Barack Obama in ‘The New York Times’.

Michael Jackson and Matías Prats, immigrant boats and death on The Mediterranean coast (Torrevieja-Spain). “(…)In their interested amnesia they had forgotten the colonial plundering carried out by European countries in Africa and in almost all the continents, the massacres and looting with the excuse of El Dorado committed by the Spanish Empire that impoverished most of the people and peoples of America for centuries. Despite the tension of the moment, one morning, our friend wore the attorney’s gown: –Are you afraid of the African rat-a-tat-tat? Are you afraid to be invaded by the Zulus or Masais? And could they steal your sandwiches? –He sprang it on them while biting his sandwich made from bread, olive oil and salt. Like deaf and blind zombies who do not return their looks they remained in silence as an answer of terror and lack of respect to immigrants. They never understood Jackson’s song “We Are The World”. Some minutes after, George heard some radio interferences in the news broadcast by Matias Prats, a radio he had on a cabinet at work. Nobody moved to tune it. George approached the set to tune the channel and turn up the volume. An Algerian small raft had run aground on the Torrevejense coast. Thirteen men, a pregnant woman and two four-year-old children drowned! Seventeen stomachs that were looking for food. (Page 57)

Daily overfall at The Editorial Office. “(…)George survived with his broken heart involved in the daily maelstrom of his job at the newspaper and at the radio station at a rate of two hundred taps a minute on the computer keyboard and hardly had the time to die. (Page 142)

Job: public service vocation. “(…)Doddle after doddle, from humility and perseverance our friend told me he learned day after day as a journalist and as a person the trade of writing and help others. One day I saw myself in George and in his deeds in order to get free of the determinism of birth dividing human beings and get free of blood relations and family ties separating people. (Page 124)

"The Journalist´S Style" and "The Dart On The Word". “(…)–If you finish the page on the towns, I’ll have a look at it this evening. Don’t worry. –George thanked her–. Ah, here it is, take it “The journalist’s style”! I’ll bring you “The dart on the Word” by Lázaro Carreter. Any journalist must know them! Instead of the usual rat race and fatuous rivalries among incompetent journalists there was good sense and co-operation without any setbacks between the couple. Both journalists lent a hand to each other with the risk of suffering a treacherous stab in the back, far away from all mischievous corporate spirit too frequent in the trade. (Page 150).

Luis Del Olmo, the early-riser at the entertainment Radio Station. “(…) –Of course, it’s in his blood! –the funniest guy put the icing on the cake. –Let’s speak to the papers, radio and television! Let’s call Luis del Olmo tomorrow, the newscaster from Ponferrada, the early riser on the radio waves. –Everybody must know about this! United we stand. The wisdom and invisible power of water, the sun, fire, life, earth and air form an alliance with the naturists and some peaceful, imaginative, problem-solving proposals arose. At the El Salt debates you will find inventiveness, talent, experience, entertainment and fun. Be brave enough to take part in them! –Let’s call Sant Jordiet and the La Festa army. The kid can shoot arrows at them. And the fiesta organizers can shoot their harquebusiers. –Let’s bring a dragon –Arturo wanted to stimulate new reactions. –You’re off your nuts, Arturo! –Eduardo nervously went ballistic. (Page 213)

Teresa Cobo and Julián Íñigo, Journalism rigor, friendship and vocation. “(…) We went into Estrella’s garden and we were together again. At the time our hostess was fostering a Saharan girl that summer. We had some tomato sandwiches with olive oil for supper, acorn cured ham and Idiazabal cheese prepared by Teresa and Julian, a Basque couple of journalists spending their vacation over there. George ate an apple first. Very sweet dessert! Banana mousse with cherries from the Jerte Valley… Ata from Orihuela recited one of his witty poems. He made us laugh, but we also thought just the same. His knowledge and pedagogy is like that. We all together looked at the sky and I said goodbye with a kiss to the air until the following walk. (Page 261)

Santiago Gambín, Elche Radio symbol. “(…)After such a victory, while he was taking off his sneakers his imagination took young George to a packed stadium. Summer of 1976, thousands of supporters cheered their idols at the legendary Altabix. With number 7 on his back George along with Xavi Hernandez (8 FC Barcelona) were in control of the game. He enjoyed glorious afternoons. Goals, joys of men and women because of the fantastic game they adore. Juan Cartagena, Campello and Escarabajal made their debut with Elche FC. That afternoon goal-hungry top goal-scorer Vavá wanted the ball: –Che! Pass the ball, George. –There it is! Come on! –He kicked the ball with his right foot with an extraordinary effect and the ball flew. –Vavá jumped! Heaaaaaaader! Gooooooooaaaal! – sang Santiago Gambín, the sports commentator from Elche. (Page 82)

