‘Spain is Absolutely without a Doubt, Amazing!’, says Spain

There is one thing about public works projects in Spain, where they excel above all other countries’ public works projects, which is that they really love to congratulate themselves on basically just doing their jobs. It’s something that you only see once you read full cycles of the news media runs. While there isn’t anything demandingly annoying about it, it is a marked contrast from the US, where no matter how hard some governmental body tries in a project, there will always be criticism and those who say it failed. Maybe this happens in Spain as well, but certainly not in the media.
Take for example the new, Visca Barcelona campaign which is a novel concept. It makes use of a number of web technologies to create an online fanclub of Barcelona. After weeding my way through packs of feral tourists in the center just before writing this, it makes me wonder as to why it’s needed. It just exists to say how great Barcelona is. I know this. Anyone who has been here knows this. As they might say, “Barcelona no quiere una abuela.” which means, “Barcelona doesn’t need a grandmother.” in that it gets all the compliments it needs elsewhere, include this new, apparently interactive proxy grandmother setup they’ve come up.
While the Visca campaign appears to be rather new, something that got me started on this whole article was that constant back patting (and I would go so far as to say, butt sniffing) that’s gone on about the new AVE which is Spain new and currently still being built, high speed rail system. Yes, it’s quite impressive and while being able to scoot around at 300km and hour (screw y’all in metric-so-scary-land, I’m not converting this) is great, I think that most would say, “It was about time.” This brings up the question as to why an article need to be published stating that it is “…the admiration of Asia and the United States…”? This is news to me. Those of us who love trains and want to see more of them instead of airplanes, worship the French, TGV. That’s been around a very long time and goes all over the place in France. Eventually the Spanish system will indeed go everywhere, but how about we hold off on all the praise until the damned thing at least reaches France and eventually covers all the cardinal points of Spain? No, that’s not the way it’s done here.
But, I could maybe go along with this and be down with all the media press of AVE if it was actually affordable. It costs 169€ (106€ each way, plus 20% discount for a return ticket) to go round trip from Barcelona to Madrid. That’s about 109€ and one and a half hours slower than flying. I would much rather take the train as its considerably more environmentally friendly, but at those prices, it is incredibly elusive. And as you can see in the article image below, they do indeed compare it to other systems in order to justify the costs because it’s cheaper than say, Paris to London. It just so happens that that is an outright lie. You can trying booking yourself at Eurostar and find that they are quoting the absolute highest prices. It’s very easy to get a return ticket of 82€ which even the least talented math whiz knows is about 87€ less than AVE.
Anyways, it’s just a silly practice here and while it ultimately doesn’t do any immediate harm, it is part of an overall problem in that people who aren’t being taken to task on something and think that they’re doing a good job even still. Is this better than the US in the end where people just give up trying because no one is going to be satisfied? In some ways, I’d say no because we don’t blindly say things like, “Oh, that AVE tunnel we’re digging under La Sagrada Familia? Nah, it won’t be a problem. We know what we’re doing. Even the media say that. Oh, that thing in Carmel in 2005 where we dug a metro tunnel, caused a sinkhole in the neighborhood that caused 1,500 to lose their homes? Ah, that was nothing, just a little trouble with a stream bed we hadn’t predicted. Again, [holds of copies of ABC, La Vanguardia, and El Pais] they all say we’re doing a great job!”
'Spain is Absolutely without a Doubt, Amazing!', says Spain