Today in Catalonia

September 28, 2017

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Some of you can’t help knowing, and some of you tell me that you want to know, about the emergency that we are under at the moment here. In today’s program, the host, Matthew, gives a very good summary update on what has happened since his editorial last Thursday. But we three guests, an Englishman, a German, and an American weren’t exactly shrinking violets (and we did sometimes differ with each other). Obviously, the Spanish Prime Minister’s visit to the American President, a very great disaster for him who spent so many billion euros to get so little, was something that we had to talk about. But the main subject is naturally the suspension of many civil rights here in the run-up to Sunday’s scheduled referendum on independence. The very newsroom on the other side of the studio wall has in fact been visited by the traditionally feared Guardia Civil, and we considered that we might be interrupted (as a meeting that I attended here in Sitges on improved social services was invaded by twelve armed police). But we weren’t one of the media censored so far:
http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/235894933.html
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An exit of Britain, a judgment of a Parliament, and poetry in Barcelona and Sitges, discussed by a Ghanan, a Slovenian, an Englishman, and an American:

http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/216036357.html

So, today we naturally talked about yesterday’s Dutch elections that have so many resonances on both sides of the Atlantic. Also, the attacks on democratic votes further south; and there was talk, too, about a new movie on a great Catalan novel that sounds sensational. (And, uniquely so far, both guests—an Englishman and an American—were from Sitges. We’re quite different ideologically but seem pretty much in sync in the issues at hand.)

http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/208704114.html

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Today’s show:

http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/204401051.html

A Little More TV

January 30, 2017

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http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/195835235.html

Current Affairs

September 29, 2016

1000The moderator began the program with the subject of the U.S. Presidential debate and asked the guy dressed in red, white, and blue to comment. I was not surprised that the born Europeans were more than eager to express their own thoughts on the subject.

http://www.elpuntavui.tv/video/184884772.html

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J.S. Bach wrote these fifteen Inventionen for his own children. This wonderful Dutch series had the enchanting idea of having eight young musicians (ranging from 7 to 16 years) perform them for “All of Bach,” presented by De Nederlandse Bachvereniging/The Netherlands Bach Society, which publishes a new recording of a work by Bach every Friday on http://allofbach.com, online for free, until they will have collected all of Bach’s works on their 100th birthday in 2021.
 Click to hear these pieces and admire the players:

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At the moment, Europe is preoccupied with—if not convulsed by—the issue of massive migration of peoples. Much of the debate stems from a possibility that many of the incoming masses may not share something constantly referred to as European values.

Leaving aside a possible discussion of the extent to which Europe has been busy discarding previously held European values for quite some time (for example, even denying the Christian roots of Europe to the extent that the basic documents of the European Union, against the protests of many, pointedly omit even a neutral mention of them), it is also relevant to recall that far more massive invasion and destruction than is predicted by even the most alarmist commentators took place when Europe invaded the vast continents that Europe has named “the Americas.”

And talk about violating the established values of a society!

A new BBC discussion by renowned experts on the Maya civilization, so largely and purposely destroyed by the Spanish invaders, is estimated to have reduced the population of this very advanced society by ninety percent in a comparatively short time. Ninety percent of the people wiped out. This puts xenophobic whining about letting Muslims back into Spain in quite a different light. And a concomitant of the destruction of humans was a disregard for the many things that Europe could have learned from, for example, their advanced systems of land-use and ecologically wholesome food-production that would mark great progress even today if they could be imitated. The incorporation of vast green spaces into massive city layouts that they accomplished is stunningly sophisticated.

My own comparative lack of interest in and sympathy with Maya civilization (even when I visited one of their former strongholds on the Yucatan Peninsula) had to do with my visceral horror at human sacrifice. This turns out to have been an invented libel, according to advanced academic scholarship. And the idea that the Mayan languages so much admired by scholars were stamped out by Spanish is absurd when we learn that there are still ten million speakers of the various Maya languages surviving (coincidentally about the same number of people who claim to understand the Catalan language, which persistent Spanish violence has also not had the power to stamp out).

I highly recommend this enlightening (and even entertaining) discussion from BBC Radio Four.

Click here.