lunes, 5 de noviembre de 2012

Escape From New York... "The Great Betrayal"


When I talk to Spanish students for the first time and ask them about America, if they have ever visited The United States or if they would like to and where, there´s always one city that comes up in conversation: New York.


New York,...

The City So Nice, They Named It TWICE,

"The Big Apple",

"The City That Never Sleeps"

and for Batman and Robin, "Gotham"...

What is there NOT to like about New York?

Broadway: the lights, the arts...

The largest Subway System in the World (NYC has the largest subway system in the world, operating underground since 1904.), its iconic Statue of Liberty: always a symbol of The American Dream...

The shopping in Manhattan...

The New York Times.

The New York Times?

You mean the newspaper that rejected King Juan Carlos´ plead to "be nice" when referring to Spain and it´s economic tragedy?

The New York Times?

The newspaper that published a "Yellow Pressed" article about Spain´s austerity and depicted the country with bias photographs and onesided captions?

And after all the love that Iberia has for New York, this, this is a betrayal in my book.

History tells about many great "backstabs"...
Austrian army officer Alfred Redl during World War 1, Redl worked as a spy for the Russian military and sold secrets about the Austrian army. The results were catastrophic for the Austrian army: his actions contributed to the deaths of half a million Austrians. 
Redl committed suicide after Austrian police discovered his betrayal.

Harold Cole was the deputy commander of Scotland Yard during the end of the World War 2 and is considered one of the worst traitors of the war. He was responsible for divulging information to the Gestapo (German security police organized under the Nazi control) about the French resistance escape lines, which he had helped create. He was shot dead after capture by French police in 1946.

What about the end of Roman emperor Julius Caesar when his own nephew, Brutus, took part in the murder plot against him? Brutus accompanied a group of senators who savagely attacked Caesar. Caesar didn’t see it coming – the iconic line, “Et tu, Brutus?”, "You too, Brutus?" is one that will always remind us of Julius Cesar. The whole shameful betrayal was also the subject of a little Shakespearean play you may have heard of.

Well maybe The New York Times´ journalist S. Daley isn´t related to Brutus or Harold Cole, but her dimly lighted reflection of the economy in Spain almost suggests that Spain is the 
only country in the world with hunger and unemployment.

Let´s forget about New York and Shakespearean drama and close our eyes and imagine that
we´re on the other side of the United States.
How about a daydream into San Diego, :"America´s Finest City"?

One of the world´s most important cultural borders and a birth place of 
"The American Dream".

A place where sandals and beachwear take the place of black suits and dress shoes.

California... "The Beach Boys", barbecues, beautiful people, the best weather in the
world,and oh yeah, a place  that has  influenced every human on Earth, a place called Silicon Valley. 

I lived in Andalucia for 6 months and I never saw some of the things I see in these pictures.

Stereotypes are very dangerous and I´m concerned about the thoughts of people who read 
sensationalist articles of this type, they are not seeing the reality of this great country.

So maybe next time you plan a trip to "The States" you should book a flight to the friendly
part of America a place appropriately named after a saint "Diego".



P.S. Here´s the N.Y. Times Article:

24 comentarios:

  1. Totally true, and let me add something else:

    California the home of one of most amazing places on Earth: NASA's JPL.


  2. Hi Ernest:
    I am writting to you this mail in order to telling you my impression regarding your post about New York.
    Is good to know that on the other side of the Atlantic ocean you can see how things really are here in Spain, not the way that the New York Times thinks they are.
    I am an International Herald Tribune subscriber and I feel really annoyed about the way they're dealing with the economic crisis that we are undergoing here in Spain. Specially because in this kind of issues the news are quite important. Every bad piece of news can cause a lot of pain to many people here in Spain, so if we are talking about news that are not accurate (like the one that you are talking about in your post) is it something really annoying.
    So that's mainly why I think about your post. It is really appropriated and I really appreciate that you shared your interesting point of view about this. I will share my opinion on the blog too and, if you don't mind, I'll share with my friends your post and encourage them to reply on the webpage.

