4 November 2022: The economy; Spain’s Islamic history: US humour/humor; Twitter’s future?; & Other stuff

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galicia   

Spain’s manufacturing sector is said here to be immersed in a vicious circle and to be currently the hardest hit economy in the EU. Worse even than the UK, again widely seen as Europe’s poor man?

This is an (over?)long and fact-filled article on Spain’s Islamic (and Jewish) history.  If you meet a paywall, try here.

Another trial of several corrupt folk down in the South has ended with light sentences and even acquittals. The reason seems to be the common one, viz. that justice takes so long to deliver here that cases run up against the action limitation deadline. Or fall foul of human errors which extend the timeline beyond this point. You have to admire the people who pursue corruption here. They must suffer frequent disappointments.


Might well be true. From a Brit viewer resident there: ‘Saturday Night Live’ – the long-running television comedy and entertainment show that still anchors what’s left of NBC’s lineup on weekends – ceased to be particularly funny or culturally significant some years ago. Once the launchpad for comedians of genuinely innovative talent such as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Tina Fey, it has for some time been a purveyor of culturally approved, predictable “humour”[‘humor’] that clings carefully to all the permitted nostrums of the age, with endless skits mocking the irredeemable bigotry of white men, the unremitting wickedness of conservative politicians and the dark iniquities of capitalist corporations.

Social Media

Twitter has become the precise opposite of its original stated intention, as a decentralised platform for the instantaneous dissemination of information. Instead, it is a centralised platform for the creation and enforcement of ideological narratives. Elon Musk should destroy it. See more below.


Zafarrancho; The RAE:

1. Acción y efecto de desembarazar una parte de la embarcación, para dejarla dispuesta a determinada faena.  

2. Limpieza general.

3. Destrozo

4. Riña

Possible English words: Deck-clearing; Battle stations; Havoc; Row; Hitting low[?]]

Did you know? 

Iran’s tiny population of Jews – 8,000 – can trace their ancestry right back to the Babylonian exile, c. 2,600 years ago.

Finally   . . . .  .

The bloody clock change . . . I fell asleep at 11.15(ex 12.15) last night with my Mac Air on my knee. The result: A broken USB plug at the end of the charging cable. Last time I replaced one, it was an extortionate €25 euros. Wonder what it will be now.

For new readers: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there


Elon Musk must destroy Twitter

He should fire its servers into outer space: Aris Roussinos, Unherd

If there is anything more dull than listening to acquaintances relating their dreams, it can only be reading journalists complaining about Twitter. Yet since Elon Musk spent $44 billion on becoming its main character, the topic has become inescapable. As Ernst Jünger remarked in The Glass Bees, his prophetic 1957 novella about a tech billionaire, “economic absurdities are produced only when power is at stake”. The furore — online of course — about Twitter’s future direction is entirely downstream of the perception that its ownership is a valuable prize to be wrestled over, the world-island of political discourse whose mastery brings with it absolute power.

Such a widely-held belief, put forward by Musk’s opponents and fans alike, illuminates the nature of the platform. It has become the precise opposite of its original stated intention, as a decentralised platform for the instantaneous dissemination of information. Instead, Twitter is a centralised platform for the creation and enforcement of ideological narratives. The fear of liberals, and the hope of some conservatives, is that under Musk’s ownership Twitter will cease to be a central pillar of “the Cathedral”, the ideological apparatus by which the liberal order maintains its hold on effective power despite the growing opposition of voting publics.

For Right-wingers, who see Twitter functioning as a mechanism to enforce the dogmas of liberal ideology, the hope is to seize the Cathedral; Conservatives, by contrast, hope to open it up to debate, using Twitter as a pulpit through which the congregation will select the best ideology on rational grounds. Both beliefs are based on a fundamental misapprehension of what Twitter is, and how it has achieved the cultural prominence it has. And both groups, as well as society as a whole, would be better served if the entire edifice was levelled to the ground.