How a quiet Barcelona block became a hotbed of protests
The ongoing protests over a formerly squatter-occupied bank in Barcelona have grabbed headlines for a week now. Journalist and local resident Conor DeVries gives a first-hand account of what's been happening.
The heavy drone of a police helicopter has become a normal disturbance lately in the Gràcia neighbourhood of Barcelona. A week’s worth of protests have kept the normally quiet barrio very busy and very noisy. After a couple of nights of relative calm, there were resumed tensions on Sunday between the Catalan police and the local protesters supporting the Banc Expropiat.
I’m writing about The Big Short because I think it is important. In fact I think it is one of the most important films to be produced in a long long time. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour and go watch it asap.
The film is like a good fisherman - it patiently pulls you in closer and closer with the gritty details but knows when a little bit of slack is needed to let you laugh and take a breather. Before you know it, you are well educated on Mortgage Bonds, CDOs and a mess of other financial instruments but also equally excited and horrified to find out more.
While the film is a comedy of sorts, the financial crisis of 2008 that the plot details is far from a laughing matter. But the extremely dark and laughably corrupt reality that the movie portrays probably needs a good dose of humour to be swallowed with any kind of positivity.
Stemming from an incredibly witty screenplay, and based off the Michael Lewis book from which it inherited it’s title, it makes one of the most mundane and complicated subjects (Wall Street Finance) both appetizing and digestible. And just like after a big meal in real life, we get to see the massive pile of shit that results.
Sometimes I will be doing nothing more than walking down the street and suddenly I will feel like I’m coming up on some nice drugs. I mean, what a nice treat.
For no real reason, I will feel so damn good and be so damn happy that I can’t help but wear an energetic smile across my face while I wonder if someone slipped something in my drink that morning. I will feel on top of the world, and as far as I can tell, it is simply because of the fact that I am alive. Now that, is an amazing feeling.
I sit alone at night, 3500m above the ocean on top of a volcano. I’m famished. Freezing cold. Soaking wet. And my infected toe won’t stop throbbing. I can’t help but think, ‘Have I finally got myself into something I can’t get out of?’.
For seven hours I sweat and panted up the steep jagged paths to get here. Now I’m shivering in the pouring rain and trying desperately to get a fire lit. I’m dead tired with no edible food, and I’m almost out of water. Worst of all, I’m not sure if I can make it back down to warmth if I don’t get this fire going. All because I wanted some damn strawberries.
This is a call out to all the dudes who are still shaming girls as sluts… STOP.
You are so dumb it is unbelievable, you are literally cock-blocking yourselves.
I sit in a complete stranger's living room where I am supposed to stay the next three nights. I am trying to make small talk, but I can’t stop the crazy thoughts running through my mind: What if he kidnaps me? Drugs me? Rapes me? Maybe I should leave, just grab my stuff and go. Why did I do this in the first place?
I find myself at Park Güell in Barcelona with a fantastic view of the city but watching the flocks of tourists instead. I watch as countless spin themselves around taking a full 360 panorama with their phone attached to the end of a go-go gadget extendo pole. It’s apparently the new essential travel accessory - the Selfie Stick.
I would love to see these peoples Facebook albums, I really would. I don’t think I have any Selfie Stick friends on my Facebook as of yet, but I can’t wait for the day. Stoked to have full albums of nothing but people's faces showing up on my Facebook feed.
Here in Canada we are lucky enough to live in a modern democracy where our votes, everyones votes, choose the leaders of our country. In our representative democracy everyone has the power and freedom to vote for any candidate and party they deem fit to represent them. In fact, Canada is one of the strongest democracies in our current world scope of politics. The Economist rated Canada 7th overall in their Democracy Index 2014 Report (DIR 2014) and we should no doubt be a shining example as a result.