Wednesday, February 4, 2009

terrorists? what terrorists? another cerveza por favor - by b

after an early morning run today i popped into my local coffee shop (sadly it's a repsol gas station.. but ok) and bought myself a coffee and a newspaper to practice some spanish.

la, la, la.... la, la, la i get to page 13 or so on the bottom left and i read that yesterday the police here in barcelona had arrested about 10 members of a suspected al queda cell who allegedly were falsifying documents for the terror network.

no wonder people seem calmer here. in the u.s., my god, this would have been a screaming front-page headline spooking the bejeebies out of everybody

i don't know much (actually anything) about the relationship between the media and the government here --- except that not that that long ago this place was a dictatorship, so i imagine a certain deference to power exists here amongst the press. i don't know whether this is a deliberate keep-the-people-calm policy, or just a truly cultural attitutde that some stuff just isn't worth getting superfreeked about.

it is, potentially, a bit concerning no? it wasn't that long ago when terrorists bombed trains in madrid. and spain is kind of a symbolic patch of land for expansionist, conservative islamists who would like to see the iberian pensinsula back under their control once again.

i don't really know either what the true deal is in the states. is fear a deep-seated cultural fact? are the media there (mostly very large, publicly traded companies) in cahoots with the government where, pre-obama at least, fear-mongering sold votes and sold defense budget allocations. or is it the wheels of commerce that know that fear sells papers, webviews and tv ratings.

something to ponder