September 16, 2022

The gen that wasn't cided: Gypsies of the Spanish Empire (Inquisition, Santa Hermandad)

As an epilogue to the series on the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire's Deep State (see here for previous entries), let's take a look at the dog that *didn't* bark. That will illuminate the role of the Deep State even more clearly than looking at who it *did* persecute.

To review, the Spanish Inquisition first focused on the foreign group that had conquered them and formed part of their empire within Iberia -- the Moors, whether they were Muslims or became Christian converts (Moriscos). They also focused on the foreign professionals and administrators who the Moors brought along with them, namely the Jews. The Jews were expelled in 1492, and the remaining Moriscos were ordered to leave in 1609.

However, the Inquisition also targeted local Iberian nobility within the regions that had historically been weakly integrated into the Spanish central state, primarily in the northeast. That was due to their antagonistic role against Castile, the eventual unifier of the nation and the empire, during the Civil Wars of the Reconquista (1350 to 1479). If they smelled foreign political influence coming in through foreign religious doctrines, such as the proto-Protestants like Erasmus or Enlightenment thinkers later on, they focused on them as well. They even hounded the sitting #1 leader of the Catholic Church in Spain (Archbishop of Toledo, Carranza), for decades until his death.

The Inquisition and the Santa Hermandad also shook down those with some degree of wealth, power, and influence -- not only to remind the middle and upper tiers of the societal pyramid that there was a powerful central state above them, but to get some actual material benefit from persecution.

However, it didn't occur to me immediately that there is a very glaring omission in this long list of targets of the Spanish imperial Deep State -- the Gypsies! After Spain became absorbed into the American Empire, by joining NATO and the EU in the 1980s, they have adapted by trying to re-interpret their distinct history and culture through the lens of their imperial overlords, which centers on colonizing indigenous peoples, slavery of foreign groups, Civil Rights, wokeness, and so on and so forth.

And although Spain did practice what the British and French empires did in the New World, there is nothing like slavery or racially coded oppression back in the Iberian peninsula. Most of the groups who were targeted collectively were white-skinned people from the northeast of Spain.

Before them, the Moors and Jews were targeted not on a genetic or even cultural basis, but based on a historical contingency -- i.e., having been the recent colonizers (and their administrator class) during Moorish rule. That's why the Moorish converts to Christianity were still eventually driven out -- although they made heavy efforts to culturally assimilate, they were still the recent colonizers of Spain, so they would always be suspicious as potential internal subverters in the eyes of the central security apparatus, no matter what culture they adopted.

Hundreds of years after the Jews and Moors were expelled, the only remaining genetic and cultural out-group within Iberia is the Gypsies. So that's where the focus goes in trying to interpret Spain in American terms, both by outsiders in the American Empire as well as aspiring woketards within Spain. They are a largely endogamous genetic out-group (hailing from Northwestern India), they had somewhat darker skin, they originally spoke a non-Romance language (although Indo-European), and they were nomadic rather than sedentary.

Although there is no widespread persecution of Gypsies by everyday Spaniards, they still don't accept them as being as fully Spanish as native Spaniards. They get harassed by the police due to their greater inclination toward petty crime, and some businesses try to ward them off from entering their buildings. But painting them as victims of would-be genociders is not only insane, it's a pathetic cry for attention -- and funding -- from the American Empire's woketard ruling class. "Hey guys, we can cry wolf over genocide, too! Why should only those other groups get to do it?!"

Even a milder charge like them being second-class citizens is incorrect. They are full citizens, with all the rights that citizenship brings, and they were on that path long before African slaves in America were headed toward emancipation and civil rights. Neither the state nor the general public is persecuting the Gypsies, and that has been true for centuries, not merely in imitation of the American Civil War and Civil Rights movement.

First, a whirlwind tour through the history of Gypsies in Spain, and then a look into what their lack of persecution tells us about the role of the Deep State. You can read a translation of the Spanish Wikipedia entry on them here. (English material in 2022 is heavily geared toward wokeness, the American Deep State's narratives, etc.)

A few thousand Gyspies first arrived in Iberia during the 1400s, right as the Castilian central state was finalizing its hold on political and cultural authority. They did not present as coming from a hostile religion, and they claimed to be Christians. And some of them even fought on the Christian side in the last battles against the Moors.

