Bush, the greatest intellectual of our time

Mark Liberman is being nasty to our beloved intellectuals, most of whom we manage to ignore most of the time. His frustration may arise from a misunderstanding of the role of the intellectual in European society, which is something like that of a Catholic bishop in the States. I think somewhere in Campo cerrado Max…

Weird bone

This instrument has no slide and six valves but it is not a bad clarinet. It’s a French trombone, and that’s that.

Be responsible with pork!

John Chappell’s latest commandment over at Libertad Digital comes in a piece that makes instructive comparisons between US and Spanish regional and national government finance systems. No prizes for guessing who gets rubbished.

Raymond Carr on the Basque problem

An excerpt from the Q&A session yesterday at the presentation of Raymond Carr’s new monster, El rostro cambiante de Clío: – Is Spain feasible without the Basque Country and Catalonia? – In theory yes, in practice no. I don’t understand why the radical nationalists want to be independent members of the European Union. An independent…

Trader nadir

Another favourite, gone: Bar Me Quedo Aquí (“I’m staying here”) in Llinars del Vallès.


Someone a while back invented a verb that they thought would guerrilla-brand Barcelona’s Raval district and managed to have a fake letter of protest published in La Retaguardia, Barcelona’s favourite sucker rag. Here it is in Googlish:

Inexorable force

If al-Zarqawi has been wounded “in the path of God”, then authorship presumably lies with the Hindu deity Juggernaut rather than US forces.

Institutionalisation of blogging in Catalan

There’s a do in a couple of weeks featuring some Catalan-language bloggers. Strangely, the list of participants doesn’t include links to their blogs, and, stranger still, one of the speakers is journalist Màrius Serra, who didn’t show any interest when bloggers caught him a-plagiarising. The local state here finances civil society to ensure that its…


Unfortunately I can’t see Barcelona’s notoriously tubby and boozed-up municipal police following Rio’s lead and pouring themselves into swimming trunks in order to combat the Maghrebis who stalk and rob tourists on the beaches here, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to think of something else. It might be interesting to issue all new…