    Best regards!


  3. I found today´s class quite interesting, since it showed me something else but english, and made me think that United States have several places and locations that are worth to be visited apart from NY. I have to recognize that I am one of these that always say that if I had to chose one place in the States to visit would be the "big Apple", but I agree that there have to be beatiful and stunning locations around your country, like San Diego, that have to be fantastic.

    I extremely agree with the approach of this article, since the palalelism between my country and how it is perceived in other countries is completely affected by the way in which politicians and jounalists communicate people all the thruth, or just a partial vision of it. I think that you tried to tell me exactly this, and I think I understood the message.

    As you suggested, the best way to learn something about somewhere or someone, is not just read about it and have a blind confidence in what you have been told, but try to get proper information from different ways and build up you own criteria. Maybe is the only way so that some day you could say that you have an opinion based on the thruth and not only in the partial opinion of one only person who decided offer to you an updated vision over the reality.

    Thanks a lot

  4. I am writting to you about the article. I think that Spain is more than the New York Times article as United States is more than New York city. I think that in not a Betrayal, but people should not be influenced by an article even written by one of the most important newspapers in the world. I like America and would like to visit again.

    Thanks a lot

  5. You already know what I think about that article, Ernie: I was very angry when we read it in class a few weeks ago, it is always sad that what everybody considers a serious newspaper, publishs "yellow press" like that...

    Anyway, I have to tell you that I have been in both coasts of the United States. I spent a wonderful week visiting New York five years ago and I was totally in love with the city, I have two american friends living there who showed me the city so I was be able to meet the Big Apple as a real “newyorker “ and nowadays I keep telling everybody that in my opinion it is the best city in the world.

    In the other hand, two summers later I had the opportunity to go to the west coast: I visited LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco (lamentably I did not go to San Diego but definitely I have to go there) and I have to say that I loved too, their beaches, their sunny weather and their nice Californians people!

    So I agree with you Ernie, everybody should visit other cities besides NY, and I highly recommend the West Coast of the USA too!



  6. Hi Ernest,

    First of all, good writing. Congratulations!!

    After seeing the pictures in the article of the New York Times about the economy in Spain. I think the newspaper is very sensationalist, because Spain isn’t the only country in the world with hunger and unemployment. All people know that the economic situations is near to crisis, but isn’t necessary to generalize, because I sure there are a lot of people with bad economy (without job, without own house…) ,but, on the other hand, other people that without much luxury, living well.

    I’m never been in U.S. and New York, but surely there is a place where people live with few resources, marginals places.... In Spain too, but not the most, not generalize the idea of crisis.


    Eva Ramírez.

  7. Hi Ernest:
    Nowdays the situation in Spain is difficult there are a lot of unemployment, families eviction every day, but there are the same problems in a lot of countries around the world, because we are living the worst economic crises in decades. About The New York times I thought it was a serious newpaper, but with this article lost a reading, they should´nt publish that news because isn´t accurate and show a bad impression about our country. I agree with you, the Stereotypes are very dangerous.
    But I´m not going to change my opinion only by a newspaper, I think that New york is the most amazing city in the world. I´m sure that San diego is a beatiful place but in Spain we have very similar places.

    Regards, Jorge.

  8. Good morning, Ernest.

    I agree with you that the article is focused on misery and poverty and was illustrated with pictures whose dramatism has been increased as they are published in black and white.

    I think that the pictures published in the NYT article could have been taken in any country of world and it doesn´t mean that country is on the edge of bankruptcy.

    The fact of showing the reality of a whole country through photographs that represents a minority of the population it is neither ethical nor professional.

    However, the article is more than images. There is text in it. And text parcially explains real situations:

    - Are there evictions due to the fact people can’t pay their mortages? Yes. And every day there are more people without incomes that can’t face their mortages’ payments.

    - Has construction industry been stopped drastically? Yes. It’s true and it’s a reality. And a lot of people has lost his employment at the construction.

