The mayor of Icononzo, Colombia says (via Puerta del Sol) that he’s more frightened of gossip than of guerrillas or paramilitaries and has acquired powers to fine tabbies almost four million pesos (that’s roughly 4,100 Belarussian roubles). However, gossips aren’t only dangerous in war zones:
Valentí Almirall’s famous essay, Lo catalanisme , published in 1886, goes on to discuss the degeneration and denaturalisation of the Catalan character due to contact with “the dominant race”, whose word for gossip, chisme(s), comes from chinche, (bed)bug.
[Chinch turns up somewhat to the north of Mayor Jiménez’z dumb âne in The Blues and thus in Bob Dylan:
Gangrene snuck in your side, it’s cuttin’ you like a knife
Chismes hopped out of bed and began bustling around in our ears in the 16th century–the Alcaide suffers terribly from them in Lope de Vega’s El lacayo fingido–but Almirall seems to be the first person to use the Catalan xafarderia. Grec says it comes from the pondy, sinky word safareig, around which public facilities townsfolk began to gather and mumble in the nineteenth century. Some European intellectuals never got over the experience.
- How to write reggaeton
A fine template, but we prefer metapoetry.
- Happy rain
Early one morning, just as the gays were yawning, I met R walking down a boulevard in some fairly heavy rain
- Arsing around in 16th century Spain
Vaguely re this, I was surprised to find that medieval Spanish local legal codes are thick with arse. Fueros sometimes proscribe
- San Longino, ibero
Una explicación racionalista de la Resurrección y Ascensión de Nuestro Señor.
- Iron Maiden in the frontline of the flag war on Basque terrorism
An extreme nationalist Basque group, ANV, was recently banned for being the latest in a succession of ETA front organisations. In