Vicente Crespo, journalist ‘Información’ (Alicante). “(…) –This is María, she wants to write… She’s got a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Philology. –Hi! Send me you resume and I’ll give it to the Senior Officer in Alicante. I’ll send it to Vicente Crespo too, the ‘news’ guy, he needs a correspondent in Orihuela. –I love reading and writing. The young lady standing up motionless explained to him. –Becoming a journalist demands vocation and efforts. –He invited her to take a seat. (Page 149)

FAPE, recognition and tribute to the journalists. “(…) One afternoon the chief editors –Juan Antonio Calvo and Gómez Carrión with Antonio Cutillas– came from Alicante to praise the honorable Mainar and then Alex Grijelmo’s… Style, of “El País”… They chose the snapshots, the most attractive ones, after a hot debate between Tony Sevilla and Angel García from Alicante. –The appropriate snapshot always releases interpretation –stated Ramón’s brilliant goatee – as it is proven everyday by our photographer Angel García. –I’m the notary of the current situation according to my friend Eduardo de Gea in the News department! –the portly bearded photographer, Tony Sevilla, grew even taller disappointed by the lack of respect and the cruelty of some paparazzi. –George, how do you achieve the balance? –María, who was shy and a rookie, asked him to learn, and looked at Francisco Reyes from Torrevieja. –It’s a risky profession, and for jugglers. Be careful of the submissive and manipulative “off the record”, just as Paco Atienza, senior member in Torrevieja, states. –This is a circus! –added Ahtohno with his peculiar Russian humor. –You can say everything. You just find how to say it and the means to say it. Use the texts but you’d rather find the appropriate verb, headlines and snapshots. There it is the art of hypocrisy and double speak. Similar to what our friend Tirso Marin does whenever he writes about bullfighting. –On the tightrope! –the young lady got the chicuelina (bullfighting cape pass) drawn by George. –Juggling with the headline, snapshots, verbs and words – he lent a useful hand. –And more skills! –Pilar suggested other secrets selflessly. –Audacity and people skills, –Cutillas praised the profession he gave his heart (he died of a heart attack three years after)– humility and perseverance. –The journalist always calls the shots and controls all the situations… –added the erudite Juan José Sánchez. –We’re nothing without our readers! –George always said. George and Tony Sevilla left. They had been tipped off about a mayors’ secret meeting who were united by a common strategy to demand projects of all the administrations. Journalists Manuel Pamies and Eduardo López were aware of it, too. Eduardo de Gea killed the waiting time by telling everybody the legend of La Encantá by Rojales. The following people attended the meeting: Moya, El Califa de la Vega (The Caliph of La Vega), Hernández Mateo and Eduardo Dolón, José Manuel Medina, Manuel Aldeguer and Marylène, Alonso and Antonio Ángel, García Meseguer and Rufete, García Gerardo of Albatera, Rocamora, Carmelo Rives and Javier Pérez. Was there a tacit pact or was it a great literary invention? Untainted pages. Flawless. Blank pages wake up on the desks of the paper’s newsroom, unlike the printed mainstream at each birth. Haven’t you ever suspected you repeat some experiences you need to overcome if actually reincarnation exists life after life? (Page 151-153)

Infestations mosquitos and Journalists. “(…) –My butcher’s shop is famous –the turkey breeder succinctly told Pablo and Claudia from SER Radio– but the river bed must be cleaned up. (…) Another serious matter for the public health or even worse than the polluted Segura river was the courageous battle kept by the neighborhood in spring. Such confrontations took place again and again as a biblical punishment in Ancient Egypt when the mosquito plague broke out. Dozens of houses on the river bank in Orihuela have been turned into air-raid shelters. –Squadrons launching attacks the whole day –looking at Zerón from the Orihuela TV channel and at Pedro J. Llorach from Onda Cero and ‘Activa Orihuela’ alerted Manolo with his small glasses. (Page 188)

Muñoz Grau and Alfonso Ortuño, ‘Pro-Río’ and ‘Segura Limpio’. “(…) –To live over here without swallows … it’s impossible! Primarily, for professional ethics the journalist had to verify the statement that attributed the birds a crucial transcendence. And the following day George woke up early. With the first sun beam he went back to the trench by the river to follow Manolo’s trial with his photographer Tony Sevilla. At the mouths of the irrigation ditches they ran into Nuria and Maria from Pro-Rio and Professor Muñoz Grau “The Bowtie Guy” wearing a green one around his neck. He was taking some water samples and said: today we are gonna take to court the Confederation! Some neighbors from Rojales, members of the Segura Limpio platform are waiting for this water sample to be submitted at the Court of Justice. We’re backed up by more than 10,000 demonstrators from Orihuela and Murcia…” Sitting on the opposite bank of the Segura river Alfonso Ortuño was drawing a sketch for a vignette. Then the journalist confirmed the scoop about the swallows: the river surface resembled a merciless battle field on the cartoonist’s paper. Some mosquitoes looked like eagles! George wondered how he could achieve that transformation for himself. (Page 190)

Almudena Ariza, Pérez Reverte and Barack Obama in ‘The New York Times’.

(See the Journalism section at the end of the novel/Second Part)

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