The Mayor of Simpleton
I live in the Province of Almeria, in Andalucia, Spain. An area of the world rich in musical heritage. Indeed, the village next door – Mojacar was revived in the 1960′s when the then Mayor invited artists and musicians to buy the derelict homes of this deserted and forgotten town for just ten pounds each. It was a revolutionary idea – and it worked. Mojacar slowly came back to life, and was fed and financed by a slow but steady tourist industry, clearly distinct from the ‘lager lout’ culture of Benidorm, much further up the coast.
Many foreigners moved here, Brits, Germans, Scandinavians, all bringing their dreams and creating a new economy. But dark clouds loomed on the horizon. As the prominent local families had finally amassed their fortunes from the tourism trade, and swapped their horses and carts for Mercedes, they decided to systematically set about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Mojacar, once on the verge of a successful 10 month tourist season thanks to our wonderful climate, saw its trade wither like an old Rioja grape on the vine. August is now about the only time the bar owners get to redress the horrendous losses they make during the rest of the year, and yet the bars have had to cancel the entertainment that would bring in the business, for fear of falling foul of the regulations. That’s a lot of ‘effin there. Damn right.
Dreams began to die on an almost daily basis, as people returned home, broke, and disillusioned. Now – the fate of this once renaissance village seems to be finally sealed once and for all. The ‘powers that be’ (I shan’t use the word Mayor, as they don’t even come close to the vision shown by their 60′s counterpart) – Have decreed that all bars be fitted with a noise control machine (decimeter) – to be paid for by the owners of course – at 1,500 euros a shot – and to be set at 55 decibels. I fart louder than that.
So, a fait accompli then, because if the bars are reckless enough to book live entertainment, they cannot fail to break the new law. Apparently, if the police are called twice to any venue, the place will be shut down. This, make no bones about it, is Fascism by any other name. What kind of mindset implements laws to kill the very culture that helped rebuild this magical place? It disgusts me, and I state here and now that I find these people beneath my contempt, and their actions reprehensible, not to mention inexplicable.
Oh, and by the way, we have the highest unemployment rate amongst the young of anywhere in Spain. Yeah, the bosses are doing a great job.
LONG LIVE MUSIC – SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD, AND PLAY IT LIVE!!!