On the Costa del Sol, where I haven’t been for a very long time. I think the last occasion was in the winter of 1965-66, when I went to Marbella for a bridge tournament at what was then the first big resort hotel in the area. The airport in Malaga had a dirt runway, and it took hours and hours on a winding road through the mountains to reach Marbella. Now I’m told it’s half an hour, and the Malaga airport is super modern, like so much in Spain these days. So hooray for Spain, they’ve done a hell of a job, and Aznar actually brought Spain out of global isolation to rejoin the international community bigtime. Pity the current jefe is so stupid, but voters do make mistakes, as well know.
That first trip took place during Franco’s tyranny, and my memories of Spanish women are all about black, grey and white. No colors. When Franco died, suddenly Spanish women appeared in red, orange, yellow, you name it, and happily they still do. And that got me to thinking about how tyrants have to repress open sexuality, since sexual freedom is closely tied to political freedoml (read your Erich Fromm, please), which the tyrants don’t want any of.
This is actually one of the minor themes of my forthcoming “Iran Time Bomb,” since nowhere on earth has sexual repression been taken so such ludicrous extremes as Iran. That whole business about covering every centimeter of every strand of female hair–to protect the otherwise innocent males from the enormous sexual power emanating from the hair follicles–is totally nuts. And it’s obvious that there is a fundamental connection between terrorists and sexuality. They are mostly raised in an all-male society, which creates impulses among adolescent boys that they are told are unclean…you don’t have to be a Freud follower (although I am, mostly) to see how the repression involved in that sort of environment translates into enormous explosive violence.
Spain is a great country, and Juan Carlos, the king, is a great man who, contrary to all the conventional wisdom of the time, managed a graceful and peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy, something most experts thought impossible. That became the template for a generation, culminating in the peaceful fall of the Soviet Empire. Now people get annoyed when force is necessary…as it sometimes is. Ask the Marines, bless them.