My parents have an apartment on the Mediterranean coast where we spend a few days every summer. In addition to swim and the games of petanque or tennis, we usually walk to the old town, wrapped around a hill topped by a castle of Arab origin. We also like to visit an ancient nearby tower built in the fifteenth century to protect the coast from Berber incursions.

Another typical walk is to visit the nearby urbanization Marina D’or. The most frightening thing of this walk is checking the excessive construction of the Spanish Mediterranean coasts and the pharaonic plans for the future. A kind of Spanish Las Vegas is pending to be built as a continuation of Marina D’or. It is planned to include an amusement park called Mundo Ilusión (World Illusion), or we should call it World Delusion, a speculative movement that will aggravate the state of an already over-constructed area to benefit only the few involved in the real state business. There may be not Berber incursions any more but the thieves still hover around these beautiful coasts.

This can be a good opportunity to remember my only visit to Las Vegas, where I stopped on my way to Death Valley. On a closer look, their names seem to have been exchanged by one of those magicians Don Quixote mentions, because the valley is alive and the city is dead (in Spanish, Vega means a fertile land). Despite its name, Death Valley is teeming with plant and animal life, humble but well adapted, and in its rocks, gorges and dunes one can feel the telluric energy of such a singular place.

The city of Las Vegas, on the contrary, is a mirage, the trick of an illusionist only credible at night under the neon lights. And even then, if one is able to look elsewhere than the infinite artificial stimuli, one can watch people wander around with lifeless faces, especially intense in the case of waitresses and croupiers. Most clients are retired people to whom Las Vegas was sold as a well-deserved rest after retirement, but all they find is a delusion of colossal proportions willing to withdraw with care every dollar from their wallets. During the day, when the electric fantasy cannot compete with the sunlight, the artifice appears in all its size, but at that time the clients sleep in their air-conditioned rooms, trying to dream that they are happy.

Another project in the Spanish Las Vegas (besides Mundo Ilusión) is planned to be called Disco Buddha (curiously, in Buddhism the evil is considered the personification of the illusion of the world, so World Illusion could actually be qualified as evil). Disco Buddha consists of a colossal statue of a Buddha surrounded by drinking bars, dance floors and terraces. Buddha, nirvana, karma and the occasional Buddhist word sound exotic. Imagine traveling somewhere in Asia and encountering the Disco Jesus-Christ, with a large statue of Christ surrounded by people dancing and drinking. Wouldn’t you find such thing disrespectful?

I took the picture above a couple of days ago in the streets of Leon (Spanish city). Buddha and Elvis Presley have the same iconographic power of what is distant and exotic. It’s not really evil but ignorance.

Advertisements