Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Blog expert on Spain

Check out this great post from Talking Points Memo that a deeper analysis on the Spanish election than most of the columns from yesterday were based on. Read it and check out the Washington Post column to which the post links.

Update: As I was reading the Post article, I took a moment to scroll through the photo gallery. The Spanish are using a black ribbon to symbolize rememberance of the attack. This has me thinking about the race to symbolize events - we need an immediate shorthand to unify our feelings, our expressions of grief and solidarity. Our ribbons were red, white, and blue - frequently flag motifed or just stripped. Their is black, not red and yellow. Do this say anything about the collective American psyche? Or are ribbons just a matter of who gets there first? Some ribbons have caught on: red, pink, yellow, and red/white/blue are easily understood by a viewer. Some others - apparently blue is for colo-rectal cancer awareness, did you know that? - aren't so mainstream.

But Spain went for black. Traditional, understated, universally acknowledged color or mourning. It seems to focus more on the event, the attack and the deaths, than on nationalist pride a moment of national pain. Perhaps the ribbon color should've been an indicator of the election results.

Another photo shows Spaniards in an anti-terrorism demonstration with hands raised, palms painted white. The caption says it's a sign of peace. White is a color of peace (doves, etc), but upstretched hands suggest surrender, white palms are quick substitutes for white flags. But that would be the neocon interpretation, wouldn't it? See, the Spaniards "peace" is really a surrender to the terrorists.

What else of white palms? What other palm colors are there? Red, of course. Hands stained with blood. White palmed Spaniards claim their innocence - this war is not theirs. Are they really clean? They did have troops there. But it wasn't there idea, was it? That's not much of a defense. I can't post the photo here, or I would. But it's easy to find. Go to this article and look for the photo gallery link on the right side of the page. It's worth it. 1000s more words than I can get down myself effectively.

The very last photo in the series is an upraised hand, palm painted red, with a black ribbon at the center.

Perhaps this is all just a bit of a throwback to college lit classes - where students spend hours overanalyzing simple decisions that were never meant to be drenched in so much meaning.

No comments: