Going Shopping to Decide Which Party to Vote For

Going Shopping to Decide Which Party to Vote For

To decide which political force to vote for, this weekend I went shopping at various malls in Madrid.

First, I went to the Podemos Shopping Center. I was struck by the fact that even in the parking lot, everything was full of Venezuelan, Cuban, Catalan esteladas, ikurriñas, Andalusian republican, and Spanish state flags. Right at the entrance to the center, there were some morally and politically corrupt students from the Marxist-Complutense University of Madrid. They were talking about creating a commune-cooperative to use the academic center to cultivate marijuana, all thanks to a subsidy from the current rector. While they played Argentine and Bolivian accented musical notes on their old guitars, the stench of their bodies, like incense, created the necessary atmosphere to celebrate a secular-atheist mass and they loudly recited the thousands of commandments of their satanic religion.

After getting past the entrance, I was surprised to see that the shelves were empty, the ceiling lights flickered, sparked, or were burnt out. A rotund steward with a large mustache and a Venezuelan accent, resembling Maduro, said that «the store is empty due to the conspiracies of right-wing and capitalist oligarchies trying to destroy the People’s store.»

Later, a manager named Monedero, according to the badge on his chest, quickly explained to me that no money was used in this mall and that everything could be acquired through barter. Stunned by his explanation, I said: «Buy what? The shelves are empty!» He responded by calling me a «capitalist-consumerist pig.»

Once I got away from Monedero, I found a long-haired salesman in charge of a bookstore full of old books. Archaic volumes of Marxist thought, books that were not for sale, you could only borrow them to read in the center’s reading room, just like reading the Koran in a madrasa.

As I was leaving that gloomy place, I passed through the technology area, where a large crowd gathered around a few old televisions, showing strange programs I had never seen before. These were television programs that had the power to bring viewers to their knees, praising the televangelists who demanded absolute loyalty to the Religo-Communism-New Age, asking everyone to be ready for «the final struggle.»

After fleeing the Podemos Shopping Center, I followed a friend’s advice and headed to the Ciudadano Shopping Center. As soon as I got out of the car, I saw the happy faces of people and families crossing the parking lot with joyful steps on a sunny Sunday morning, heading toward that haven of peace and joy. Everyone was smiling, all bodies were athletic, the ladies were beautiful, the men tall and with abundant hair, and the children looked like they came out of a «Disneyland» commercial.

I was surprised to see such perfect homogeneity, it seemed strange to me, there wasn’t a single wrinkle on the faces of the older ones, sorry, there were no older people! No one had an extra gram of fat, I felt like I was surrounded by actors or models about to do a «flashmob.»

The aisles of the shopping center were filled with organic, biological, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free, excipient-free, and additive-free food. Large posters preached the harms of hamburgers, fast food, calamari sandwiches, patatas bravas, and pork and other processed meats. Almost nauseous from the pain of conscience caused by my bad eating habits, I left the area of false delicacies and foods.

The boutique of the Ciudadano Store was full of clothes from the best brands, and I felt like trying on some pants and shirts. After several minutes in the fitting rooms, I realized that all sizes, regardless of manufacturer and style, were very, very, very small, made only for skeletons and deformed runway bodies. It’s not that I’m fat, but if I don’t eat some serrano ham and torrijas, I’ll start losing hair.

Everything I saw in this shopping center seemed like a summary of Aldous Huxley’s «Brave New World,» where everyone I saw seemed to regularly consume their dose of «Soma» or lived painlessly in the frames of «Logan’s Run.»

Seeing that my shopping day was going badly, I decided to head to the city center, looking to satisfy my shopping desires in an urban, historical, traditional shopping center, what some consumers would call «Casta» stores.

Centro Comerciales Socialistas Obreros y Españoles (CCSOE) was in the past the most important distribution chain in Ex-Spain, they were everywhere, through their franchise system of Casas del Pueblo.

I remember as a child, how a former general director of CCSOE with a marked Sevillian accent would go out to the balcony of his main office on Calle Ferraz, back in 1982, to celebrate CCSOE’s sales successes.

I had already been told that this shopping center was «in decline,» but there were memories from my childhood of walking through aisles full of all kinds of products, at good prices, and open to the market economy.

When I crossed the access door, I observed that what was once a spacious area full of boutiques without walls and obstacles, was now fragmented and divided, and what used to be a prosperous united store was now divided into small shops within a large building. Each «little shop» had a different name, I didn’t understand anything, CCSOE had «fragmented» into CCSOE.cat, CCSOE.esk, CCSOE.val, CCSOE.and, CCSOE.ext, CCSOE…

It was already late afternoon, and my shopping bags were as empty as the stomach of ‘Lazarillo de Tormes’. I was heading home when, passing through Calle Génova, I remembered I had forgotten to visit the Popular Shopping Center, a place that allowed you to pay for your purchases «in cash, by credit card, in B money, and in envelopes,» at the convenience of its customers.

Undoubtedly, the Popular Shopping Center outdid its competitors for many reasons. On the one hand, all its employees were civil servants in the morning and sellers in the afternoon, its aisles were full of property registrars, notaries, state attorneys, tax inspectors, judges, and prosecutors. However, curiously, most of its customers are entrepreneurs.

The Popular Shopping Center always stood out for its wide range of products, they had everything and for everyone: items for liberals, conservatives, Christian democrats, social democrats, Carlists, monarchists, republicans, atheists. A young general director, with a funny mustache and a charming Valladolid accent, had turned a small shop into a national chain by the late 90s.

With the firm conviction of buying some items for a special dinner, I headed to the wine cellar, looking for a bottle of Rioja or Ribera del Duero. Suddenly, two strange characters approached me. The first was a tall man with a white beard, glasses, and a Pontevedra accent. The second was a short woman. They both grabbed my shoulders and in a dictatorial voice asked: «Where are you going? What do you want to buy?» To which I replied: «A bottle of wine.» They responded: «Can you drink the wine you want, and in the quantity you like?» My answer, as a liberal, was: «Yessssss!»

Moral: every Spaniard should remember the content of article 6 of the Spanish Constitution in the next general elections, and given the poor service our politicians are providing to the common welfare of all Spaniards, I prefer to keep voting based on ideology and common sense.

Those of us who still believe in Spain must demand a greater citizen role within the closed structures of political parties, in order to prevent incompetent councils, who wouldn’t pass a simple job interview, from leading the destiny of a nation with 500 years of history. Therefore, in these upcoming elections, I will vote based on ideology and not personalism. By the way, beware of populism.

error: Content is protected !!