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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

M. L. Estefanía in The New Entertainer

My article about Spain's most prolific author, Marcial Lafuente Estefanía, has been published by The New Entertainer, a newspaper published in Almeria, Spain (check out their website here).

Lenox, the editor, contacted me via email to see if he could publish this article, which was originally published on this blog. Of course I said yes, and I just got the paper a few days ago with my blog article printed in it – as a feature.

A lot of people think blogs and blogging are a waste of time. Well, for anyone that writes, here’s proof that it isn’t. Almost all of my writing gigs have come about as a result of Guirilandia. Who would have thought?

You can read my article on Estefanía on this blog, or download the pdf version here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Si a todo

“Si a todo” means, as you all know, “Yes to everything”. This video of Salvador Dali on the 1950s game show What's My Line? is great because of all the people they could have picked, they picked the one who could literally say “yes” to everything! A classic bit of subversion a la Daliniana.


Of course, the title of this post is ironic, because if you say “si a todo” to anyone in Spain they will probably start giggling. This is because in newspapers like La Vanguardia and El Periodico there are daily hundreds of classified ads for “erotic services” which use the term “si a todo”. These range from “massage” services to something called “relax”. The term “relax” means to engage in or solicit erotic services. By cleverly adopting an English word that doesn’t mean anything remotely close to “engaging in or soliciting erotic services”, the Spanish have dressed up licentious behaviour in the garb of European sophistication. Anglicize any word in non-English-speaking European countries and instantly you have sophistication. It’s like an American utilizing non-English terms. I myself am guilty of it a veces. It tricks your conversation partner into thinking you are much more profound than you really are, and impresses school children, blockheads and intellectuals.

So, instead of saying “Voy de putas” or “I go to the whores” a Spanish gent can say something like “I’m going to relax”. Pretty clever! Anyway, what I was getting at is that “si a todo” is the headline or selling point of all these ads. “Todo” – or “everything” – is a huge concept, but within this context I’ll leave the rest up to your filthy imagination. “Si todo” is the motto of every good libertine, or temp worker.

I bet Bill Gates didn’t realize this when he was developing the Spanish version of Windows, because every time you move files to another folder destination and the files already exist there, a prompt will ask you if you would like to replace that file. You can choose “si”, or you can choose “si as todo” to save time. Or so you thought!

In Spanish, unfortunately, you may be saying “si a todo” on a daily basis without even knowing what you are saying. Saying “yes” to everything in English is not a big deal, in fact it is quite common amongst Republican party hacks and street vendors in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

It’s easy to wrap this post up. So if you’re ever in Spain and you meet a guy who says, “Man, I’m going to relax”, or if they have the bad habit of saying “si” to everything, just watch out, or at least carry a jimmy hat.

I hope this was an edifying experience.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Those dirty cebolletas

I know, it’s been a long time since my last post. I planned on retiring Guirilandia, but I couldn’t resist posting this video documentation of that disgraceful phenomenon called Rubbing the Little Onion, which I wrote about many months ago. Even Larry Kovaks is concerned. He might investigate.

Previously: Rubbing the Little Onion


Forgive me if this video has been blogged about before. I haven’t looked at any blogs for the last two months.


FYI, I will be blogging at my new domain unnaturalhabitat.com in the near future. I’m jumping into the world of open source code and it’s going to take me a while to get this thing ready for the public. Until then, I might post something every once in a while on Guirilandia. The truth is, I am sick of guiris and Barcelona in general. The idea behind starting Unnatural Habitat is to have a larger concept to play around with.