In English Voices From Spain

To laugh or to cry

Published originally in Spanish. Laura Freixas. La Vanguardia.

Our president calls for a referendum that lacks a voter registry, an electoral commission, civil servants or voting places. Isn’t that worth laughing?

The government is presided by a gentleman who didn’t run for the position, and whose star project is one that wasn’t in the electoral program. Isn’t that worth crying?

A government adopts an initiative of immense transcendence… with the ostensible goal of daring another government to forbid it, doesn’t that look like a joke?

We are told that a traumatic and irreversible decision could be decided by a single vote, with no defined minimum participation threshold, isn’t that alarming?

The will of all those of us who refuse to vote under such conditions (on the 9-N pseudo-referendum we were 63%) is completely disregarded, isn’t that enraging?

We are told they have written a very important law just in case the “yes” option wins, but we’re not allowed to see it. Isn’t that a joke?

We have spent five years talking about one single issue: whether we proclaim an independent state or not, but no one has any idea of what it would look like, because the projects are either unknown or just pipe-dreams or incompatible (what country can CUP and Junts pel Sí build in common?). Isn’t this just folly?

The [regional] president brags that “we are feared and we will be even more feared”. Should that make us laugh or shiver?

Those calling for the referendum have no plan whatsoever in case it’s not held in the end. Isn’t that terrifying? When all this founders, which it will one way or another, what does the [regional] government plan to do? Barricade themselves in the Montjuic castle with cyanide and handguns? Hide in the Tibidabo [famous Barcelona amusement park -TN] spooky tunnel with some witch hats and brooms? Will they go to the balcony at Sant Jaume square and shout “April’s fools! Did you fall for the independence stuff?”… they may as well reveal the truth about Santa.

I don’t know if I should laugh (out of fear) or cry (out of laughter). Or just grieve on the daily realization that we are growing more divided and opposed. I may just buy some popcorn and enjoy the show. Or prepare some handkerchiefs and hugs for those about to be orphaned, or rotten tomatoes for those who lied to them. What I do know is that please, please, please, I want to be able to think about something else!

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