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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pure madness

Hey! I have not been slacking for the past twenty some odd days. I have been busy writing non-guirilandia-related material. And I have been reading the news with bewilderment. From a massacre in Virginia, to some idiots proclaiming it was because not enough students were armed ... to the crackdown on the Chinese markets opening up near Plaça Tetuan, to the ERC saying the city government should buy out 2,000 locals in the zone to stop the evil yellow invasion ... to the hysterical anti-marijuana campaigns currently under way, to the springtime weather which is distracting me and keeping me from writing this blog

Let's just go point by point (excuse the haphazard style of this entry):

ON WRITING. 20 Minutos - Spain's second best free newspaper behind ADN - has this interesting article about the dangers of blogging. Here are seven unscientifically-proven symptoms of blogging, all of which I have suffered. Especially in the three weeks I haven't been posting:
1) Madness. You go mad when you cannot access your blog.

This has happened to me numerous times. Not to mention the times I tinkered with the wrong codes and completely screwed up the design, only to have to spend hours afterwards trying to fix it, while at the same time putting on a cool, got-it-all-under-control exterior in order to trick those around me that I wasn't really that obsessed with my blog.

2) The future. You start to think of future articles in the middle of a date, of a movie ... also in the middle of a romantic moment.

Yes, sadly enough this has all happened to me. I recently saw The Other's Life. Awful. No wonder it won an academy award. Halfway through the movie I was thinking of writing a scathing review for the blog. Only I reconsidered because it wouldn't exactly fit the scheme of this blog (you know, Barcelona, sketchy situations, stupid nationalism). I remember ... oh, nevermind.

3) Days later. When you walk down the street you remember a commentary that someone made, you laugh.

Yes this has happened, although I don't allow comments anymore. The shocking truth is that sometime I laugh just thinking about my articles. This is embarrassing, but true. I remember watching a documentary about Robert Crumb who admitted to masturbating to his own comics. I feel somewhat the same, though I have yet to wank to my own stories or blog entries.

4) Anger. When your friends ask you, "What's new?", you get irritated because you have already written about it in you blog and they don't read it.

None of my friends read this blog. In fact, I've met very few people face to face who admit to reading it. I got over the fact a long time ago. I just write.

5) Curiosity. If someone leaves an anonymous comment you try to figure out who it is.

Doesn't apply.

6) Warnings. You have written posts only to say you are going to sleep.

Never. Many blogs have this annoying habit of constantly talking about themselves - like I am doing right now. They talk about boyfriends and girlfriends, about reasons why they haven't been posting, about their favorite music, why their country is better than yours, about people at work, about their idiot landlords ... like this for example:

Chapuza, or postmodern art subsidized by the Generalitat?

I haven't taken a proper shower in a month because the guy who replaced our water heater did a chapuza, which is a great Spanish word for shoddy workmanship. Our first heater broke, it took the landlord three weeks to send a guy to replace it, he did a shoddy job, and it broke again. Six weeks without hot water.

The one he replaced worked fine. Until it rained. Then it broke because water leaked in through the roof and ruined the electronics. Then they didn't want to replace it. Then the guy came and did what you can see above to our terraza roof. This my friends is due to amiguismo. Because the blockhead who put the water heater in and created the postmodern sculpture on my roof is a buddy of the landlord.

Nicholas Mead, fellow contributor at Barcelona Reporter, has water heater mishaps as well. Strangely enough, ours was a Junkers water heater as well. I will go on the record saying for the one week our Junkers heater was working it was wonderful. The fact that it broke is due entirely to the ineptitude of the installer.

7) Jealousy. You are jealous of people who are included on more blogrolls and have more commentaries than you.

Yeah, a little bit. A sad bit of news is that last month I reached a record number of hits (200+ in one day). The saddest part of all was that it was from freaks looking for pictures of six packs (abdominal muscles).

Some people at work wanted to know my opinion on it. They wanted know why. Why the massacre? Why are you Americans so fucked up? Why don't you guys control guns more? I thought long and hard for two seconds to come up with the obvious answer. It is not the fault of the easily bought guns. Yes, that's a problem. Especially when it's easier to buy guns than a harmless joint, or when it's less shameful to buy a gun than it is to by a pornography. But we all know it's not the guns that drove the kid to do it. He was probably autistic and had serious social problems. Many factors led up to this. Not just the guns. I can't explain this to people without them shaking their heads and thinking I'm the typical American dupe. So I just ignore them and write blogs about them.

But seriously, how can anyone say everything would be better if more students were armed? Who's to decide who should be armed? Imagine, a whole school of kids and faculty armed to the teeth. Quick, Takeshi Kitano, make a movie on this, because it would be brutal. Or for that matter, Chan-wook Park, the guy who made Old Boy. A wild western set in a school, on the big screen where it should be.

YELLOW FEVER. Big stink lately on the proliferation of Chinese markets near Plaça Tetuan, over by calle Trafalgar and Barcelona's "Arc de Trionf". Citizens are up in arms about the dastardly Chinese taking over their neighborhoods. Now, the ERC, Catlunya's "left wing" nationalist populists, are saying the government should buy 2,000 locals in order to prevent the wholesale buyout from the yellow horde.

I'm not exactly pro-chinese shops, in fact I find some of them a bit repugnant. Here is an example. Last Saturday I went to the Chino to buy some pots for my marijuana plants. While I was perusing the astonishing array of crappy knock-off products, I was subjected to the store owner hocking loogies into the trash bin, one after another, then while I was laughing silently to myself and thinking of how I could incorporate it into a post without it sounding racist, I spied this delectable selection of movies:

Among the choice titles: My mom has a dog, and My favorite pet

Next to innocuous stacks of blank DVDs and CDs is a lusty library of animal porn. If anyone is interested, you can go to calle Casanonova between Provença and Valencia, right in front of the market. Just past the guy hocking loogies into a trash can, past the plastic flowers is a collection of animal porn that will be sure to impress your freakiest friends.

Of course, I know I know, this is not exemplary of all Chinese shops. It's just an anecdote. Some of these guys pasa de todo, and I can see why some people are worried. But, then again, I wouldn't want some hysterical "left wing" nationalist populist government decreeing who can and cannot open a market. I say this with clenched teeth, because in all honesty I am disgusted at the amount of Starbucks cafes proliferating across the city. I detest Starbucks - I will not go into another diatribe on it - but I can't deny them the right to open one of their soul-sucking franchises. I just won't go. I believe in individual initiative. Not social engineering.

MARIJUANA HYSTERIA. Lately there has been an immense amount of ink on marijuana. Papers like la Vanguardia are claiming it is three times more harmful than it was in the 80s and 90s, la Vanguardia even going so far as to imply that it causes schizophrenia. And all this after last year's pathetic La Maria No T'Estima campaign.

2007. And we are still dealing with this. When everybody knows they'd rather be around a stoner than an alcoholic, and everybody knows that marijuana is far less addictive, than, say, an episode of House. By La Vanguardia's logic the streetlights turning on are the cause of the night, and putting a straight-jacket on is the cause of madness. Marijuana is the cause of all the problems, it will make you antisocial, schizo, possibly even gay or left wing. Oh boy we're in trouble.