But as we saw with the Moriscos, just because you culturally assimilate doesn't mean the Deep State takes its eyes off you. What made the Inquisition and Santa Hermandad not worry about the Gypsies is that they had little wealth, so there was no point in shaking them down. And more importantly, they were not vying for political influence, where they might threaten the central state if they became new members of the regional rural nobility or the urban mercantile class. They simply wanted to be left alone to follow their nomadic way of life. That does not in itself lead to them forming a new power base, so the Deep State paid them no mind.

Local police might pay attention to them, if they wandered into settled cities and committed petty crimes like pickpocketing. But local petty crime is of no concern to the central security apparatus. Notice how absent the FBI and DOJ are in harassing local criminal hot-spots in American cities. Well, of course -- streetcorner drug dealers, pimps, 7-11 robbers, rapists, and opportunistic murderers are not contesting the authority of the central state. So while none of that is desirable for the Deep State, it's not a major threat either, so best to not waste resources on it. They will focus their resources instead on elites or aspiring elites who are vying for high-level influence in society.

Still, nomads pose a minor threat to the central state because they move so easily all around the territory of the realm, making them harder to surveil than sedentary people. So beginning in the 1500s, the government -- but not the Deep State -- enacted laws to sedentarize the Gypsies. As always with such a process, this found partial rather than total success. And it was not done on the basis of genetic differences, and did not impede their genetic continuation, so it was not a racial matter.

It was somewhat a cultural matter, in the sense that the nomadic subsistence mode had been central to their cultural identity, and that was now being replaced by a sedentary lifestyle. However, that would've been true for any group of nomads -- not only those who had come speaking non-Romance languages and following other non-Iberian customs.

The Spanish state was not trying to wipe out the Gypsy culture in toto, only those aspects of it that threatened the central state, like nomadism. They were welcome to keep following their distinctive taboos, kinship and marriage traditions, folk stories, music, clothing, crafts, food, and language. Most wound up learning Spanish in order to interact with their host population, and likewise started to assimilate more in other cultural areas (like dress), to willingly fit in better.

And so, the Gypsies were not targeted for elimination on either the genetic or cultural level. Indeed, unlike the Jews who were expelled in 1492, the Gypsies have remained very much present genetically and culturally right up through the present, numbering 3/4 of a million by now, and retaining much of their distinctive sub-culture. In fact, their contributions to Spanish culture have only been amplified and adopted as symbols of Spain in the meantime, particularly the Flamenco genre of music and dance.

The only episode in their entire history that approached persecution was the Gran Redada, or Great Round-up, of 1749. Notably, it was not planned or executed by the Deep State, which would normally handle such an operation against internal enemies. It was done through a faction within the military, led by a member of the Overt State, the Marquis of Ensenada. The idea was to round-up all the Gypsies, wait for an unspecified miracle to occur, and then they would be rid of the Gypsy population.

Woketards of the American Empire would love to interpret this as an attempted Holocaust, but it was nothing like it. A majority of the prisoners were set free after only a few months, most of the remainder were set free de facto by lower-level military members who didn't want the burden of looking after their charges, and a royal pardon freed the remaining few by 1765. There was no order or practice of murdering them in general (only if they fled and became fugitives, but that was not enforced de facto). They had -- and utilized -- the right of filing appeal lawsuits, and were defended by their fellow non-Gypsy neighbors and employers. Hardly a society hell-bent on annihilating them.

Mainly it was the bureaucratic nightmare that brought it to a halt. There was no standard definition of whom to target -- anyone with Gypsy ancestry? Only those following certain cultural customs? In implementation, it targeted the sedentary members living in cities, not the difficult-to-surveil nomads, and therefore rounded up the more integrated ones, not the potentially unruly nomadic ones. This discredited the plan, by punishing the very program of cultural assimilation -- and even genetic, if they had intermarried with non-Gypsies -- that the central state had itself been demanding for the past couple centuries.