    - Are there people without resources that have to use soup kitchens? Yes, and ¿where not? And I’m happy there is this charity service available in my country so that everyone can enjoy a hot meal.

    - Is the government taking steps? Yes. The government has increased taxes. For example: the general VAT rate has been increased in five points for the last three years. The public employees can’t be fired (they got their employments passing an exam among hundreds of candidates), but their salary has been decreased. The people who work in private companies can’t be fired easier, with less compensations and our payroll taxes has been increased too, so we receive less money.

    - Are there demonstrations? Yes, there are demonstrations against government because most people in Spain think that the steps taken by the government are for solving the actual situation but not for solving the source of the actual situation. So, the situation is not going better.

    - Who suffers more? As the taxes are raising and the salaries are been reduced, people have a lower purchasing power and their social status is going down. Logically, the poorest are the most sensitive to this variations of the economy. But this will happen to any country where this practices are stablished. It’s simple maths.

    I think NYT has the chance to explain that its article is based on a minority but it’s not the generality of Spain… But government should not relax if it doesn't want this image to become a reality for the mayority in a close future.


    Rubén R.

  9. Hi Ernie,
    As we talked in our last conversation, to stereotype is a bad human habit. I mean, it's the easier way to describe a person, place, thing without going a little deeper inside it. So, those people, newspaper or company that be able to describe on the currently Spain situation with a bunch of photos which could be taken in wherever of the world, even in the streets of New York, it can only be described like a opportunistic (It's the best word I can choose in a very bad words list). I think there are other ways to sell newspaper and to get readers, and I'll not change my opinion with one simple article, because of nowadays, there are many ways to get information to make yourself a context and an idea; but the wrost thing is: "to lie 100 times that at least one remains".
    BR, Israel

  10. Hi Ernesto,

    I think so that New York time it´s a little sensationalist but since one year I started saw a people look for something to eat in garbage. It was normal people ask money normaly was forange or beggars, but now this people are work people who lost her employ because her company are closed or fire him.

    It´s strange not see a people ask food in the subway all days. And this people talk the same history, I lost my work!! I can´t find a new, and I´m looking for two year. I havent money and lost my house because the bank take me it. Can´t pay the murgate.

    Regards, Sergio

  11. I can't comment about New York and other U.S. cities because I do not know. With regard the New York Times article, I disagree with the other reviews of this blog. The article is true, and if the Spanish people think with the head and not with their hearts your opinion would be the same as mine.
    There are a culprits in this crisis, politicians, bankers ... Why they do not have responsibilities for this?

  12. The NY times' article is trying to show a part of the real situation of Spain in the actual crisis.

    This is not bad. Journalists must tell what is happening in this world and in many cases, as a result, people aware of the undiscovered reality and move to support the people or animals that are in the problem.

    This occured in the past, in Golf War, Sirian Civil War and Earthquaque in Haiti etc.

    But many times, articles or reports which tell only the negative side of what is there in a part of the world are not telling the reality.

    The realities must be told with the certain cause of the problems, what is happening and what scale it has and what kind of solution we may have.

    Turning back to the NY Times' article with pictures, they are telling what is happening in Spain but we don't know the scale of the problem neither why this is happening.

    The journalists must not lean on the sentimentalism of the readers.

    Do they want to see the persons who are in pictures only as poor people?

    This is not a real journalism. It is a tabloid.

    If the NY Times which publicated this article is that NY Times, one of the world famous and prestigious editors, this article must have been prepared with more appropriate infomation.

  13. Just an article about hunger and misery, I think that the journalist can make the same article everywhere, this happens in Spain, Berlin, New York… and the pictures can be worst if you find the right time.

    To be honest, I don’t want to think that someone can decide don’t visit Spain after reading this article, if you know other places, if you often travel, I cannot believe this can change your mind, otherwise you do not deserve to see this amazing country.

