Sunday, June 29, 2008

On football, national feelings et al

Be warned, this is not a KDE nor Free Software post, if you don't want to read it, don't do it.

Be warned 2, this post is going to be controversial, please don't write saying "You idiot" or similar/worst things, i'm trying to be as respectful as i can when dumping my brain into this post.

So it seems Spain just won Eurocup 2008, lots of people in the streets making noise and using firecrackers/fireworks leftovers from Sant Joan that was just a few days ago.

The ones that know me well know that i don't have a big Spanish feeling, i feel more Catalan and European, but to tell the truth i have mixed feelings about this Spain win.

On the good side, the spanish team is formed by young talented players, that don't act like if they were gods and that do a rather good football. And most of that players feel sympatic and someone you might empathize with, so they winning feels good.

On the other side, looking at the flags spanish followers waved at the stadium you can find three types at very similar rates of use:
* Normal Spanish flag: Nothing to say
* Spanish flag with a bull: Mixed feelings again, the bull is a animal that i probably would say i like if you ask me, but that bull flag is most of the times used either to support bullfighting or to support a rancid view about Spain. And i disagree with both
* Franquist flag: Yes, you might wonder why around one third of people supporting Spain soccer team wave a flag that means you don't like democracy nor any kind of personal rights. I do wonder too.

And then you have people like someone in my neighborhood that play cara al sol, a semi-official franquist song, each time Spain wins.

And that makes me wish Germany did win.

Sadly, i have to agree with what a coworker says: "España es un pais de pandereta" (not sure if makes sense translated but that'd be "Spain is a country of tambourine")


Anonymous said...

as a German I am obviously sad that Spain won, but they deserved it, and as the spanish are really nice, friendly and happy people (I lived in Granada for a year), go and celebrate and just ignore the "strange" things. Not that its good or ok, but you have these things in more or less any country, so nothing spain-exlusive.
So you go celebrating and I go home trying to ignore having lost, and with these 99% really nice spaniards, that's not really so hard!

Anonymous said...

In any case, look at the accomplishments of Francisco Franco and look at what current socialism accomplished, maybe you'll get a clue ...

does not matter said...

To be honest, I quite liked the game and the team deserved to win. I watched the game in Bristol, UK in a pub full of spanish people, they were holding the spanish flag too, I guess the proper one. It was a very good atmosphere. And even the germans admitted that the spanish were better.

On another note, keep up the good work on KDE! I am now running 4.1beta2 and getting more and more addicted!

Anonymous said...

Qué quieres que te diga... a mí lo que me jode es que con tanto petardito y tanto coche tocando los cojo^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlas bocinas, no voy a poder dormir hasta las 4.

Que sí, que muy bien, que "hemos" ganado, pero que yo tengo que intentar hacer algo productivo el lunes por la mañana, coñe.

Anonymous said...

Heh, I mostly agree with both, your post and the previous anonymous comment ;)

Pinheiro said...

Viva España. good game Germany.
E muerte a Franco que se há ido hace mucho tiempo com Salazar.

Essos dos son los grandes culpados de terrible atrazo dela peninsula.
que buen que se an ido.

Anonymous said...

hello from berlin,
i'm having the same mixed feelings as you do - that's why i'm glad spain won...
in the end these championships are pushing national enthusiasm everywhere and therefore suck (at least in the way they are performed).

Villacampa said...

Albert, as i explain in my blog i don't feel too much the spanish nationalism.

I'm from Bilbao. But my parents are from Madrid, and my grandparents from Aragon, Guadalajara and Andalucia.
One family was with Franco and the other against it.

I respect all of my parents, and have listened carefully what i could from them. And,i really hate Franco and what it did with this Country.
And learned what faults the republic goverment did in those times.

But, time goes by. And a lot of people like you and me work with a lot of goals in common. Free software for example.
This lot of people is not only humans with a tambourine.
We are more than that and you are an example.

Perphaps we have to think on things that we really enjoy doing together.
There is a lot of people here that, as you an me, look with sad and hate Franco and everything related to him.