Returning to the importance of the wealth of a group, the Gypsies were still poor, and so even after confiscating their property, the operation could not be financed without the state spending its own money. Poor people are not worth shaking down, unlike Jews who were largely professionals in the lead-up to the Holocaust. And Gypsies were still not politically organized or influential, unlike professional-class Jews in 20th C. Europe, who held leadership roles in political parties, wrote for and distributed political media, etc.

The desperate attempt by woketards to interpret the Great Round-up as a genetically oriented genocide is to say that, since they were separated by sex, that would've prevented genetic reproduction and ended their bloodline. Ha! Yes, just like the Catholic Church's private schools separating reproductive-age teenagers into boys' and girls' schools is a secret attempt to wipe out their own bloodline! Diabolical.

There are simpler ways to end the bloodline of your prisoners -- just kill them. You've already rounded them up, it's not exactly a silent secret program. Why wait decades for them to gradually fade out of the genepool, for want of reproduction with each other?

And actual genociders would not want the targets' genes remaining in the local genepool, even partially. So the Gypsies would have to be separated from everyone, lest interbreeding take place and pass on Gypsy genes into the future. For that matter, why not just castrate the men and set them free? -- no threat of their genes passing on. And take whatever means to sterilize their women. It's not rocket science, if the Spanish state had actually been on such a trajectory.

In reality, they were separated for reasons of labor, with the males over age 7 doing harder labor, and females of all ages plus males under 7 doing fine-motor textile labor.

In the wake of this political disaster, the central state did not double down or go about the plan in more furtive ways -- it actively began granting Gypsies greater political rights, starting in 1783 -- nearly a century before the formal integration of African slaves into the American nation. The Gypsies were granted citizenship, freedom to live wherever they wanted, take up any trade they wanted, and send their children to Spanish schools, to enculturate them and prepare them for integration. The laws penalized those Spaniards who tried to thwart the program or discriminate against Gypsies.

By now, they're covered by the same public programs for education, healthcare, etc., that all other Spaniards enjoy. Any attempt to portray their history as one of persecution, genocide, etc., is simply retarded. Not because the Spanish Empire had no history of such things -- but because the Gypsies flew under the radar, as poor or working-class people who had no political ambitions in the past, present, or future, and who would assimilate if required to.

They have no analogue whatsoever in the American Empire, nor in most other empires. The descendants of African slaves in America pursued political ambitions, which suddenly brought them under the watch of the Deep State, during the Civil Rights era (where the FBI probably played a role in assassinating Martin Luther King). Immigrant groups also join political organizations and aspire to higher status than menial labor, often along explicitly ethnic patronage lines, all the way back to the Ellis Islanders.

No group that was foreign to the founding population of the American Empire has remained at the bottom of the status pyramid, while never pursuing political organization and action, including any threat they may have posed in the past. Native American tribes were at war with the American founders, even though they remain poor and do not aspire to political power within the American state (only tribal / reservation governance). Those are the two distinctive aspects of the Gypsies which left them fairly unmolested by the Overt and the Deep State in Spain, from its imperial heyday up through its post-collapse present.

Contrary to the minor tendency of wannabe woketards to re-interpret Gypsy history as a copy-paste version of African slaves, illegal Central American immigrants, etc., the major tendency has been to celebrate the Gypsy contribution to Spanish culture. That applies not only within Spain itself, but in the broader American Empire that they were absorbed into, including the culture-makers of Japan, who we have occupied since WWII.

There is no greater example of this swirling fusion of influences than from the heyday of American imperial multiculturalism, during the end-of-history 1990s. That is, the culture of the Gerudos in the iconic video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, from 1998 (produced in Japan, by Nintendo).

The women are meant to evoke Muslim desert tribes, most likely the Moors of the Maghreb. What's their connection to Iberia? Their soundtrack theme is Flamenco -- which may not have come from the Moors, but rather the Gypsies, however it ties everything into an exotic Spanish focus.



Spain was all the rage during the Macarena '90s and y2k -- I began college wanting to major in comparative literature, planning to study the Al-Andalus era in Spain. Well, I didn't stick with comp lit (thank God), but I did perfect my Spanish, and picked up two years worth of Arabic (along with Italian and later Catalan, when I lived in Barcelona).

