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Spanish tantrums and the Streisand effect

27 July 2010 30 Comments

An excellent example of the Streisand effect, when someone tries to hide information but the internet amplifies it. The Spanish and their love for censorship have achieved just the opposite to what they originally intended with an interview from the public Irish TV (RTE) to a Catalan girl in Barcelona right after the World Cup final. The girl in question says “I hate Spain, I am Catalan not Spanish. Spanish people is idiot”. . (Correction) The Spanish embassy in Dublin have sent an official letter of complaint to RTE regarding the interview.

By the way, if you want to see a Spanish tantrum wait until tomorrow. The Catalan Parliament are voting whether to ban bullfighting in Catalonia or not. What started in Catalonia as a debate to stop a barbaric tradition with barely no supporters has been interpreted by the Spanish as a national issue, an offense and an attack to their national identity (even though the Canary Islands forbid them almost two decades ago and noone cared), go figure. We’ll see what happens, I’ll keep you updated.

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30 Comments »

  • Alex said:

    Actually I take offense to her “Spanish people is idiot” comment, just as I would take offense to a “Catalan people are idiots” comment.

    I cannot abide by comments such as that.

    I think a small insignificant street interview has been blown up a bit out of proportion though.

  • Candide said:

    Great, the whole dilemma in a small sideshow.

    The entry is incorrect, because the Spanish embassy was not behind all the complaints (“The broadcaster also said it received three e-mails and a phone call from viewers(…)”)

    The girl is full of shit. But she’s honest: I have the feeling that many will applaud her in Cataloonia.

    The Embassy apparently never heard about freedom of information/press. Which is actually the worst point of all three.

    Now come and say that there’s no potential for conflict.

  • Candide said:

    PS: Good to hear you, Alex.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Thanks Alex, I think it’s hilarious that a supposedly serious institution like a Spanish embassy would take the time to complain so much about something as silly as that.

    Especially when the girl is a Catalan and Spanish embassies should also represent Catalans. Since Catalonia is for now inside of Spain, shouldn’t they maybe complain to the Catalan government? What does the Irish TV have to do with all this?

    Or maybe aren’t the Spanish just trying (in a very unsophisticated way) to stop the world from seeing that most Catalans weren’t really supporting the Spanish national team that day? and that they can’t stand the world from seeing this because some silly declarations by a passer by are an offense to their fragile national pride?

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    I don’t understand what the big deal is about all this.
    I don’t understad why the term “The Spanish” is used in such an spiteful way, as if all spaniards agreed to censure any kind of information whatsoever.
    I don’t understand why there are some who think many Catalan people think “the Spanish is idiot”, actually, let me tell you, many feel they are spanish themselves, even though some other may “censure that feeling”.
    I don’t understand why Spanish should not feel proud to be so, but it is true, saying “Three cheers for Spain!” has been almost forbidden for a long time, politicians have ill-used national pride in their own interest leaving it in a state of decay, but that is changing now and people are starting to look at things through their own eyes.

    Alex, I couldn’t agree more.

  • Albert (author) said:

    You guys have a very fragile national pride. Something like this would have been completely ignored in any serious country. Instead you guys keep talking about and blowing it up.

    Obviously it’s not true that Catalans hate the Spanish. Unlike others, we don’t have to resort to hatred in order to reassert our national identity.

    However, it is interesting how easily offended the Spanish are when the Spanish media and political parties insult Catalonia, its institutions and citizens on a daily basis just to gather extra votes for the elections.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    …Jeesh!

    I’ve seen many Spanish abroad and within the country, very easily identified as Spanish and Andalusian, or Castilian or whatever. Many people from different countries cheering and loving Spanish people abroad and within Spain. Most people in Spain don’t really care about the number Catalonians not feeling Spanish, but I care about my being Spanish and despised by many in Catalonia, because i live here and, honestly, I don’t understand it.
    In my opinion, there are more things that bind us than things that separate us, but it seems that some in Catalonia want to see Spanish with their head hanging down.
    Go, Catalan, anywhere in Spain and feel the warmth of its people.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Do you want to know why Catalans want independence? just ask them but I think most of us are just tired.

