political polemic

I know I try and keep away from politics on the blog, but because of the Catalán elections, there have been a couple of Spanish stories in the news this week and they are really too good to ignore. The first, reported by the BBC under the headline Spain outrage over migrant bombing game centres on a video game – Rescate (Rescue) – that the Partido Popular launched a few days on their website.

I haven’t played the game, which seems to be no longer available on the website, but have read a few of the reports in both Spanish and UK national press. The tag line for the game appears to be:

Ayuda a Alicia y a Pepe, su gaviota, a rescatar a Cataluña de la crisis

and it features Alicia Sánchez-Camacho (President of the PP in Catalonia) as Alicia Croft, perched on a great white seagull shooting at illegal immigrants and symbols of Catalán nationalism.

(Incidentally, in Spanish, ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’ is translated as Juan Salvador Gaviota and I wonder if there is an allusion there with the seagull Pepe – PP – being the salvador – the saviour – of Catalonia.)

It seems that the idea was to have Sánchez-Camacho tackling the problems of Catalonia – unemployment, illegal immigration and various linguistic and independentist elemements. And that sounds to me to be pretty much what the game depicts.

Of course the PP now claim the game developer didn’t follow the instructions, and that it should be the illegal mafias that are seen as the threat, rather than the individual illegal immigrants. It’s tricky, though: presumably the idea is to destroy problems rather than people, but shooting at an unemployment queue – another target in the game – isn’t really quite as innocent as attacking the unemployment problem.

Personally, I’m pretty much against shooting anyone, so I don’t find the game much more offensive than all those others where you have to shoot aliens or other humans who just happen to be on the opposing side. Even so, after reading that Alician Croft and Pepe divebombed the immigrants, I was quite disappointed when I saw a screen of the game: there doesn’t seem to be any seagull divebombing involved, just traditional machine gun style firing. I think to have Pepe shitting on the Independentistas e inmigrantes might have been more fun.

Continuing on with the Catalán elections, we have the BBC story Spain ‘orgasm’ video criticised by politicians. the Young Socialists have produced a video (probably not suitable to watch at work) intended to encourage voting. In it a young woman gets more and more flustered as she goes through the process of voting, until she reaches a climax as her vote finally slips into the ballot box. The slogan is: Votar és un plaer, which I presume is the Catalán for ‘Voting is a pleasure’.

It seems to have got everyone hot under the collar. Alicia Sánchez-Camacho has described it as an “attack on the dignity of women” and there have been calls for everyone to show respect for women etc etc etc. (Although perhaps not if they’re illegal immigrants or in favour of Catalán independence.)

I was glad to see Bibiana Aido, the PSOE Minister for Equality, quoted as saying, “If it was true, electoral participation would go up greatly, but I think we are dealing with a misleading advert.”

I was reminded of the scene from ‘When Harry met Sally’ (again, NFSW), and if I lived in Catalonia I guess I’d have to say “I’ll vote what she’s voting.”

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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