Wednesday, May 15, 2013


In a breath-taking piece of political opportunism the beleaguered PP government of this benighted country is trying to deflect attention from their woeful inability to deal with the present disastrous and chaotic state of, for example the economy, by raising the perennially divisive and attention deflecting issue of abortion. 

They are trying to galvanize the ready prejudice of the right and the thousands with their carefully nurtured, religiously (!) dominated prejudices so that the important questions about the present state of Spain are carefully lost in a debate in which scientific and reasonable arguments are lost in a fog of dogma.

I am sure that there are well meaning and reasonable people who are totally opposed to abortion, but they should beware of their sincerity being abused by cynical opportunist politicians seeking to hide their maladministration and downright corruption in a sanctified miasma of pseudo-moral obscurantism on a topic whose controversial nature is sure to raise temperatures and lessen logic.

Although I am a staunch defender of the woman’s right to decide, I also believe that there is a real debate about the number of months that elapse before the foetus is regarded as viable.  These debates are scientific and medical and can be used by the so-called religious community to bolster their arguments, not to be ignored by them and the element of “faith” be used instead.

The Roman church, in this priest dominated country, where their status is enshrined in the constitution; where their tax affairs are greatly to their advantage; who siphon off money from tax returns; whose churches are rate free; whose pronouncements are anti-gay and anti-democratic – this contemptible Roman church is an eager co-conspirator in the deflection of real debate about their privileges, their crimes, their cover-ups and their signal failure to provide spiritual and moral leadership in a time of financial crisis.  A plague on them!

In the cold light of a dull day the preceding rant seems almost mellow given what is going on in this country!

Meanwhile in the OU Forums things seem to be slowing down.  I thought that I had a vibrant group of fellow students who would use the Forums constantly and provide real stimulation but that is not proving to be the case. 

Our present task to is produce a list of ten items that we own and then write a brief character sketch of the personality that has drawn up the list.  This could, potentially be very revealing, and however the individual has completed the task, it will obviously say a lot about the choices that have been made.

The point behind it all is to emphasise how we are defined by material culture, how our possession tell tales about us.  I think the hard part is writing the character descriptions.  Needless to say I rejoice in writing these brief but penetrating pen portraits and my obvious facility has driven my fellow students underground.  Again.  I will have to try and coax them out into the open again and sooth their tender feelings.

At the start of the course there were some intellectually aggressive postings or a professional nature which made me hopeful that a “keenie” had joined our group, but even his thrusting intimidation seems to have abated.  It’s a lonely old life as a distance learner when your fellow electronic companions don’t push the buttons!

Toni appears to be a little better, though he has had a rough couple of days.  It turns out that the whole family has been struck by the same illness (with the signal exception of my good self!) and the only common experience that I can think of (apart from the wedding where, if anyone deserved to be a little less than perfect it were I!) was the meal we had on Sunday in an overcrowded and almost unbearably noisy restaurant in Terrassa.  But the only common element in that experience was that we had food from the same kitchen, because our individual meals were various.  Another mystery, though Toni will hopefully be better when I get home at the end of this “long” day.

It is impossible for me to ignore the date and not begin to count, with growing mixture of desperation and delight, the number of days left in education or even Education! 

The end of course is the 23rd of June and it is now mid-way through the previous month, so to speak so, apart from obviously not being just four weeks away, it is not so far that such a concept cannot be warmly thought about!  And good luck with finding your way through that sentence.

People here are tired.  Very tired.  And the summer holidays are regarded in much the same way as The Second Coming – though without the “rough beast” and all that apocalyptic crap. 

My poor colleagues have to endure a further week of torture after the departure of the kids, while I wave my cheery goodbyes with the general exodus of the customers.  And quite right too.  I still have not decided how to celebrate this momentous event. 

Again.  Though I bloody well will, I can assure you of that!
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