European acceptance of Michael Moore’s new anti-Americanism has been greatly assisted by the loving detail with which he depicts the country he has invented, bursting with gun- and God-happy fatties and ruled over by a Semitic mafia. Here, from El Semanario Curioso, Histórico, Erudito, Comercial, Público y Económico, El Blasón de Cataluña (1842; cited in Xavier Sust, Fantasies animades d’ahir i d’avui (2005)), is a similarly detailed description of another imaginary baddy, the dragon of Sant Llorenç de Munt:
The standard version of the story tells us that a millennium ago the Moors were losing the war with Count Wilfred the Hairy for the Spanish March, so they imported a dragon calf of indeterminate gender from Africa, shipped it up the Llobregat river, and put it in St Agnes’ cave in the pre-littoral massif (nearby walk). There they fed and watered it until it was nice and big and dangerous and then left it to feed on sheep and shepherds. Knight Spes was sent to kill the beast but failed, so the boss got on his hoss and a hirsute pursuit was launched.
When the posse arrived at the dragon’s lair Wilfred told his men to retire and, taking a large oak branch, went forward alone. The dragon came out and pounced, but Wilfred was prepared and smacked it over the head. The dragon was only half stunned and got up and came for Wilfred again, this time cleaving in twain his knobbly stick. Here historical determinism kicks in: the two halves fell to the ground in the form of a cross, Wilfred cheerfully spit the dragon with his lance and stuck his sword in its heart, and it dutifully wandered off, groaning like Mr Moore after a particularly unenlightening lunch, and died.
- Separating egg yolks from whites
Tülin Özen’s shell technique in Semih KaplanoÄŸlu’s Bal, comparison with the palm technique, brief speculation re historical usage of both, and
- Alectryon, the Ancient Greek model for our cuckold’s horns?
With a field study of the nymphomaniacs of Goa and brief notes on the early history of composite grafts.
- Estat Català
While Italian politicians consider tying a reintroduced lira to the dollar (maybe they should talk to some Argentines first…), here’s something
- Extraordinary effects of a solar eclipse on the population of Tripoli on June 4 1788
Tully, Letters written during a ten years’ residence at the court of Tripoli (1819): June 12 1788 To you, my dear friend, who
- Barcelona sidewalk etiquette
I’ve moaned about this before, and here’s a similar complaint in Terry’s Big Adventure: I noticed that there was more of a