As much as I might like to think I arrived at my tastes through some transcendental spirit whispering into my mind, it was probably just growing up in the '90s and getting infected by the Spain bug like everyone else did in that environment. But I appreciate that influence. During this series on imperial Deep States, I've gone into far greater depth about Spain, because I've always been more passionate about them than Austria, Russia, China, or wherever else. That passion applies to the Moors and their empire as well.

In fact, I will take a break from the Deep State series to focus one last time on Spanish ethnogenesis, by returning to the series on the standardization of languages and dialects during imperial ethnogenesis. I'll look at the evolution of Castilian from late Medieval Romance languages in Iberia, caused by their unification of the peninsula against the Moors during the Reconquista, at the expense of other languages (Romance or otherwise) among the other Christian kingdoms.

Castilian is so distinctive among Iberian languages, that even a good share of *foreigners* who speak no Spanish, know what one of its defining sounds is. There's a related other quirk that they do not appreciate, but we'll cover that one too. As a preview, though, they both appear in the word for "intelligence," which sounds unlike all other Romance languages in these two ways.

29 comments:

  1. Hmm, was Pokimane thinking of the Gerudo when she dyed her hair auburn? Red-haired Berber babes who get fiesty when provoked... maybe subconsciously.

    All she needs to complete the look is matching purple baggy sweatpants and crop top, which she may already own.

    Middle Easterners like dressing up like Princess Jasmine on the right occasion, why shouldn't North Africans dress up like the Gerudos? Hehe.

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  2. "Go ahead, Mr. Chatter -- ASK me if I have one of tHoSe aCCouNtS..."

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/zelda_gamepedia_en/images/d/de/MM_GerudoPinkIntro.png/revision/latest?cb=20110621180352

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  3. Gypsies have never revolted, done terrorism, or pushed for separatism -- unlike the weakly integrated groups in the northeast of Spain like the Basques and Catalonians, going back the better part of 1000 years, intermittently. Somewhat this is due to the Gypsies being based in Andalusia, in the south, where there has been higher Spanish asabiya -- spread southward by Castile. There is no separatism or terrorism among non-Gypsy Andalusians either.

    The Moors revolted after the Reconquista was over, twice (1st and 2nd Rebellions of the Alpujarras). First, around 1500, in response to the ultimatum to convert to Christianity or leave the kingdom (against a treaty of 10 years earlier, which allowed them to stay Muslim). And second, around 1570, in response to the Deep State harassing and prying into their private lives to stamp out all Moorish cultural ways -- not just enforcing Christianity over Islam, but their clothing, language, and other rites that they may have adapted or syncretized into their new Christian religion.

    The Deep State never forgets who revolted against the authority of the central state.

    This is a major factor in the Gypsies flying under the radar of the Deep State of any empire that they've been a part of (Spanish, Ottoman, etc.).

    AFAIK, the other parts of the European Gypsy diaspora haven't ever revolted or pushed for separatism either, though I'm open to being corrected there. I'm pretty sure they never revolted or pushed for independence in the Ottoman Empire (unlike the Serbs, Greeks, etc.). And the Ottomans largely left them alone, even cracking the whip on the non-Gypsy Balkan host populations who tried to harass Gypsies.

    Non-Gypsy Balkans hated that, viewing it as "anarcho-tyranny" in today's misleading term. But it makes total sense -- the security apparatus is not threatened by petty crime at the local level, so they let it get out of hand, meanwhile any threats to the central state's legitimacy and authority are never petty affairs, and must be punished severely to protect the integrity of the central state (and the Deep State itself).

    Why not just let the local police forces deal with petty crime? Because that would allow too much authority and force to the lower levels of the state, and in an empire, perhaps to regions and peoples outside of the founding core. No way the Ottomans wanted Serbian police forces to wield force on their own -- which would also boost the Serbian police's legitimacy and favor among the local population, for cleaning up crime. Then the locals might put their weight behind the local state rather than their imperial overlords.

    Same reason why the DOJ in DC will crack down on local police forces who try to deport illegal immigrants, or otherwise get tough on crime. Local police wielding force, and gaining legitimacy for doing good things for their local citizens, is a huge no-no for the central state. If crime gets out of hand, that's not only tolerable for the Deep State, it also delegitimizes the local police forces who are supposed to be in control over the situation (local citizens don't expect the FBI or other Deep State organs to be cleaning up their local streets of crime).