Well, that's only my opinion.

keep the good work at kde 4!!
It's getting better and better :)

Unknown said...

Hi there, Albert.

I went to a pub to watch the game with some friends as I don't have a TV at home and I share your feelings.

I had doubts in the beginning, but as the game advanced I wanted Spain to win. But after the "celebrations" after the victory I guess I would have preferred if Germany would have win :P

Anonymous said...


I love footbal and Spain did deserve to win. The team is a fantastic group of nice and talented people.

But the mindless cheering and the senseless "patriotism" are indeed pathetic and when it leads to a 16 year old holding a flag with the Francoist insignia, it makes me sick.

Yet you can find some comfort in the fact that many of these 16 year-old kids don´t even know what they are doing, they are just holding the flag that was sold to them outside the stadium. Ignorance on a large scale, but perhaps not as much malice as we think. For some reason, the idios selling flags outside the statidiums often sell the old Spanish facist flag.

So, count me in on the people with mixed feelings, although I did enjoy the game.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny, we are in Frankfurt, Germany. We hoped yesterday, that Spain will win because we dislike the thousands of german flags (often with an eagle, which is not part of the common german flag) all over the city and the strange "fun nationalism" we can't understand and the acressive shouts and voices during the games all over the neighborhood and the hours of car race through the city after each game they are winning. Now you had the same problem other way round.

Anonymous said...

Good observations/thoughts, the situation is similar for me. I am an Italian citizen since birth but not an ethnic Italian, my mother tongue is German (I guess you probably can deduce now where I am from ;) ). I used to be on the side of Italian sports in my youth, but now I am somewhat glad when Italians or Italian teams don't win at international sport events (there was even a time when I absolutely hated it). The reason is that there are to much Italians around here that are like those people you see in your country with franquist flags, and there are a lot of them and they don't become less. These championships and sports in general are pushing nationalism and national chauvinism everywhere. Something everyone should be aware of.

Anonymous said...

Yo también tengo tu misma impresión. Harto estoy de tanta bandera con toros, pollos, muletas y trajes de toreros.

Y te lo dice un madrileño.

Envite said...

Yes, Spain is still a "país de pandereta". But we all (I suppose you too) are trying to change that.

I do not love football, but I'm happy we've won. (I explained the use of "we" in my my own blog (in spanish) 'cos I feel it not very smart). The team really deserved it, and they demostrated not only their superiority playing football, but also their very high level in the personal: things like the memory for Antonio Puerta by Ramos, like the shirt of Arconada being worn by Palop, like the team going out of the dressing room to celebrate with the TV cameramen since the cameras can't enter the dressing room...

And about an important point of your post, the flags one, just don't worry about. The flags with the San Juan's Eagle will disappear. There is still too many alive people who lived under Franco's regime, and who lived well. And the same that it is not faithful to forget the sufferings of his victims, it is not too to forget his achievements. Freedom and "regional" languages account in the first positions between the victims, but the Seguridad Social (social system of free health care and retirement pensions), worker rights, free education and other between his achievements.

With those people of the preconstitutional flag and the Cara al sol I simple leave them alone. They will be dying with time.

By the way, where do you live? Around my home the most signed songs were "Podemos" (unofficial hymn of this year's team) and "Campeones, campeones" (a non-affiliated hymn simimlar to Queen's "We are the champions").

Anonymous said...

> And that makes me wish Germany did win.

i fully understand your feelings. and for very similar reasons I (being german) am glad the german team lost.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand your point. I saw the same when Italy won the world cup. Between the many happy people, and even african immigrants wearing the blue shirt, I saw a group with the italian fascist flag. It really makes me angry and put my mood below zero.

I hate this stupid form of nationalism and unfortunately it seems to be growing everywhere. How can people be so ignorant.

Kleag said...


As written by others, if Germany had won, German people would heard similar horrible songs, I fear. And as a French I it would be the same if France had a football team this year.

As a rugbyman, I'm very happy to see oponents applaud any winner and drink bears with each others and I pray for this good feelings to continue the same in the future.