    But I’ll give you more hints. Since most Catalans have grown up in absence of violence and this pseudodemocracy we live in they just don’t understand why things are the way they are and want to democratically change them to make Catalunya a better place but Spain tends to get in the way. Therefore, they logically reach the conclusion that Spain, more than being the solution, is part of the problem and the easiest way to get where we want is by choosing freedom for our country. Simple.

  • Candide said:

    What a fabulous example of circular logic, Albert.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    Believe it or not, I get your point. But I am afraid it is not that simple.

    For instance, if Catalonia got its independence, it would automatically be expelled from the UN. I am not making it up, and I am not saying it is fair either, but that’s the way it is.
    Catalonia would line up to get in the UN, behind Turkey, among others. Workers from the UN living in Catalonia would need a Visa to work or live there. The currency would be an issue too. The would be great international pressure and both, Spain and Catalonia, would go through a period of financial and political hardship without a deadline ahead.
    The shortest way to Brussels might end up being one of the largest depressions Spain and Catalonia has ever gone through.
    Can you picture the social upheaval all that could cause? Wouldn’t it be better to try and understand each other and work together for a common cause?

    I am just a poor ignorant who knows nothing about politics, but the whole thing scares the hell out of me.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Candide, yours seems to me another example of your frequent content-void 1 line replies when you run out of arguments

  • Albert (author) said:

    Hi Miguel Angel, you’re just recurring to the old “they’ll kick you out of the EU” argument which doesn’t even scare a kid anymore.

    First, that won’t be the case since Catalonia is already in the EU so your argument just collapses like a castle made of cards. If you need more clarification I recommend you Mr Abad’s study, Stanford University professor, which clarifies why a process of secession within a member would automatically create a new member within the EU. The EU is both a union of states and of people and all Catalan people are already EU citizens, therefore they can’t lose that status.

    If you need more proof ask the Scottish or Flemish independentist in the government in their respective countries.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    …Uff. I could give you arguments until tomorrow morning, but you don’t seem to hesitate to launch a direct attack on whoever does not seem to agree with you. I don’t want to start crossing words with one whose weapon is trying to injure. I liked better your second answer.

    Anyway, I don’t really feel comfortable in your Independent Source of Catalan Information. By independent, I suppose, you don’t mean impartial.

    I wish you a happily ever after.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Miguel Ángel,

    I think it is quite obvious that this website is about Catalonia’s independence and yeah I am completely independent. No publicity of any kind and no ties to anybody, I reserve the right to say whatever I want about anything or anybody I want on either side of the conflict.

    BTW, do you know of any newspaper or TV in the whole world that is impartial? Because I don’t. And I think currently most media are controlled by the Spanish so there’s an obvious bias in the information about this conflict.

    I welcome very much you contributions and I encourage you to participate in the discussion. I personally think you’re getting easily discouraged.

    However, sooner rather than later always happens. You guys quickly run out of arguments, because the only arguments to defend Catalonia’s dependence inside Spain are sentimental, not rational.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    On one hand you got independence, and the other integration in the EU. They don’t go hand in hand. For the second to take place, a combination of factors has to be met, something like a raffle:

    -Recognition as State by every and all the 27 state members. One opposing would be enough to leave Catalonia outside the UE, but nicely independent.

    -The Unanimous vote of the whole Council.

    -The vote in favor form the European Parliament.

    -The favorable confirmation from the 27 national parliaments, and in some cases, referendums as the case may be in rainy Ireland.

    If one of them fails and Catalonia would be a second Kosovo, but you guys could start a nice allegiance!

    I don’t know why I am spending so much energy on this, I am writing while working for a low salary half eaten by the taxes I pay in Catalonia.

  • Albert (author) said:

    That is your opinion. On the other hand we have facts, such as the abovementioned study and that the Flemish independentists have just won the elections in Belgium, the heart of the European Union, and nobody has even dared to question their membership in the EU, same would happen with Catalonia.

    Regarding Kosovo. Spain are embarrassing themselves since on one hand they sustain that Catalonia and Kosovo are different cases and on the other they side with Serbia, Russia, China and Greece in not recognising Kosovo’s independence. Are they different or not then? What are they afraid of?