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  4. Have to add that "anarcho-tyranny" doesn't endure into the collapse phase of the empire's lifespan. That's because central authority and legitimacy are falling off a cliff during this phase. Even if the Deep State and central Overt State wanted to, they can't achieve that goal.

    Look at how much open defiance there is already in America, from governors against the imperial capital. They aren't getting punished because the high-scale cohesion that made the central state strong back in the '50s has been totally worn away by now.

    Like many clueless Boomers (literal or spiritual), the people talking about anarcho-tyranny are LARP-ing like it's still the Midcentury, when authoritarianism was possible / actual. That's the "tyranny" half of the phrase. But the Midcentury did not have anarchy -- it was very orderly, on all scales.

    And today only has anarchy, the breakdown of order at all levels. No tyranny. If you got jabbed, that was your own choice, or maybe due to your local employer -- the central state and Deep State were totally powerless to enforce it, or even to enforce the weaker mandate for wearing masks. If you're obeying the central state these days, it's because you're afraid and passive, not because they're cracking the whip and forcing the defiers into compliance.

    Why do these Boomers LARP like it's the Midcentury? Because it alleviates their cognitive dissonance -- i.e., believing that we're not in an imperial collapse, we're just going back to the days when the central state rounded up an entire group and put them in internment camps indefinitely.

    That literally never happens these days, but the Boomers will never stop dreaming about FEMA camps because it makes them feel secure -- i.e., we still live in FDR's society, only now that central power has been turned against Alex Jones fans, rather than people of Japanese descent.

    It also gives them the underdog feeling -- David vs. Goliath. In reality, there is no Goliath these days. Can't enforce a mask or vax mandate, can't stay in Afghanistan, can't get the majority of the nation to agree that they legitimately won the last election, etc.

    The last reason, maybe the greatest, is that it gives them the feeling of being in a high-risk / high-reward scenario. Yes, they're up against steep odds, yes their enemy is all-powerful -- but if they do win, they'll be in control of that all-powerful central state themselves! If you're going to dream, dream big!

    It sure beats writing fan-fic about becoming a petty regional ruler during the collapse of higher levels of societal complexity. Not a very ambitious, heroic narrative to write for yourself and your team.

    DeSantis, for example, isn't on a national-level trajectory, let alone international. His program is consolidating control over his region (albeit a populous one), and calling the many bluffs of the impotent imperial overlords in the core. Telling a bunch of substitute teachers to fuck off, and let us do our thing since the real teacher -- and their authority -- is gone, is not David vs. Goliath.

    Trump was the opposite, still vying for national / international influence, David vs. Goliath, huge stakes if he achieved his goals, underdog the whole time. And didn't bother consolidating any power base at a local or regional level.

    The era of God-Emperors is over -- hasn't been true since its peak under FDR, and was already waning like crazy during the Reagan era. By now, you can stop writing fan-fic about going big or going home. There is no "big" to win anymore, and it's only going to get less and less big into the future.

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  5. Fauna and Gura singing tonight! Taking a break from effort-posting until after I'm done watching the girls on stage. :)

    But will comment some more on flamenco in the '90s and y2k later.

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  6. Hololive girls are so precious, I hope they're preserved in physical media some day. You never know how long a website, or any one of its accounts, is going to last.

    Imagine owning a DVD (set?) that can never be taken away, and it's a highlight reel specially curated by the streamers and their biggest fans (by survey). Music videos, shorts, concerts, karaoke, the whole experience.

    Aaaannndddd... commentary tracks by the girls themselves, similar to "re-watching my debut, 1 year later". And maybe a discussion panel featuring a number of streamers, technicians, and so on, going over the whole history of the project to create this strange new irresistible format.

    I think for maximum emotional value, it'd have to wait at least 5 years. You can really tell the difference between the DVD commentary tracks that are made soon after the theatrical release of new movies, and those where the DVD came out 20 years later and it's a reunion and reminiscing kind of tone. More reflective, more "memories unlocked", more appreciative.

    The ones made soon after are more of a documentary / behind-the-scenes tone. They can't see a big picture yet that's worth commenting on.

