AS SEEN BY OTHERS: Gods reveal Catalonian plan!


Part 3—How Donald J. Trump is able to stay at 38 percent:
We'd have to blame to our public school teachers with their fiendish teachers unions.

Largely thanks to our public school teachers, "the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, which settled a more-than-two-decade round of fighting between Spain and France," is rarely taught to American children, as it was once taught to us.

(For background from yesterday's New York Times, you can just click here.)

Our children are kept in the dark! Despite this fact, we were visited last night, as if in a dream, by the entire population of the France-encircled Spanish town of Llivia, which "was considered a town, not a village," under terms of the treaty.

Breaking: The townfolk (not to say village people) were accompanied by several clearly identifiable Olympian gods.

Breaking! The roughly 1,589 townfolk said the current Catalan contretemps has been sent to earth by the gods to serve our interests over here in the States! And sure enough! In this morning's New York Times, we found a report by Raphael Minder which ran beneath this headline:

"Catalonia Crisis Divides Spanish Media, Even if Spain Is Still Whole"

While Minder seemed to be describing events in Spain, he was plainly describing us over here in the States. Indeed, we saw the hand of the gods right from the start of the thinly-disguised report about—wink, wink—a destructive split in Spanish media:
MINDER (10/26/17): If Spain has not split in two, its media almost has. There, the struggle over the restive region of Catalonia plays out in parallel universes.

From Madrid, the region’s secessionist drive is portrayed as an act of sedition deserving to be put down. In Catalonia, the narrative is more about aspirations for self-determination by a people with a distinct identity.

“We’ve got parallel story lines led by extremist representations that are filled with clichés,” said Enric Hernàndez, the editor of the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periódico.


The divergent story lines have sown bitterness all around, and extraordinarily harsh characterizations and criticism from each side.
Extraordinarily harsh characterizations from each side? That did indeed sound a great deal like us! Unless you believe, as we self-impressed liberals do, that the problems are all Over There, among the unspeakable Others.

Back to Spain! Just how harsh are the characterizations flowing from each side? As Minder continued, he offered an ugly example:
MINDER (continuing directly): Last month, a group of far-right protesters stood outside the studio of Catalunya Radio during the morning show of Mònica Terribas, the station’s most famous presenter.

They shouted insults and displayed a banner that accused her of leading Catalans toward independence just as a Rwandan radio station persuaded Hutus to kill Tutsis before the 1994 genocide.

“Somebody who compares us to the radio in Rwanda clearly hasn’t thought properly about what that means,” said Ms. Terribas in an interview on Tuesday. “It breaks my heart to hear people talk about us like monsters who manipulate brains.”
Leave it to the New York Times to start with "far-right" protesters saying such horrible things! At least, that's what The Others are likely to say, reading this morning's report over here in the States.

On balance, we'd have to say that Minder's examples do seem to tilt against the so-called "far right," who are anti-secession. He never identified a "far left," or provided examples of pro-secession media figures launching similar attacks portraying The Others as monsters.

The best he managed was this:
MINDER (continuing directly): But perhaps the outlet with the most at stake for Catalans is TV3, which was begun in 1983 as an ambitious regional television project that Catalonia’s leader at the time, Jordi Pujol, used to reinstall the Catalan language, which was banned under Franco’s dictatorship.


“The [separatist] ideology has been sold in every clever way possible, including on TV3’s children and food shows,” Mr. García Ferreras claimed.
“I think the independence movement is perhaps now a victim of its communications success, having made people really believe that independence could soon become a reality.”

In Madrid, on the other hand, he added, “we’re now seeing a large part of the media respond in a way that is forceful but also disrespectful, building up an audience that seems happy to hear denigrating views about Catalonia.”

As the standoff has reached a boiling point, some columnists and pundits have resigned or been pushed aside, while warning against mounting extremism in the news media.

This month, Joan López Alegre, a Catalan university professor of communications, left alongside another regular pundit on TV3, signing off with an opinion article in El País headlined “Farewell to the circus of hatred.”
Alegre offered a farewell to hatred and arms. Just for the record, that "disrespectful" media in Madrid would have been, once again, on the anti-secession side.

Given his role on TV3, Professor Alegre's rejection of the "circus of hatred" may have suggested that both sides have contributed to the "mounting extremism in the media" and the "circus of hatred." But just for the record, Minder only gave examples of hateful speech from the anti-secession side.

Whatever! Thinking back on last night's visit, we saw this report for what it so clearly is. We saw it as a message sent to us by the gods concerning our own ongoing slide over here, in the States.

Having said that, let us also ask this: Is it possible that this was also sent as a message to Us, the good and decent, brilliant people here in our own liberal tribe? Let's think what Minder has said:

As Spanish media split in two, one group of tribals launched an especially ugly attack against their version of The Others. Let's recall what these excitable tribals said:
Last month, a group of...protesters stood outside the studio of Catalunya Radio during the morning show of Mònica Terribas, the station’s most famous presenter.

They shouted insults and displayed a banner that accused her of leading Catalans toward independence just as a Rwandan radio station persuaded Hutus to kill Tutsis before the 1994 genocide.
That was pretty ugly stuff. Meanwhile, over here in the States, one of our own excitable tribals, who shall go unnamed, just got through publishing this in our loftiest newspaper:
[Megyn] Kelly spent more than a dozen years as part of the Fox News machine...

Kelly happily trafficked in racist tropes for profit—black communities have a “thug mentality,” asking repeatedly whether the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown were necessarily related to race.
Wow! After Eric Holder explicitly ruled that Brown's death had resulted from a justifiable shooting, she dared to ask if it was necessarily "related to race?" She dared to ask more than once?

