Saturday, July 05, 2014

That Video - Some Good From The Carnage?

Well, there's no doubting the week's most entertaining story. And where else could this entertainment have come from than everyone's favourite resort? Magalluf, the resort gift which keeps on giving, with the giving being given its own particularly heady mix this week. My, what fun. Will tiqueteros in the resort now acquire new titles? PFs rather than PRs. Public fellations. Not of course that the lady in question was a PR. Or maybe she was. Frankly, who cares? There again, an awful lot of people did care, some of them finally. Outrage, disgust. Everyone had their say. Much of it was sanctimonious twaddle, though.

Thanks to the highly respected reality-show performer, Jay Gardner from "Geordie Shore", we learned from the suitably over-the-top British press ("horrifying footage", said "The Mirror"; never knowingly prone to hyperbole or exaggeration) that the so-called game had taken place some weeks ago. Jay had just said no to the offer of being number 25. Good for him. He was spotted in the video, which was why the press was so keen to speak to him. Normally, his contribution would have been of no interest whatsoever, but there is something interesting about it. Has anyone stopped to ask why the video became public when it did? Has anyone stopped to ask if there was a particular reason for it emerging when it did? Note what Jay Gardner said. Some weeks ago.

At roughly the same time as the video started to make its viral presence noted on social networks, the pharmacist and the architect (President Bauzá and tourism minister Martínez) were in Magalluf to see for themselves how the resort is being transformed. This in itself was given rather curious treatment. Magalluf is going up-market. Yes, well I think we know this and have done ever since Meliá announced its project in 2011. We have had the up-market transformation shoved down our throats, so to speak and in the spirit of the week. But are we to conclude that the video's appearance was totally coincidental? Perhaps it was, but the timing does raise a question or two. Was it some sort of spoiling tactic, deliberately designed to take the gloss of the Bauzá Maga walkabout and to make the point that there are other issues with which he might care to concern himself? While there are investigations in Magalluf as to the incident, there might also be some into the provenance of the video's arrival on the internet.

The announcement of "investigations" by Calvia Council and the regional government is in stark contrast to the apparent inertia displayed towards the altogether more pressing concerns in Magalluf, notably the mugger-prostitutes. The reason why it is in stark contrast is because the world has become involved this time. Magalluf and the name of Mallorca have been besmirched - yet again - and the whole world knows about it. Once the video went viral and the press really latched onto it, attacking the council in the process, mayor Onieva, so I understand, was incandescent with rage, though this rage was, I also understand, prompted in all likelihood by the rage of others, the Balearics president possibly, the head of Meliá hotels possibly.

I also understand that initial "investigations" by the council have been such that it has questioned whether the video was indeed shot in Magalluf. This is an absurd questioning. In the video there is someone with a "Carnage" t-shirt, this is for the Carnage events, organised holidays which include, for example, four hours of unlimited free shots on the daily itineraries and as part of the bar crawls. These are events in Magalluf. Moreover, the media have established exactly where the video was shot; a bar along Magalluf's strip (Alex's). There is no question, yet Calvia's initial reaction was to question it.

The subsequent release of an article by the CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, shows what Meliá think of the situation in Magalluf. The article pulls no punches in condemning "businesses" which permit a type of tourism that drags Magalluf and Mallorca's reputation into the mud. While this article can be criticised for not addressing those more pressing concerns, there is a sense that the video has been a tipping point. Meliá, because of its investment in the resort, was never going to stand idly by. It has finally made its position clear. Escarrer wants action and expects it before the season has finished. This action has to be for all the concerns, not just bar crawl blowjobs. There needs to be a hastily convened form of "war cabinet" of government, town hall, police, Guardia, hoteliers etc. to tackle the problems once and for all. And people will expect no less than very firm, decisive action. If so, some good might actually come from the carnage of the video.

Update note (20.00): There is now doubt being reported as to the bar involved. The mainstream press, including the tourism press, had reported it as it has been noted here, but the bar in question is insisting it was not.

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