    The global crisis is a fact, but I don’t know why some politicians have used Spain as a bad reference, I mean Mitt Romney, Sarkozy used Spain as reference of the worst economic management, as an argument in their campaigns, the message was vote me or we will finish like in Spain, looking for food in the garbage.

    Anyway, I hope to visit NY when I have time and money… after the crisis??

    Best Regards,

  14. I don´t think NY pictures makes justice of Spain situation. Why don´t they took pictures of new buildings, new airports, new rail stations... I think there has always been poor people in Spain.
    Politians, banks, money borrowers have sent us to this situation but I trust in the Spaniards to solve the situation.

  15. I´m very angry. It´s amazing how we can talk about city or country without knowing. The NY article shows Spain like a hollywood movie where people wander as a zoombie looking for food...It´s no the reality we life everyday in this country.Please, more objectivity!!

  16. Hi Ernie.
    I agree with you that thear are many places to visit in the States not only New York and San Diego is one of the best.
    In Spain we have big problems whith the economy but this photos are the reality in many cities of diferent countries and this is a problem for everybody independent of the place where they live.

  17. Hi Ernie.
    Thear are many places to visit in the States and San Diego is one of the best.
    In spain we have big problems whith the econmy but this photos are the reality in many cities of the world and this affect to everybody .

    1. Hi Ernie,

      I think stereotypes make people have a mistaken view about people from other countries.

      Stereotypes are inaccurate and unhelpful and that this might improve International understanding.

      A team of psychologists uses personality test to establish shared characteristics among 49 different nationalities around the world and the stereotype was very different from the results of the personality test.

      However we are all much more alike than we think we are.

  18. Hi,

    I think is not a betrayal but it is very sensationalist. The pictures are very good so that they have published them as an exhibition.
    In my opinion, the situation in Spain is getting worse about the economic, but like the rest of Europe...
    I have been just one time in the U.S. because of job, but I should go another time for giving an opinion, since I did not really like it... :(
    Hope next time!!

  19. Hi,

    I think everything you can see it is true, but it is just one side of the reality. You can see this kind of things in many differents countries, it is not only a spanish problem.

  20. Hi Erni

    I´n writting in orden you suggest to tell my opinion in econimic crisis in Spain.I read the New York Time newspaper and I think it ´s a little sensacionalist and try to show a ireal situation which doesn´t help to go out the economic Spain crisis and it won´t improve the situation.I believe that a newspaper never give news which pretend to get the atraction its readers.It´s true, some people is a little people having seriuos problem to eat and they live as homeless,but it not the mayority of populations. It´s true some people lost his home because they don´t paid their mortagate,and the bank force to leave their home, but it doesn´t happen mayority of Spain. After give a new, newspaper must think how should tell the news beacuse it can damage the Spain country and we need everybody help us.
    Please get al informetions before we write about sensitive news

  21. Hi Ernest,

    First of all, I think the article is a little bit sensationalist and the election of the pictures does not seem elected very fortunately. The situation in other countries near of us i think is worse, for example, Portugal and Greece. Even in France, there are social protests what is mean something goes bad.
    However, all the article said is true but all the country does not live in these circunstamces. It depends where you go, because there are big differences between north and south.
    The big problem in the near future we need to resolve is how give work to almost six millions of unemployeds.


  22. Hi Ernest
    First of all, I would like to tell you that I liked your class today. I agree with your post, and It’s very important for me to Know that there are people in USA who think that article of The New York Times doesn’t correspond with the reality of Spain. This article only shows the crudest side of a crisis situation that other countries, Europeans and not Europeans, also live.
    Margarita G.

  23. I am really surprised at this article. Yes, it is true that Spain is going through hard times, but a prestigious newspaper should inform about that situation in a balanced and non manipulative way. Have you considered the reason of using pictures in black and white? It gives, on purpose, of course, a sensation of sadness and depression. Besides, I can assure that people don't go around half-naked. Poor or rich, everybody is dressed. The look of the guys in the pictures is grotesque.