On Poetry and Culture Shock

Same-sex marriage and Franco

So. The law to make same-sex marriage legal in Spain has been approved today. You can see it in the news everywhere and there is not much point in me blogging about it. Who cares about my opinion? I'm only a culture-shocked poet and I will never tire of saying that this blog is not a door to the private thoughts and ramblings of La Guiri. I should hope it's not that anyway.

This is a piece of culture shock. I wanted to see the reactions to the news in foreign online news services, and I checked CNN, which says, near the end of a long-ish piece:

The Roman Catholic Church, which held much sway over the government just a generation ago when Gen. Francisco Franco was in power, had adamantly opposed gay marriage.

Franco died 30 years ago. That is not a generation ago, that's two generations. Franco agonised slowly over many years, roughly during all the time Nixon was president plus the first year of Ford's presidency. I would say that the emotional weight of Franco's presidency over Spain (1939-1975) is more or less the weight that the Vietnam War (1957-1975) has for Americans. We don't mention the Vietnam War every time we mention the United States' foreign policy. We don't mention Mao every time we talk about China. Will American newsreporters please stop mentioning Franco every time they talk about Spain? He died 30 years ago. Don't resurrect him.

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