My chance at immortality
My wife and I have just returned from a trip to
Today, it can be argued
Forty-two years ago when I first landed in Spain, the generation that fought its Civil War, a conflict that inflamed world passions as much as Vietnam did in ours, was exhausted and spent. By comparison, today's youth have grown up in a democratic society whose transition has been relatively smooth. (The 1981 coup attempt, shockingly recent but virtually overlooked when one considers post-Franco Spain, was never really a serious threat to the new state.)
Reminders of the Civil War are still present in unexpected places, the
In conversations with a few cab drivers I asked what had become of “los grises”, the gray-clad police one saw everywhere, and of the Guardia Civil, their tri-cornered black hats and green uniforms a common and intimidating sight? Both drivers referred to these vestiges of Franco’s police state as “bastards” and “thugs”, public utterances that would have literally been dangerous in the past. The Guardia Civil can still be glimpsed maintaining their vigil at public buildings, military installations and other sensitive sites, but their public presence is much less conspicuous, Behind the scenes, however, they remain an important national police force. Los Grises have been replaced by a more modern looking force, just as formidable in appearance, but not nearly as plentiful.
Despite these reminders of the Franco years, for
Some things never change, fortunately. Each evening, all of
Democracy, as we all know, is messy and no where is that more apparent than on craigslist, the every man's eBay.
My wife and I have been packing our belongings, preparing for a move back into the heart of
Hard as it may be to believe, there are a substantial number of pictures posted that are badly out of focus. That's right, utterly and hopelessly out of focus. It’s difficult to imagine what the sellers were thinking. If someone agrees it is very useful to include pictures of an item they wish to sell, takes one digitally, sees instantly it is out of focus, and says, what they heck, that’s good enough, one has to wonder about the written description of said item, which presumably requires more effort. (We will ignore for the moment all of the dark pictures posted. Not everyone can be a good photographer when it comes to lighting, but nearly everyone should be able to focus.)
Then there are those budding entrepreneurs who take their digital pictures vertically, which display horizontally unless they rotate the images 90 degrees CW when processing them out in the various software programs available. Yet, many don’t bother. Instead, they post the picture sideways, in essence saying, if someone wants this thing, let him crane his neck! Some sellers actually post multiple pictures and all appear sideways. Once in a great while someone else will post a picture upside down! We laugh until it hurts.
Then there are the pictures of, say, bookshelves surrounded by clutter on all sides and in front, literally spilling over with knick-knacks, books and other flotsam and jetsam. It is nearly impossible to see through all the clutter to the item itself. You know it's there, holding up all that junk, but it's difficult to determine what color it is let alone its condition. And what are we to make of those sellers who take multiple pictures of, say, a breakfront or cabinet, and post as many as three or four views, all of them close-ups that fail to show what the overall piece looks like?
It’s all so entertaining...and it's free.