Saturday, 12 November 2016

Looking at the bigger picture!

Yesterday I was all set to compare a couple of people's reactions to the Trump success. Then I was sidetracked into writing about Leonard Cohen instead. So here's the other stuff.

Nigel Farage, somebody's man in the USA, is taking responsibility for all sorts of events at the moment:

“I’m the catalyst for the downfall of the Blairites, the Clintonites, the Bushites, and all these dreadful people who work hand in glove with Goldman Sachs and everybody else, have made themselves rich, and ruined our countries. I couldn’t be happier.”

Farage continued:

“That Obama creature – loathsome individual – he couldn’t stand our country. He said we’d be at the back of the queue, didn’t he?”

He's also watching, even anticipating, events across Europe:

“Brexit, and now Trump, and now the wagons roll on to the rest of Europe for all the elections next year,” Farage said. “This is a really exciting time. As someone who has now become a demolitions expert I’m thoroughly enjoying what’s going on.”

Is he perhaps giving himself a little too much importance!

Then there is Gloria Steinem in the Guardian. She is an old feminist, dating back to the 1960s and 70s. Still active, in 2005, with Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan she co-founded the "Women's Media Centre", an organization that works "to make women visible and powerful in the media". She must be in her eighties and still going strong. Amazing lady!

She describes Donald Trump as "an unqualified candidate who came up not through politics, but through inheriting money, a gift for bullying, and being on television." He's a product of the modern age then.

She's one of the few I have read who has come out with a coherent defence, of sorts, for Hilary Clinton.

"If a first female president were someone like, say, Margaret Thatcher, Sarah Palin, or another woman who knew how to play the game and win, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But Hillary Clinton didn’t just play the game; she changed the rules.

She insisted that women’s rights are human rights, that women can decide the fate of our own bodies, that workers of all races should get paid the same as white men for the same work, that fathers can and should be equal parents, that women’s rights and children’s rights should be fundamental to foreign policy, and that global warming was a reality. That’s why she was, and always has been, supported more by women than by men, more by voters of color than by white voters, and more by scientists than creationists. It’s also why she is deeply and vehemently resented."

That's quite enough of that. I shall try not to go on about it again.

Yesterday, as well as mourning the loss of my poetic hero, I went out to lunch with Phil and our Pontevedrés English friend Colin. We went to the Rosalía Castro (Galician poet and perhaps feminist - two good points!), a restaurant down near the port here in Vigo. We tried to get "caldo gallego" for starters but they had none. How can a Galician restaurant not have such a Galician soup? After all, it was on the menu! So we had a "crema de verduras" instead, a bowl of green sludge that tasted delicious. We followed this with "chipirones encebollados", baby squid served up the best way: with lots of onions and a portion of chips! Delicious! As we are going back to the UK on Monday, this was almost our last opportunity to eat this dish for a while.

Also on Monday, I am fairly reliably informed, the moon will be the biggest and brightest it has been in more than 60 years. Apparently this is what they call a “supermoon”, or technically a “perigee full moon” – a phenomenon that occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being the closest it gets to the Earth on its orbit. What makes this one special is that the moon is going to be even closer to the Earth than it normally gets, making it a tiny bit bigger than even your average supermoon.

Now, I have been watching this moon since I spotted it as a very, very thin new moon in Figueira da Foz, so thin it was almost invisible. Since then, I have watched it grow. However, it does not look any bigger than usual to me. I have seen photos of so-called supermoons and they always look huge, hanging on the horizon, making everything else look small. The moon at the moment, albeit growing fuller, just seems normal-sized. Surely this supermoon is not a phenomenon only seen in the UK.

The newspapers tell me that so long as the sky is clear of clouds, it should be a great time to get outside and gaze at it or take some photos. Well, that "sky clear of clouds" might not be very likely in the Northwest of England.

We shall see! Or not, as the case may be!

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