    Regarding the low salary and taxes you pay to Spain, just to let you know that if Catalonia became independent it’d greatly benefit you since the fiscal plundering would stop. Currently Spain steals 22000 million euros every year from Catalonia, which represents 10% of our GDP. Once independent that money would be reinvested in lower taxes and greater social benefits.

  • Candide said:

    You’ve surely made a new friend, Albert.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Candide, the time of the “nice” Catalans who shut up and pay is over, now’s the time of taking back what’s rightfully ours.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    Ooooooh!

    It looks to me more like suppositions. Comparing Belgium to Spain… taking lightly the EU resolutions and foundations… Taking a study by some guy as if it was the Bible…

    Ok. I gotta go and enjoy my life. It has been a pleasure.

  • Albert (author) said:

    And yet still you guys have no arguments why Catalonia should stay in Spain. Only threats of all the bad things you guys want to do to us if we leave. Do you think you are convincing anyone of staying in Spain by threatening us?

    Thanks for your contribution anyway

  • Candide said:

    I think at this point I could give you a hint on how to sell your position better and be more convincing, thus hugely improving your chances to be understood and get your position accepted.

  • Miguel Ángel said:

    What threat are you talking about?

    What catalans are are you talking about? The ones who think like you? The ones who despise any catalan who feels Spanish and any Spanish resident in Catalonia? Let me tell you something, you better start using a different term because there are many who don’t, even though you don’t see them just because you are blind to them. You are gonna start seeing them because soon they’ll rise their voice and you’ll notice, I am afraid, there are more than you think. The vast majority of catalans are related to people from all over Spain. Not many can say their both their grand parents or grand grand parents are from Catalonia. The same thing happens with the rest of Spain. We are a great blend.
    Half of the children born in Catalonia are from immigrant parents, and by immigrants I mean people from outside Spain. Society, in Barcelona al least, is one of the most plural and cosmopolitan in Europe. Move on, boy! Most people living here don’t give a dim for your pseudo-catalan national identity. Not even mr. Montilla, whose daughter goes to a German school where the spoken languages are German and Spanish. Haha! You are just a product of the manipulation nationalists use to to stay in the power. And the referendum just left little doubt about how little normal people care about your independence, only the very catalan-nacionalists went to vote, whose mind is so full of the fake history and geography taught in schools here.
    Wake up and broaden your mind, you’ll be happier.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Thanks Miguel Ángel. Half my family are from Spain, that doesn’t mean I should feel Spanish. I am a Catalan and my country is Catalonia where I was born and raised.

    The only way to increase democracy and welfare in Catalonia is by independence from a Spain full of people like you who when they come to Catalonia don’t accept it or respect it and want it to become another Castillian province.

    You are the living proof of one of my arguments for independence. And by the way, you guys haven’t suceeded in 300 years, you won’t now.

  • Candide said:

    Oh, typical Spanish shouting match coming up?

  • Rab said:

    What I find amusing is that nobody has mentioned anything about the guy with the Spanish flag and who shouts “Viva España” with a raised arm.

    Albert: keep going my friend. Against these so-called “non-nationalists” nothing irks them more than the strength of our convictions and our argumentative dicourse based on the principles of democracy and the numerous precedents around the world.
    The study you quoted has been accepted in the UK, even by the Labour party in Scotland. If Scotland or Catalonia secede from the UK/Spain, they will continue their membership of the EU. Not even Spain will be able to veto it, since Catalonia is not a new entrant, which is what the pro-Spanish lobby don’t want to understand.

    Miguel Ángel: my parents are both from southern Spain but I do not want to be a second-class Spanish citizen. At the moment, this is exactly your situation with regards to your taxes and other things and the sooner you realise what’s best for your long term prosperity the better. It certaintly does not involve Catalonia being part of Spain in the current set up for this way only economical ruin and cultural desolation lie ahead.

    (“Antes alemana que catalana”, etc)

  • Candide said:

    What has to irk any sensible person is your arrogance to be speaking in the name of high principles, your fallacious discourse and your growing agressivity.

  • Albert (author) said:

    Thanks Rab

  • kashem said:

    i like & love her.

  • Columbus Munsell said:

    Should i repost this to my own blog? I’ll try to leave you a inbound link. Let me know, thank you!

  • Albert (author) said:

    Hi Columbus, sure go ahead, let me know the address so that I can go and check your blog. Thanks.

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