1. UN ARTÍCULO DEL NEW YORK TIMES al que me he sentido obligado a responder. El artículo en http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/world/europe/spain-land-of-10-pm-dinners-ponders-a-more-standard-time.html
No lo puse antes, pero lo añado ahora: sobre el autor
que he cogido directamente de la página de Google
2. LA CARTA QUE LE ESCRIBÍ AL AUTOR EN RESPUESTA:
First I read your article about my country. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your work of art. It has everything you can ask for, all the necessary words to depict the Spain you desire: crisis, Franco, old fashioned, siesta... You has also dropped the right hints: that we are never on time, time is flexible for us, and that " in the Catalonia region, mealtimes and work schedules are aligned more with those of other European countries"...
And all these things are present in our life all right.
But it is not the words you used, it is the words and hints you DON'T use what would have made a rightful and truthful portrait of our society.
For a less advised reader it would seem that you were trying to do journalism.
But I know that when you piled up that bunch of stereotypes, one after the other (although, you forgot to mention "toreador" -which by the way it is how foreigners with no idea of Spain say "torero"-, “gipsy”, “flamenco”, and perhaps "bandolero"), what you have in mind was to be in the line of Washington Irving's picturesque tradition. It doesn’t really matter in terms of literature if the author you seem to have followed as model was from two centuries ago, or that he was recognized as a short stories teller for his lovely work about Granada and its surroundings.
Because certainly you are far from showing the real Spain.
It is like saying that if you decided to pay a visit to New York you will be wise to write down first your last wish and testament, because the mafia and the gangsters are going to shoot you down as soon as you get down from your plane. Or remember that quote about North Carolina where you studied "First in flight and lung cancer" (http://www.policymic.com/articles/66871/what-is-the-worst-stereotype-of-every-state-watch-this-video).
If I would like to be an awarded journalist like you perhaps I could begin by putting together the Wikipedia’s compilation of Americans stereotypes: Materialism, overconsumption and extreme capitalism. Lack of education, tendency of ignorance and gullibility. Racism and racialism. Gun-loving, violent culture. Environmental unconsciousness. Arrogance and boastfulness. Unwarranted military intervention.
Do you think it will be enough?
Then I could pick some interviews with several people to defend my thesis, et voilá! I had an article about The States.
Franco died 38 years ago (not taking into consideration that his latest years were not the same as at the first decades of his dictatorship). My son was born 23 years after. All he has ever known was democracy.
Catalonia, the most European-like region of Spain as you painted it, is experiencing one of the worst economical crisis of all the regions.
All my friends and relatives dream with a good afternoon nap... 'cause everyday they have not: all the working people I know have a nearly 9 to 9 work schedule, with one hour for lunch. We don’t work less than our Europeans counterparts as you have implied, nor we are less efficient. And not because we have old fashioned bosses but because the Spanish people are all old fashioned people in that way: responsible, committed.
I am sick and tired of hearing about siesta and us being the most unreliable people when scheduling a date. We are not, as a whole. But now I recalled when on a date with a girl from California she made me wait for her nearly 30 minutes, and when she finally arrived she said “I was applying the Spanish way”. I didn’t call her again because I hate to be kept waiting.
So I was astonished to find out that you were a Pulitzer winner but not in the fiction category. Maybe now you can, with your Spanish tale.
rafarrojas, a REAL Spanish guy.
3. LA CARTA DEL MUSSHASSHO, UNOS MINUTOS DESPUÉS:
Thanks for writing. Sorry my article angered you so much. To be honest, though, I never intended to deliver the insults you accuse me of delivering. I'm not smart enough to have a secret agenda, whereby I'm inserting special language and images. In fact, I wrote a story that had already been written many times before by the Spanish and foreign media. And the point of my article was pretty basic: Some Spanish groups are pushing to change the work/life schedule, including the time zone, the TV hours and the work schedule. I quoted a worker complaining that she struggled to balance family responsibilities because the expectation in many offices is that you stay at work until the boss leaves. And often the boss doesn't leave until late because he has taken a very long lunch break.
I also quoted an expert saying "The siesta does not exist." That is not to say a two=hour lunch break doesn't exist. It does for many people. But I know they are not sleeping -- and I should have made that clearer. Also, I was traveling when the story was published so I didn't initially see the photos or the headlines. The photos show a guy taking a siesta. I can understand how that upset people (like you). I don't pick the photos, though.
Anyway, thanks for writing. I think you may be overreacting to the article, but please know that I certainly didn't intend to malign ordinary workers in Spain. If you read the article carefully, I directly state that the siesta is a cliche, NOT grounded in reality. I write that many workers complain, in fact, that they work very long days.
No se puede llegar a ser Pulitzer sin 1. ser un tío educado 2. saber cubrirse las espaldas: la culpa es de la foto que acompaña que no puse yo, sólo reproduzco lo que dicen ustedes en España, etc....
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