La Crisis Economìa


Spain is so advanced that their economy is tanking first. (Looks like the PIGS (Portual, Italy, Greece, Spain) are becoming US-PIGS.) Everywhere there were creative protests with a Socialist flavor.  But wait, it was a Socialist government that imposed the cuts. The voters punished them by replacing them with centrists..proving that Spanish voters are just as Loony Tunes as Americans.
"I buy gold" see this everywhere you go.
"Our life's being cut".
Plaza del Sol--Madrid City Hall in the background.
These guys were so worried about the economy that they sacrificed and actually held a rally. Since it was a political event, traffic was blocked from La Gran Via on a weekday morning.  This is giving me an idea..can't we make every rally Rolling Thunder?  
As much as feeling sorry for Grandma, I feel sorry for the recent graduates who have talent and ambition and nowhere to go.  Saw a lot of this in Costa Rica. One of my Spanish teachers was an aspiring journalist--but the only publication is a Government-controlled newspaper that, in the interests of stability, is absoluately content-free.  There's nothing but traffic, entertainment and sports. Check it out on-line if you don't believe me. Crime and politics just don't happen in Costa Rica, and futbol is front-page news.

Thinking back to my poly sci days, one the most dangerous things a government can do is have lots of highly educated people with no prospects and lots of time on their hands (cf. Egypt). A second is to start making things better but not as fast as people then expect ("revolution of rising expectations" e.g., the French revolution. A third is to hire mercenaries--as Machiavelli points out, if you're weak enough to need them, they're strong enough to take you.

More Arts
Madrid is street musician paradise. There are performers every few blocks.  These guys were doing Gonoud's Ave Maria.
Opera house.  They're performing...oh no, Messiaen! Wait, that's next month, it's Cosi Fan Tutti...probably in Italian with Spanish subtitles.  Or do they need subtitles for Italian? I don't know the plot. As much as I like the Mozart symphonies. Die Zauberflöte bored me silly. If I don't like The Magic Flute, there's no hope, right? So I didn't go.

This picture lacks's a life-size print of a Prado painting, printed by experimental technology developed by HP Madrid. HP created a gallery of reproductions near the House of Deputies.

Wondering if this museum doubles as an aquarium

Artist outside the Thyssen museum painting the outside of the Thyssen museum

The tapas place in the background brought an unordered dish and insisted that I'd ordered tip meter went to zero. (It was Serrano ham and I don't eat red meat). An ordered dish was outrageously good though...fried eggplant sticks with thyme honey-butter.

(L) Typical cafe interior. (R) Lo, how the mighty have fallen.  There's a plaque out of frame on the Starbucks reading "In this spot in the period of the Restoration, was the Cafe de Forno, gathering place of politicians, intellectuals and bullfighters".  

Funky Madrid