Friday, August 19, 2011

Lucia Friday night free for all

Bit of a strange week it was, what with an advertising campaign aimed at the sexually active, trying to get them to "abstain for the game". Not that there is anything wrong with abstaining from sex, any unmarried person should do so, and married persons should be able to as well when they are trying not to have children. But I couldn't quite see how abstaining from sex was supposed to help the All Blacks.

Maybe it was some Grace from above that misfired in the minds of those that came up with the ad that inspired it, given that this week started with the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Monday, which is the Patronal Feast of the Church in New Zealand.

Maybe there is hope for us yet!

6 comment(s):

Seán said...

If you've ever watched Seinfeld or Curb your Enthusiasm you will know Jerry and Larry just can let little annoyances go. They just have to say something.

Well as I left my local Madrid metro station on the way home Thursday there was some protester standing at the entrance with an anti-Pope placard. Said something like "papa don't preach". As I walked past him I said something lame like "Get real plonker" (okay, not very witty on my part). He replied "You're not welcome here, you're not welcome here!". I didn't react and carried on walking. Considering he's protesting all day and I'm working, I am sure my taxes are more welcome for the debt-ridden leftist government. Anyway probably good I didn't react as there was a small protest crowd gathering in the square that the metro station opened to. About 2 blocks later and almost at home I saw two armoured police vans pass and head towards the square. I quickly dropped off the laptop and returned to the square and while the coppers were now out, the small crowd (about 30) had quickly dispersed.

But then I heard an old English man (about late 50s) trying to coerce a youth group (from France I think) that by being here meant they were supporting the Pope. He was clearly taking the opportunity to have his say. While the old fella wasn't being aggressive the poor youngster was sadly not in a position to argue with the elder and wasn't really putting up a strong debate (also English was obviously not his first language). But he was probably in his mid-teems and just wanted the pongo git to be on his way. I can't imagine any of the WYD attendees are here to have religious arguments. They are here to join in the community and appreciate their faith. So of course I had to step in, I just couldn't let this go. When the old pom told the boy that by participating here it appeared he was a child of Christianity, before the boy replied I interjected and asked "But what's wrong with that?" The uneducated old fool replied that it meant that the group were unaware of what their presence meant. I replied "No, but what is wrong with being a child of Christianity?" Finally the penny dropped for the old codger that I wasn't here to exchange pleasantries with him. He then started some low level diatribe about the Vatican not signing up to the UN Declaration of Human rights, that I should be concerned as a citizen of the "world" etc etc. I interjected on his weak argurments and when had enough of his noncesne said "Come on you just hate Catholics don't you?. Go on spit it out, you can't stand us, right?" His reply was with longer than expected hesitation: "Ummm, well...errr" of which he had clearly let down his guard and I cut in with "Well you just said yes, just displayed your true colours and just shown us all that you are nothing more than a bigot. Good day to you sir." At that point I walked off.

I was actually only going to the ATM so I passed by again 10 mins later. He was in the same place but this time talking to another man more his own age. I stepped in and said "Good to see your not having a go at children now".

Why can't these people just keep their thoughts to themselves and just let the kids enjoy their trip?

Seán said...

"Plans foiled for 'kiss-off' in front of Pope"

Heh, I read this was in the pipeline in a BBC article yesterday. The Spanish police don't mess around. In fact two weeks ago they cleared Madrid's "Puerta de Sol" - the recognised centre of the city and location of many leftist and unionist protests of recent years (despite the left being in power since 2004) - of the M-15 group of protesters. This group (aka the 'indignados") started their protest some time ago against the state of the economy and youth unemployment. There was a genuine protest at the time (in the lead up to the regional elections which the right swept through ironically), but the usual socialist nutjobs hung around in Sol long after as obviously they had nothing better to do. They were cleared out a few weeks ago as mentioned.

I read there was some protest in Sol on Thursday so after work today (Friday) I mosied into Sol to see what was up. There was a small group (about 10) of motley looking M-15 set up next to a fountain. They were peaceful (and outnumbered by about 200-to-1) and one of their signs said something like "We are not against the Christians but against the finance of the Vatican" (it was in Spanish). Clearly a bunch of full-time protesters, selecting their target by the day. What happened to their original grievances? Eh?

Well the real purpose of my trip through Puerta de Sol was to buy a flag - the yellow & white flag of the Vatican. I picked one up at a shop near Plaza Mayor and duly headed home. I live in the centre of Madrid, in a suburb just a few blocks north of the main street (Gran Vïa) known for its Chardonnay socialists, liberal elite and its resident gay community. Even my workmates tease me I'm the only conservative living in this area (Chueca). Around the corner there is a branch of the PSOE (Spain's equivalent to NZ Labour) and a stone's throw down the road is a branch of Spain's biggest union the UGT. For sure this is hardcore social liberal territory and during gay pride week (always last week of June) the rainbow flags are flying proudly. No problem with that, all adds to the colour, but you get a picture of the community here.

Now going back to my recent flag purchase...in almost all of the old centre of Madrid there are mainly apartment buildings 4-6 stories high and one apartment wide. All adjacent to each other of course and all have French doors opening to the street each with a small balcony. On one of my balconies I posted the Vatican flag to the railing for all the street to see from my second level flat and in contrast to some of the rainbow flags that reappeared this week following their special week in June.

While I have had no eggs thrown yet, the socialists will be spitting tacks that I have infiltrated their "nest" but if fact looking at the passers by this week, the WYD pilgrims outnumber them at least 100-to-one. It's great to show support to my adopted city's visitors but if my neighbours start getting a bit tetchy maybe I should leave the flag up a bit longer beyond the WYD week. Nothing like a bit a sunshine to be the disinfectant to their envy.

Andrei said...

Sean - a positive post reporting on the WYD in Madrid?

We are only going to hear about the loopies not the prayful

Seán said...

Lets see. The main event (Vigil tonight, Mass tomorrow) is being held in an aerodrome in the SW of the city. I'll try and get out there (and try to look young..).

Lucia Maria said...

Have fun! If you feel like writing some posts about it all, feel free. In fact, please do!

Seán said...

Unfortunately I found out that you needed passes to go to these events, which are part of the week-long pack. Which is fair enough I suppose as the masses are for the youth participants, there wouldn't be room for all the Joe Publics as well. So I guess it's to the normal parish for Mass today.

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