Rhetoricians (gabologists) in Spain

This blog is now on summer schedule, as our editorial team-members are on their separate vacations. Bear has gone back to the woods, Lion is back on the African veldt, and Fox is in Spain, which, as you may have read earlier, he regards as his “patria tía abuela”. Glib has also decided to visit Spain for the annual convention of the International Guild of Articulate Blabbers (IGAB), this year held in Boca Corrida, Andamaslúcida, Spain. Today’s blog is in the form of an interview by editorial team associate Hyacinth Glib of newly elected IGAB president, Agustín Labia Locuaz of Spain.

HG: One of the great differences between Spain and the United States is that, whereas in the US a growing minority of voters is beginning to suspect that Bush is a dangerous imbecile…

ALL: … and here in Spain everyone knows it.

HG: Everyone, that is, except José María Aznar, the former president, who has been making such wild pronouncements that even his own party is trying to disown him. He is still insisting that Spain was right to send troops to Iraq and calling the defeat of his party by the socialists a coup d’état. And he lashed out at the new European Constitution, which the new leader of his party is pledged to support. Agustín, from the perspective of a professional gabologist, what do you make of these latest statements?

ALL: I think the Guiñol CNN+ has it just right, when they portray him as a doom-breathing Darth Vader.

HG: For our non-Spanish readers, we should explain that the “Guiñol” is a satirical news review puppet show that comes on right after the nightly newscast.

ALL: Yes, and that its name is a juego de palabras – a play on words. “Guiñol” sounds like “guignol,” as in “Grand Guignol,” but it is also a “guiño,” a wink of the eye.

HG: So the puppets can say whatever nasty things they want about the politicians and still expect them to laugh. Does Aznar, the real Aznar, know how to laugh, by the way?

ALL: Oh, yes! But lately it comes out mostly as a – what’s that word in English? A “snicker.” Rather loud, like a donkey’s braying. But, coming back to our professional specialty as gabologists, what is especially interesting is how his rhetoric has been infected by listening too much to Richard Perle and Dick Cheney. There is a peculiar Anglo-Saxon, if I may use that term, accent to his snarl. He can’t really manage the true imperious disdain of, say, his historical hero Generalísimo Francisco Franco, the Caudillo.

HG: Maybe that’s because he’s too short to look down on people?

ALL: Why do you think the Caudillo always like to be portrayed on horseback?

HG: Ah, that would do it. So, blog readers, here is our professonal gabologists’ tip for you today: If you really want to express disdain for your opponent’s opinions, instead of spending valuable mental energy trying to think of a logical rebuttal, get a horse!