Wednesday, August 27, 2008

La Leti's nosejob part 2

Andy Warhol Before and After

The spread below is from HOLA! magazine's web site. Now they have really taken this to a whole new level. Not only does the Casa Real let EVERYONE know that Princess Letizia had a nose job, but now HOLA! it's virtual mouthpiece, the doyenne of Spanish gossip magazines, the Pravda of royalty news world-wide, actually promotes an on-line vote on the before and after shots! And this is fabulous for many reasons. First, unlike the times of Velazquez and Goya, when the royal family's physiognomy (hideous as it may have been) was the standard of beauty, as they were destined by God to rule, now we commoners can have an opinion! And that is partly because la Leti is a commoner, just like we are. Second, by asking us which of the two looks better, they slyly imply that the "official" explanation of a medical motive as untrue! So insubordinate.

If HOLA! doesn't toe the line, this means someone in the royal family is out for blood - la Leti's blood. This is as good as the libels against Marie Antoinette. And you know what happened to her. I am just saying. But they got what they asked for, he refused to marry an insipid royal relation, he went for the outspoken former TV anchorwoman, with a mother who is a union organizer, a suicidal sister, a taxi driver grandfather, divorced parents, the divorcee with a past and an apparent eating disorder. And she doesn't give him a male heir to boot! 

None of this should be a problem except for the fact that their whole institution is based on medieval notions of absolutism, religion, a sense of divine entitlement, inevitability, racist superiority, and right to plunder. So even though now they are allegedly a democratic institution, someone like la Leti must really rub them the wrong way.

Start the countdown to the Third Spanish Republic. I will be there waving the tricolor!

Guess what I voted? ________________________________

Doña Letizia se ha sometido a una septorrinoplastia para corregir una desviación del tabique nasal

Gracias por su voto.

6778 votos
5710 votos

La Princesa de Asturias se sometió hace dos semanas a una operación, por recomendación del servicio médico de la Casa del Rey, para corregir una desviación en el tabique nasal y mejorar así sus problemas respiratorios. Aunque aún es pronto para evaluar el resultado final -todavía tiene la nariz hinchada y habrá que esperar seis u ocho meses para que todo vuelva a su ser-, lo cierto es que doña Letizia luce una nariz más armónica que le ha dulcificado el rostro.

En queremos saber su opinión, mostrándoles un antes y un después de la intervención quirúrgica para que pueda apreciar el cambio. ¿Le gusta más la nueva imagen de la Princesa de Asturias?

Noticias relacionadas
La princesa Letizia se opera la nariz por recomendación médica

Massiel Wins Eurovision

It doesn't get better than this: my obsessions with pageantry, nationalism, propaganda and camp all rolled into one.

This is a clip from Franco's NO DO propaganda newsreels commemorating Massiel's victory for Spain in the Eurovision song contest. I believe I have written about this contest before here. It's closely followed by Europeans and has been a landmark in my own upbringing. Massiel was an opportunistic singer who took over for Joan Manuel Serrat when he was not allowed to sing his own song in Catalan. Franco refused to allow Spain to be represented by the "subversive" region's language. 

Massiel is now a bloated alcoholic who makes a fool of herself in gossip chat shows. One of my favorite anecdotes is when she allegedly fell reaching for a book in her home, and then posed full of bruises and bandages in hospital. 

The NO DO shows how Massiel was the spokesmodel for the Spanish FIAT knock-off, the SEAT (we had one when I was a kid, those cars were the bomb) so she was promoting Franco's resurgent industrial production, and then you will see her on the government TV station TVE singing the song with a tuna accompaniment. The latter another tourist kitsch cliche - the tuna singers are strolling musicians associated with universities but they became a staple in restaurants aimed at tourists near the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and other sites. 

Finally, the narrator proudly announces that the song was a backdrop in the Miss Germany Pageant. The best is when the announcer notes that an innovation that year was the requirement that the winner be "smart" as well as beautiful. Awesome. 

Watch for the cameo appearance by famous Spanish film and TV director Pilar Miro, as an Eurovision judge. This is particularly ironic since it's one of many cases where the NO DO or print media reveal that politically progressive icons from the Transition to Democracy and more recent years collaborated with the regime in one form or another. 

Riita Immonen - Marimekko designer

  Photo: Marimekko

New York Times
Riitta Immonen, a Founder of the Marimekko Textile Company, Dies at 90
Published: August 27, 2008
Ms. Immonen was a designer of uniforms and ready to wear with a couture touch.
For the full obituary, cut and paste this to your browser: