Sunday, July 1, 2007

And in Wednesday’s News…You Tube; El Fary; Fighting Over Bullfighting; Does BCN Need Another Swimming Pool?; Wedding Wrongs

YouTube Speaks Your Language
Hola, Bonjour, Ciao, こんにちは, Hallo, Czesc, Holá and Hello!

YouTube goes Spanish — and French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish and Portugese. It will now be available in seven different languages. Apparently half of its traffic already comes from outside the USA and I’m sure they must want that to increase. I say, ¡Genial!

El Fary is dead! Also known as the singing taxi diver, José Luis Cantero Rada, was a popular singer from the late 1960s on. As a matter of fact, his latest record was released yesterday, the day of his death from cancer.

While still working as a taxi driver in Madrid, he started as a copla singer (an Andalusian song style involving dramatic love stories, tragedies and lots and lots of passion) and eventually embraced other musical Spanish styles. He sang (and wailed!) about love, bullfighting, and everyday people.

He seemed to have been a real phenomenon. There’s even a rather unique collector’s item for fans: a little plastic replica of him called the CARROFARY that is designed to be hung from the rear view mirror of a car. (If you want to see one, watch the outrageous Spanish movie Torrente 3 - The Protector. Torrente 1 and 2 are even better, if such an adjective can be applied to this kind of movie.)

By coincidence, in one of my English lessons last week, which was based on the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, I asked my students to name Spanish superstars. El Fary was one of the first that came up –and these students were under 30 years old!

Spain, The Land of Bullfights? Speaking of bullfighting, one of the free newspapers reported today that bulffighting is causing division in Zapatero’s government under the headline, Los Toros dividen a los Españoles y tambien al Consejo de Ministros. (Bullfights divide Spaniards as well as the Council of Ministers.)

Apparently the publication asked several individual Ministers their opinions on bullfights and received a range of responses. ¡Que sorpresa! On one extreme was the Minister of Culture, who responded that fans have the right to attend bullfights and no law is going to end the events, while the Minister of the Environment claimed that personally she would favor legal reforms to do away with them, beginning with prohibiting the killing of the bulls.

By the way, bullfights are not ver popular among Catalonians and I have heard local people say thye believed they should be prohibited. A week or two ago there were protests at local bullfights, which do not take place here often. There are two bullrings in Barcelona and one of them is being converted into a shopping center. The other one seems to hold more circuses and concerts than bullfights.

Anyone for a dip? In the underwhelming developments department, the 5 star Hotel Rey Juan Carlos has opened its swimming pool and for the first time it will be open to the public, too. Hey, why should I walk five minutes to the beach when I can travel across town to a neighborhood far from the center of town and nowhere near the sea to swim in luxury.

Wedding Bell Blues In Betanzos, Galicia a woman discovered she was doubly conned into a fake marriage. It turned out the groom was only separated, not divorced, and the priest was really a tractor driver. ¡Ay caramba!

Copied from original posting by Carloz on 20 June, 2007

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