Tag archive for popular culture (RSS)

Etymology of Montjuïc/Mountjoy/Montjoie

Posted: February 22nd 2008 15:33. Last modified: June 3rd 2009 20:27

"Jewish mountain" is currently hot favourite in Barcelona council offices because it is believed that this will attract well-off tourists from New York and Israel. Joan Amades says that at the end of the C19th, local sailors referred to gardens of St Bertrand as fossa del jueu, "the Jewish grave", and indeed there were Jewish […]

Smoking Mary: herbal fumes and disease prevention

Posted: December 10th 2005 23:37. Last modified: September 7th 2009 13:36

Mare de Déu Fumadora, Mother of God Smoker, is a local name used in Arenys de Mar on Catalonia's Maresme coast for the day before yesterday's feast of the Immaculate Conception, la Purísima. According to the much-maligned Jordi Bilbeny, this is the day when children were allowed to smoke by their parents (picture of kiddie […]

Pigeon poo

Posted: July 26th 2005 18:04. Last modified: September 15th 2005 13:46

Two old people were arguing this afternoon under the memorial to Joan Amades on Calle Carmen in the Raval about whether the pigeons should be fed. The argument proceeded along roughly the same lines as in the 1950s Parisian skirmish recorded in Juan Goytisolo's Señas de identidad (1966), in which the old man is determined […]

Candela’s Law

Posted: July 26th 2005 12:37. Last modified: September 15th 2005 13:45

Amando de Miguel notes the commonsensical notion that two people will tend to speak the language that supposes the least combined effort for them (all other things being equal), and proposes naming this law for his correspondent, Candela Zamora. You all know what a candela is, of course. De Miguel refers in the same piece […]

Blonde virgins

Posted: December 29th 2004 21:17. Last modified: January 15th 2012 20:39

... and the roots of Spanish Christmas.

Pere Botero’s

Posted: December 14th 2004 12:18. Last modified: October 24th 2011 11:58

"On Ponent Street lived another woman known as the Queen because she was daughter of one of the Three Kings"

Home is where your head is

Posted: April 26th 2004 18:56. Last modified: September 15th 2005 13:38

The Moors go ballistic

They’re coming to take me away

Posted: April 4th 2004 23:47. Last modified: November 4th 2013 11:33

Cars and chariots of death.

Talking arse

Posted: March 5th 2004 11:22. Last modified: September 15th 2005 13:36

Curiously, Joan Amades noted that Catalan parents used to terrify their children out of going to lonely spots on windy days by telling them that the breeze carried in it a ferocious and sequestracious demon called Cul Pelat, Cul Pelé in French, for which the only reasonable English equivalent I can imagine is Shaven Arse. […]

Sign music

Posted: February 19th 2004 12:19. Last modified: February 13th 2008 17:44

The Catalan Apache

Caganers, nation, faith

Posted: January 21st 2004 00:55. Last modified: December 16th 2011 23:46

"Shit, operating as the preeminent figure of self-alienation ..., becomes a symbolic medium for questioning the place of the autonomous individual in new postcolonial societies."

Franco and the golden ages of the sardana

Posted: January 5th 2004 17:13. Last modified: March 11th 2011 15:26

The sardana was encouraged by the Francoist state and suffered its greatest difficulties during the period of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist and Stalinist control

Cànon del carrer

Posted: September 11th 2003 20:13. Last modified: April 30th 2010 19:57

Els de "no a l'esquerra" estan al carrer, doncs, li presento alguns (fragments de) crits del carrer del cançoner de Joan Amades (Barcelona, 1951) sobre la melodia d'un cànon anglès (MIDI) del segle disset: La segona regla és del barretaire Joan Saluders de Barcelona (1918): No et posis davant de la ventisosa; no et posis […]


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