    Gooba, Faunya, everyone is still going to sound just as precious in their 30s and 40s as they do today. Not only because idols never age, but because they'll be getting back into the place they were at while streaming for Hololive.

    I'll never forget the commentary track for one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, probably the original, where Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) sounds exactly like a bubbly teenage '80s valley girl, though she was in her late 20s or 30s by that time.

    In 5 to 10 years, maybe the Criterion Collection will be out of feature-length films to showcase, and they will pivot toward memorializing entertainment from online media, especially if it's aesthetic like the vtubers. Hehe.

    You girls are timeless, and I hope you know that.

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  7. Joseph Evans9/18/22, 5:36 PM

    Is the American Deep South the American equivalent of the weakly-integrated northwest of Spain?

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  8. Depends on what factor you're considering. If it's political separatism, losing a civil war, having highly non-standard accents, etc., then the American South is like Spain's Northeast.

    But that region of Spain is also wealthy, industrialized, and liberal / progressive / labor-unionist -- the opposite of the American South.

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  9. Gooba and Irys both delaying streams due to horrendo weather, meaning Same is actually in Japan right now? Hope the typhoon isn't too threatening where you are.

    So that's why the choreography was so in sync with you, Aqua, and Marine.

    I don't watch JP streams b/c I don't understand them, however... even I have seen a clip or two about what makes Marine so... unique. ^_^

    I hope Goob tries to steer the group toward a place where she and Marine "accidentally" "have to" "share" a "bench". Hehe. You know you're curious about the legends, too, sharky, don't pretend you're not! :)

    Also, did you meet Irys IRL??? You two together in the same room, holy shitake. Two instigators amplifying each other's mischievousness in a positive feedback loop.

    Did you two gang up against Calli, AKA Dad? And did she threaten to stop the car and turn back unless you two quit stirring the pot in her presence? What a perfect combination -- two chaotic instigators and a straight man!

    We are DYING to hear all about your trip to the JP server IRL! Especially how you all have been interacting with each other, are the character dynamics the same IRL as online?

    We're going to have to give our favorite virtual princess an extra-big hug, since she's on the other side of the world!

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  10. Flamenco in the '90s / y2k, part of the broader Spain craze. Some highlights:

    "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows ('93) is not part of the craze musically, but the lyrics involve going to a nightclub where there's a black-haired flamenco dancer (Maria, show me some of that Spanish dancing), whose father plays the (flamenco) guitar. Very heavy on the references, and the earliest example I can find of the Gypsy / flamenco craze in non-Spanish pop culture.

    "Macarena" by Los del Rio ('95), even the house remix popular outside Spain, has a flamenco hand-clap section. And the yodel-esque delivery on "Heeeeey Macarena" evokes flamenco vocal styles.

    "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez (2001) has an extended flamenco musical and dance interlude in the music video, which is set in a nomadic Gypsy camp:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSLSwwkLRW0

    Azucar Moreno, a flamenco-inflected Latin pop duo from Spain (both Gypsies), found international success throughout the '90s and y2k.

    The Mask of Zorro ('98) has a Spanish tango dancing scene that is flamenco-influenced, even though the Zorro stories are set in Spanish colonial California.

    "Amarain" by Egyptian pop megastar Amr Diab ('99) is a pan-Mediterranean fusion song, with flamenco hand-claps, and flamenco-inspired choreography in the music video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6RC2T3Q7rs

    "Kati Eho Pathi Me Te Matia Sou" by Greek Gypsy singer Eirini Merkouri (2003) has flamenco-inspired choreography in the music video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOXZb0oEBzc

    "Jaleo" by Ricky Martin (2003) has a little flamenco tinge to it (in the yodel-style vocal delivery here and there), and the title is an exclamation used in flamenco performances.

    The last example is the rendition of "Livin' La Vida Loca" in Shrek 2 (2004), which has a flamenco flavor during the intro, although not in the rest of it.

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  11. Honorable mention to "Ojos Asi" by Shakira ('98), which does not contain flamenco influences, but does fuse the Arabic-speaking Near East with Iberian-derived culture. Similar to Amr Diab's scope of the same time.