Because she'd behaved in this horrible way, our own unnamed tribal figure was willing to say that Kelly had been "happily trafficking in racist tropes for profit?" How different is this from the conduct described in the streets of Madrid, where tribals are building audiences "that seems happy to hear denigrating views about" local Others?

"Happy to hear denigrating views?" Isn't that what We're now like, Over Here in Our tribe? Was Dr. King ever like that? Would that have described Mandela? Lincoln? The Buddha?

(Further warning: That reference to Kelly's one-time citation of the term "thug mentality" strikes us as hateful, misleading, tribally pleasing but wrong.)

The humble people of Llivia town proudly support separation. But they offered us a warning last night as several Olympian gods gravely nodded assent:

"Ugly, stupid bullshit like that helps explain the way your tribe is frequently seen by Others." So said the people of Llivia, Spain, almost as if in a dream.

Earlier last night, we heard that Donald J. Trump's new approval rating stands at 38 percent. "How can it possibly still be that high?" we quickly and skillfully asked.

A few hours later, one of the gods answered our question with several of his or her own. Those questions went something like this:

"In part, could his rating be that high because of the way your tribe is seen? Could it be that The Others aren't necessarily 'wrong' in the way they perceive your behavior?"

Tomorrow: Murder, they said and wrote. Also, as promised, Paul Krugman!


  1. I don't know if ad hominem hurts or helps but it certainly is the order of the day here and it was with more regret than Rancor that I have to say that Bob Somerby is a turnip.

  2. Somerby mocks Llivia because it was classified as a Town and not a Village, but such designations mattered in a time of city-states. The formation of nations was a phenomenon accompanied by strife and allegiances, not to countries but to towns. Ha ha ha, this is so funny!

    Now we are in a similar struggle to form larger geographic units from smaller ones, trade organizations from nations, more global affiliations. Trump is evidence of reactionary resistance to the emerging trend, which makes sense in terms of distribution of resources. History will prove him wrong but we must suffer his throes in the meantime.

    Somerby thinks the difficulties people have adjusting to change are somehow evil, when he is not mocking them. They are natural. We need to ease the pain, but we cannot stop change because people show distress.

    I am very happy that Somerby lives on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast. I know I wouldn't like him much if I were to encounter him in real life. He needs to think more and type a great deal less. We know he has a very good brain because his elite school taught him about an obscure treaty!

    1. If there is any trend history consistently proves doomed it is the trend toward Marxism and other forms of communism and oppression. The demise of this country will be one more example. "Multiculturalism" will hasten its failure.

    2. @12:24 PM -yet another nonsensical non-sequitur from the Russian troll farm.

  3. "In part, could his rating be that high because of the way your tribe is seen?"

    Correct. But it's not just "your tribe"; after all he defeated a shitload of Republicans too. So, it's "your tribe" and "the other tribe", both; it's the whole establishment.

    These days, however, "your tribe" of hate-filled sanctimonious liberal zombies certainly appears to be the most obnoxious by far.

    1. Yes, the anti-establishment orange shitstain pussygrabbing traitor just gave a big sloppy wet kiss to Wall Street and is pushing for lobbyist whore Ed Gillespie in his run for Guv of VA. Keep selling that snake oil to the rubes, Boris.

    2. In the race toward the bottom, the hate-filled sanctimonious lefty zombies do appear to be winning.

    3. WTF does that mean? The "hate-filled sanctimonious lefty zombies" just got stomped by the bankers and other financial service institutions.
      Trump has thrilled his followers by making the "hate-filled sanctimonious lefty zombies" eat the EPA's rollback of anti-pollution measures.
      Conservatives have been crushing the "hate-filled sanctimonious lefty zombies", or what the rest of us call the "citizens of the United States of America".

    4. "in the race toward the bottom", you win, comrade.

    5. When Mao was still a toddler in St. Petersburg (or was it Leningrad in those days) in 1992, the right wing slime media was attacking Hillary incessantly.

  4. "Happy to hear denigrating views?" Isn't that what We're now like, Over Here in Our tribe? Was Dr. King ever like that? Would that have described Mandela? Lincoln? The Buddha?"

    Somerby is talking about journalists, pundits, opinion writers, etc, and comparing them to a moral leader ( Dr. King), two influential politicians (Lincoln/ Mandela), and for some unknown reason, a mystic prophet/teacher from the 5th century BCE (Buddha).
    Spiritual leaders have one set of priorities, political leaders have another, and journalists (" the media") have yet another. Asking Raphael Minder or some "unnamed tribalist" (why unnamed?) to emulate these historical figures is ridiculous, just as it's ridiculous to ask MLK to act like a journalist or politician. In other words, a journalist in the 1950s- 60s could examine the depth and effects of racism in the south, an op-Ed writer could excoriate the racists who wanted to keep nine black youths from attending Little Rock Central high; their efforts contributed to Dr. King's cause, just as King needed a supremely political politician like LBJ to force civil rights legislation through a reluctant Congress.
    One might examine the cases of John Brown or Harriet Beecher Stowe. Brown was an abolitionist extremist, having committed murder in service of his cause, which he viewed as righteous. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, a stinging indictment of slavery. Neither were interested in "both-siderism."
    Without the partisan fervor engendered by Brown and Stowe and many other unnamed "tribalists", Lincoln could never have mustered enough troops to fight and die in the Union cause. He needed those moral and, yes, "tribal" voices in order to successfully prosecute the war. And once the war started, Lincoln was absolutely committed to the total destruction of the southern army. It was only after this that Lincoln formulated his enlightened and charitable views on reconstruction.

    And as far as religious leaders go, why not mention Jesus? He spends a lot of time railing against the Pharisees, the moneychangers in the temple, and the generation of vipers that he saw around him. Sounds like "denigration of others" to me. So perhaps moral judgments ARE appropriate after all?

  5. Somerby keeps getting stranger and stranger.