Monday, 15 September 2008

Speaking of things inappropriate...

Q. What's wrong with this picture?

A. It wasn't taken in 1933.

It was taken two days ago. It's part of the display outside a theatre in the centre of Madrid.

Racial sensitivity has yet to arrive in Spain. I once worked on an animated advert in which the only black character was designed to look a bit like this. When I said that they maybe shouldn't be perpetuating outdated racial stereotypes the producer replied, "But black people do have big lips." There was no maliciousness involved; he simply couldn't see that there was any problem.

In Spain, all East Asian people are Chinese, regardless of their actual ancestry or country of origin. An American Filipino friend, fed up of being accosted on the street with the Chinese word for "Hello", says she's going to have a t-shirt made reading "Que no soy China, coño!"

(Literal translation: "I'm not Chinese, cunt!"Though "cunt" is less rude in Spanish, being more the equivalent of "dammit" or "fucksake". People say it to their kids.)

Ironically, for all their disregard for distinctions between the people of the rest of the world, people in Spain are generally very sensitive about their own regional differences. You must never say that someone from Catalunya is Spanish, for instance. Even though they are.

I suppose it's good to know that racism is something that all the people of the world have in common. If only some extraterrestrials would hurry up and make contact, we could unite everybody against them and it'd solve a great many problems.

1 comment:

LesFleurs said...