    In the context of the late '90s, it felt part of the bigger trend of exotifying Spain, especially in its historical connection with Arabic-speaking cultures from centuries earlier.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BzkbSq7pww

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  12. The whole world is in love with Gawr Gura, smitten kitten edition:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZq841VbjiU

    Gooba's cuteness overload transcends any language barrier, and is just as overwhelming IRL as online. ^_^

    Reminds me of Fauna's fangirling over her sharky senpai:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7aycZfnKNI

    The way her female colleagues adore her and cherish, rather than merely "want to be her", shows that she's truly deserving of her prominence as the #1 vtuber idol princess.

    Any old ladder-climbing, zip-code-striving, brand-building girlboss could get other striver women to want to be her. The income! The real estate location! The socia media metrics!

    But they wouldn't adore, cherish, or love her.

    Goobarama has soared to the top because she's so adorable and lovable, to both male and female onlookers -- as long as they aren't girl-haters, of course. And she adores and cherishes her fanbase just as much as we do her.

    Very much the opposite of the callous girlboss, who may not outright despise those below & above who made her status possible, but doesn't exactly feel warm and fuzzy toward them either.

    She is always there for us, and we are always there for her. :)

    Not being an anime buff, I had no idea where this song was from, but I could just tell from the emotion behind her delivery that it meant something special and touching to her, so I looked up the translation. It's a love-letter / expression of gratitude / promise to stay resilient, from a stage performer to her audience ("fansa" meaning "fan-service").

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPFC0achlxs

    She covered it in the original style for her recent 3D live concert, but this impromptu rendition sounds more intimate. It feels like she's not aware we're there in the audience watching and listening, unlike the original style and her live concert performance.

    It's more like she's staring listlessly out of her bedroom window at night, wondering where all her fans are, what they're up to, how they're holding up, and wanting to say thanks for motivating her and giving her life new meaning.

    Then when the song is over, she slips out of her daydream, and realizes we have been here listening the whole time, not just being vaguely out there somewhere, a fictional audience from a fictional song. We're real, and we're right here, with you. :)

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  13. Going through the back catalog with this Minecraft get-together, and saw that both times when Mumei greets someone in the Minecraft chat, she uses "hiiii". Reminded me of the "hiiii girl" vs. "bruh girl" discussion from 2020, but still relevant.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uIOTI2EMA

    She's a girly girl, who can easily get into the Disney princess role for a karaoke stream. But she's also paranoid, and that keeps her from just putting that side of herself out there, because she's worried that others will take advantage of that girliness somehow.

    I hope these collabs with other girly girls present, help her trust that she can show that side of herself and not worry. Same with the audience reactions -- we're not clipping and dunking on her for being a Didney girl, etc. We appreciate girly girls! -- why else are we tuning in to a format with cute anime girl avatars? Hehe.

    If the #1 vtuber in the world is an unabashed showtunes-singing, Disney princess reincarnated for the virtual era, that should reassure Mooms that that side of her own persona will be appreciated by the audience too!

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  14. How did I miss Mumei doing FOUR covers of One Direction in a single karaoke session? A few months ago. I could've sworn I searched all the Holo girls + 1D back then, and it only came up with one of her covers.

    Anywayyy, she covered "What Makes You Beautiful" again, but followed with 3 of their slower ballads, not "One Thing" or "Live While We're Young" etc. Songs that, when they were in constant rotation in retail stores, I never linked up with their banger songs, and thought they were from one of the many folk revival groups of the 2010s. "Story of My Life," "Little Things," and "Night Changes". (Re-upped at the HoloTofu Karaoke channel on YT.)

    It feels good to see my risky simping for a decade-old boy band pay off with the Holo honeys giggling about the topic during a slumber party stream (Propnight), Mumei indulging her 1D fangirl days with 4 songs during karaoke, and then topped off by Goobarama taking my 1D request for her birthday karaoke with Ame.

    One of my warmest fuzziest series of memories. :)

    If any of the Zoomers are keeping an open list of karaoke requests, how about "Perfect" by 1D? I think that's one of their only hits that hasn't been covered yet. Halfway between a slow ballad and a radio banger.

    On that note, there's a Cimorelli video for every occasion, isn't there? Hehe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Il2Mx1Wrw

    Great incorporation of some lyrics from "Style" by Taylor Swift, which it was paired with at the time (part of Taylor and Harry's mutual bearding PR fauxmance).

