Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And Still Very Dead

In general, I agree that it's wrong to celebrate the anniversary of anyone's death as a reason for hope, but today on the 34th anniversary of the death of General Franco there is good reason to do so. There were already celebrations commemorating the end of his rule when I was in Barcelona two weeks ago. Living in a nation that has endured seven years of absolute night, it's worth looking at what has happened in Spain over the past three decades to realize that the U.S. might one day actually return to the civilized world. It's a stretch, but if Spain could make such a remarkable transformation, it's reason for inspiration for us as well. Though, I am increasingly thinking about becoming one of them and giving up hope on the U.S. I agree that it is a nation worth saving. I just am not sure I want to see it through on these shores.

Thanks to Kimy for reminding to get around to reading Mark Kurlansky's The Basque History of the World, a great celebration of the ultimate rewards of persistent resistance to oppression, even if there is a high cost.

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5 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, Blogger kusala ~ joe said...

That's a really nice book cover.

I never knew there was a short-lived franquista coup in 1981 until I recently saw a newish punk-rock inflected film, El Calentito, which you might want to look up just for fun (it's somewhat frothy, but to me it was fun).

There were one or two stories in the LA Times in the past two years about controversy in Spain over the upkeep/designation of Franco's gravesite/memorial. It's apparently still a big deal and if you've seen pictures of the place (I forget the name and am not googling it right now), it's like a monumental fascist shrine.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kusala~Joe - Thanks for the film tip. How to handle sites such as the grave of Franco is a tricky business. To ignore them or remove them is wrong, but there is also the potential of them becoming shrines of worship of regimes we certainly don't want revered or restored. I'm enjoying Kurlansky's book, but as always it has references to other books, issues, sites, and sights that I want to explore. It certainly beats watching Thanksgiving parades and football, though.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger WAT said...

Great post on a truly controversial and authoritarian leader. I suppose Spain in a twisted way benefited from having Franco rule, all those years of dark opression gave way to a huge liberal movement and progress which is still seen today.

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Dear God you made a Chevy Chase ref.

shudder.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

WAT - I just hope the same can happen in the U.S.

Gavin - God save me. Is Heavenly Dog next?

 

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