Forum 2004 is an event that Barcelona City Council hopes will turn into a re-run of the 92 Olympics in terms of reputation and inward investment. Billed as an anti-globalist fest, it’s all got into a bit of trouble because previously advertised bill-toppers like Klein, Chomsky, and Sonntag seem have said either no or nothing. And now it’s coming in for some sustained slagging from those who prefer their slogans not to be so obviously sponsored by big business and who resent an event about a fairer world being run on the back of a huge exercise in real estate speculation.

I personally don’t see the problem – one of the best legitimate ways to acquire wealth rapidly is to preach against wealth – but if you wish to keep your conscience clean, you might prefer to travel to a rival event. Galicia’s Xacobeo 2004 will be a profoundly moving celebration of several thousand years of humble pilgrimage to Santiago by simple people. And who better to round off such an event than Britney Spears?

(OK, Britney can’t sing, but what the hell’s the politico in charge doing going round saying that she’s going to fatten up (engordará) the list of stars appearing? It wouldn’t surprise me if she cancels in a huff and turns up in Barcelona instead to give a talk on fair trade, leaving Gorbachov to sing Pepsi – Joy of Cola to the faithful:

the world goes round and round
but some things never change
ba pa pa pa ba pa pa pa
the joy of pepsi)

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