear to someone.
So Aymeric took his horse and headed south towards Irun. He get lost in the Pyrenees, say, because of a snowstorm, and ended up at Roncesvalles. When he asked in his poor Hispanic
Hoygan, como you ir Santiagou, amigou? (Somewhat like Hoygan, I like go where Santiago, amigou?)
the basquenavarrian innkeeper saw the business, and answered:
Oh yeah, whatever. Sit here and Patxi will bring you something to eat.
Picaud got a slice of bread with a slime of cheese, which cost him three maravedis, thereby inventing the scam of the montadito.
However, there are detractors and envious which put Picaud on the French Pyrenees but not in winter and snowstorms, but in the summer. Eager to be near his destination, he picked some cheap french wine and pissed up himself to death, fainting near Saint Jean Pied de Port.
Either way, the navarrians gradually decreased the contents of the French monk pockets’, making him go around from village to village, absolutely all over the place, until one day, he acknowledged some freckle located in some raunchy place, suddenly recalling that he had been there before. So he turned tail, threw all sorts of oaths and swears to all the basque people and, eventually, continued his cultural route.Inevitably diverted from its path, Aymeric was found alone, and almost without money, in the steppes of Leon, where he had to go asking their residents, occasional herds of goats, if he was stepping right to reach Santiago.
After crossing the endless, empty and cold but sunny plains of the Kingdom of Castille, he arrived at Galicia and asked a peasant
Hoygan amigou, how can me go Santiagou?
The farmer replied
The concept is the concept, And as I say something, I say something else.
And then sodded off.
Aymeric, deeply astonished and troubled by the strange inhabitants of that land, finally arrived in Santiago and made the rite through which the apprentice receives the teachings of the master by knocking their heads.
On regaining consciousness, and being ready to go back to where he came, he heard cries and shouts that asked why he was going in that direction, where there was no more than herds of wild goats and desert steppes for thousands of kilometers, finally getting to a land where people scam the hell out of you with cheap wine, fake cheese (without fungus and not smelly) and stale bread, advising Picaud that the right course was to the north, by the sea shore.
Seeing the transformation in the face of Picaud as soon as he heard that, from gentle monk to precursor to the Incredible Hulk, the Galician peasants wanted to leave quickly, and were thwarted obstructing each other, creating the impression that they did not know whether to stay or leave.
Back to Poitiers, Aymeric Picaud took all the small sheets on his pockets, put them the name of Moleskine (as you can see, a very stupid name, being this the reason why all the people went mocking him until the end of his days) and published it, especially paying attention to the ones who had scammed him badly. Incidentally, he invented literary tourism, travel guides and characters such as Bilbo Baggins and other famous travellers.
He also invented, without knowing it, French chauvinism, because he had never acknowledged he went the wrong way and that, instead of the cultural route that passed through the coast, he got lost in wild places. That way, readers of his “On Foot through Hispania: How not to be scammed by those fucking basque bastards”, whom were not that much smarter, they believed the monk’s and chose to cross a desert inhabited by goats instead of a pleasant scenery, full of fresh green grass and watered with frisky apple juice.
If not for me, not for anybody.
Meanwhile, on the Mediterranean coast …
At Monzon grew a little blond boy, who became a two-meter bad-ass called James.
After, of course, some struggles between his cousins and other pretenders, James was able to assert his donkey jaw and reach his very own reality-show final, being the sole survivor and so won the divine right to be CEO of the Federation of United Catalan Counties and of Kingdom of Aragon (FUCCKA).
Good ole’ King James also started some catalan traditions as well as pactism and the differential facts: while the rest of the Christian kingdoms engaged in cultural binge-tourism, James I the “Bad-Ass” Conqueror, leader of the United Federation of Counties, saw on the sea … the final frontier … a possibility for internationalization, to do something that made him apart from the rest. He also came up to conquer new lands to the diabetic Moors, and to do that he summoned all his nobles and their armies … whom sod him on several occasions, as they considered that those ideas were completely loony and had no future, that the business was in tourism and infrastructure construction, as all the rest of the peninsula was doing.
Finally, thanks to the intervention of the three Popes, the only legal representatives of the old lynched who was shaping Europe a thousand years after his death, the Aragonese nobles began to support the good King James, who finally conquered the Balearic Islands, Valencia and then Tortosa (giving young europeans more places to go on vacation).
Years later, along with some more occurrences, he pulled a crusade out of his helmet, and one of the Popes bought it. But instead of conquering Jerusalem, he did not made it even to Marseille because of a storm and had to return home.
During his reign, King James had to confront various rebellions, both their own noble men and some of the conquered. The case of Valencia.
James used to observe the habits and customs of the places conquered, by granting the muslim freedom of movement and trade, provided he did not imported the Uses of Barcelona (and since then, the disputes between the provinces and the capital of the principality because of alleged centralism based in Barcelona have been almost daily).
Thus, the introduction of Usages, and not the muslim doing business, was not liked very much by the Christian occupants that, as soon as the king left, those buggers began organizing monumental piss-ups. This way there were various Saracen rebellions, during which James asked aid of Pope Clement IV, who made honor to its name: the king was put as a condition to help release the souls of Saracens and let them reach paradise. And if he did at once, with swords and not letting any single one of them alive, even better.
At that time, James had a glimpse of what would become one of our most beloved traditions. At first he said yes to Pope Clement, but when it came the time to decide, he passed the entire affair under his arch of triumph, and kept the rights and possessions of the Muslims in exchange for them to convert… and thus continue to pay taxes. Here’s the beginning of the pactism and that about “listen, listen to the money talks”.