/36/ A chapter from a book I’m writing
Yesterday President Cheeto took away the section in Spanish that was in the website of the White House.
I didn’t even know it was there so I couldn’t care less one way or the other.
It was received with cries and much gnashing of teeth by what passes for the intelligentsia in Sinapia, the RAE (Royal Academy of the Language) and some journalists.
It is said that 300 millions, perhaps 400 million people speak Spanish as first language worldwide. If we add Portuguese to that, according to Portugal it is spoken by 200 million -it is not true, they are counting all the population in Angola and Mozambique as Portuguese speaking, which is far from the case, but just for the sake of the argument, that would be 600 million people and more who speak the languages of Iberia, lets call it the Hispano-sphere.
The fact that all of them are broke, and most can not read and write has to be taken into account.
In Europe, where Spain happens to be, a list of the most spoken languages may interest you -I spare you the numbers, I don’t like this English humbug of pulling figures from their backsides to humble listeners with false scholarship, you can find the actual figures of speakers easily enough.
7º -Polish (*)
(*)Polish is rather an spectrum of dialects more than a language, spoken and understood from the Baltic and Russia to Slovakia.
So you see, in spite of the gorilla slaps in their chests the fact is that the Spanish language has very little importance in Europe, a dialect spoken by very few people in just one country, and as I wrote in the other chapter “Desvanecida: The curious case of the death of culture in Spain” although Spain had a glorious cultural past in the Age of the Galleons of Gold and Silver, and in the short interval in the 20th Century between 1900 and 1936, at present it is a very little thing, just compare it to the glory that is Italy, or France, or the UK -in the scenic arts and in Literature Britain is the Queen of the World.
Under Queen Elizabeth the Second, [1952 to the present] Britain really enjoyed a flourishing in all sciences, in literature, in music, in theater and cinema and TV, way above their limited circumstances, a show of the genius of the British people.
They were →the Second Elizabethans or New Elizabethans, I’d say, better than the First Elizabethans.
Nothing remotely like that happened in Spain under Franco (1939 to 1975) or later under the democracy of the Bourbons, Juan Carlos and now Felipe.
The Spaniards grew their bellies and their buttocks but their brains and their bookcases remained empty and unused.
As to Latin America, Buenos Aires and Montevideo and México received in 1939 the best intellectuals from the betrayed culture of Republican Spain and they kept the light of Spanish culture burning bright where in Spain it had died.
Collections of pocket books (similar to Penguins) like Austral and Eudeba in Buenos Aires enlightened generations of readers in the Hispano-sphere.
The fight in Argentina and Uruguay between the criminal gangs of the left and the fascists -some kind of proxy wars between Washington and Moscow- in the late 1960s destroyed generations that in peace and harmony could have improved the lot of their countries and their people.
At present the cultures in the Hispano-sphere are just embers and ash, burnt fields.
So the measures of El Cheeto doing away with Spanish in his website in the White House is symbolic of a fair appraisal of the relevance of the Hispano-sphere: none at all.
Although I hope that the despised latinos don’t go to the USA any more, and the lazy WASPS and blacks bent their backs in the fields and pick their own lettuces.