viernes, 4 de febrero de 2011

Being European

Seems to signify that by default, a person needs to be anti American. I find the attitude difficult to understand. Public and categoric statements about detesting the American culture and people or lifestyle in TV, by journalists and politicians have to sound inappropriate to any person with a little bit of perspective and multicultural training. Pilar Boyero, for example, maybe (?) a great singer, but nothing else. In the thinking she should be no leader. I could barely assign any worth to her many many comments during a recent broadcast in the Extremadura channel on satelite TV. If I were in charge of her image, my recommendation would be to talk more intelligently -or to stick to singing copla-

Now that in NY smoking is being prohibited in the parks and beaches, most media personalities use the opportunity to expose the topical opinions, the cliches and criticism about excessive control (Excess regulation they speak from the paradigmatic region of the complicated procedures, The EU!). Can't anybody see the merit of prohibiting cigarette buds contaminating the environment, impregnated in nicotine that every toddler finds and sucks while parents sunbathe during the Summer months? I applaud the message although regret that people have to be told something so common sensical: Cigarette buds are polluting, dangerous, gross, and should be disposed of properly. In Estonia I have had evil thoughts about those who care little for their beautiful beaches as well. So many leave their 2 lt plastic bottles behind, but will we have to prohibit drinking any beverage by the sea? Interesting idea if sanctions consisted of cleaning public spaces, for free, several months in a row...Forced labor that is, but we are all forced to recycle for example. I DO SEE THE CONNECTION! :)

I was appalled by the image of downtown cafeterias and coffee bars in Madrid. Never before I went to any place where people in disregard of basic manners, threw the garbage to the floor. Any of these establishments in the capital of Spain hoarded at the time, innumerable napkins, residue of food and cigarette waste all over, except from counter and table tops.
I was the most surprised when after politely daring to ask once, Why littering was allowed? and Why not to place some bins to dispose of the trash? (the barman noticed my south American accent) the answer was: But where are you coming from? Colombia? Do not tell me that you do any better! Colombians must be much dirtier than us! What a display of talent...I was not going to try convincing this anonymous guy on that in fact this was really an authentic/indigenous Spanish habit (left from Madrid 3 years ago, maybe it all has changed). One that is difficult to get used to. However, foreigners love Spain, and I have not heard anybody claiming that they are nasty people. Why Europeans like to pick on Americans so much? Who does not have "RABO DE PAJA?"

LET'S OBJECTIFY OR AT LEAST BALANCE THAT! If there was only a bit of diversity and few anti Venezuelan, some anti Chinese, several anti North Korean. Or what about not committing so hard and definitively to anything so abstract as hating an entire culture/country? Being nice to people and working hard makes up for an empty mind. Shake off the stereotypical politic views and just live.

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