    God, the way Lauren Cimorelli does that point-and-wink thing, it's like an e-girl / vtuber come to life, more than 5 years ahead of its time. Love the yearning, urgent tone that's always in her voice, too. My favey of the group for sure.

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  15. Fauna, what if there were a goth version of Disney World?! All the dark Jim Henson places, especially Labyrinth. The Tim Burton places like the abandoned mansion of Edward Scissorhands. The Secret of NIMH -- all the dark emo children's worlds, collected into one central theme park!

    Goblin World! xD

    Throw in the Hobbit and related worlds, to lighten the mood (only somewhat, while keeping it weird and fantastical) and cater to the cottagecore audience. The Smurfs, David the Gnome, etc.

    Apropos of this get-together where a girly-girl crew visited Disney World in Minecraft:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdczOAVJgsI

    I was trying to think, "Hmmmm, which Disney princess would Fauna be?" Then I thought she'd have to be a more emo one, outside of Disney proper. Sarah from Labyrinth, or someone more like that. Also a child non-liker, who comes to appreciate children by the end of her adventure.

    Alsooo, Gura is way too knowledgeable about Disney World. Was that weather cancellation the other night because of the hurricane approaching Florida? Our all-American sharky princess is a member of the "Florida woman" population? Holy shitake, we have to pray for her well-being!

    It makes sense, I guess, Disney World being like the Vegas of the East Coast. And she's transmitting her signals from an escapist virtual fantasy realm. Not from the humdrum parts of the country.

    Although she did say "it's been a little while" since she's been, and her knowledge of the Spanish language monorail track has gotten rusty. Maybe once she got her big break with Hololive, she gtfo of the Florida Woman state? To Austin, near the Gulf of Mexico and still threatened by that weather the other night?

    I dunno. I just don't want our virtual princess, who's carrying so much on her shoulders, to vanish into the literal and figurative swampland of Florida. It's only for tourist visits! Live there too long, and you're in the rootless transplant abyss. Like Vegas with a wholesome facade...

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  16. :::Faunya::: I didn't realize this was just the video game version of those fake "team-building exercises" from the corporate office cesspool, which only ever have one result -- destroying solidarity among the teammates.

    The point is not training teammates to cooperate, but training them to scapegoat each other, point fingers, assign blame, and cover their ass when the results naturally fall short of total well-oiled perfection. It's meant for managers to divide & conquer their subordinates.

    Imagine trying to make a team sport out of the hurdles. That's not too far from what you guys were doing tonight -- each player had to make a series of perfect jumps, just like hurdles. But in the real sport, it's individual. They don't artificially lump you into "teams" and add your scores together for a single collective score. In that nightmare sport, if one person missed a hurdle, it wouldn't just ding their own score, but their whole team.

    And doing that would not get better performance out of the individual athletes -- if it did, they would've organized it that way a long time ago. The time-tested tradition is making it individual, since that's what gets the times better and better. The reason is that if you knew one of your artificial teammates slipped up even a bit, there's no point for you yourself to continue putting in your best effort, so everyone just commits sudoku, as in the game tonight.

    It's nothing more than an artificial rule to prevent the best performance from everyone, and to encourage them to blame others instead of minding their own business.

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  17. These kinds of exercises only show up in a company when it's gotten so bloated and sclerotic that it gets colonized by the infectious superbug known as HR Karens, or their male know-nothing MBA brethren.

    What they do is make everyone sink or swim together, even though that's not how things work in reality. Most people are doing their own thing, and should be rewarded for their own individual performance. Real-world systems are compartmentalized and have redundancies, buffers, dampeners, etc., so that if one person makes an error, it doesn't affect the whole rest of the entire organization.

    But when wannabe petty tyrants infect a company, their first goal is to divide & conquer, in order to protect their own position above them. So they create reward schemes that either overtly put everyone into competition with everyone else (like, "only the top 10% will keep their jobs"), or they artificially link everyone's rewards together when the results were not generated in a holistic way.

    When it's the latter -- everyone collectively gets either 100% or 0% -- inevitably some sheer chance error will occur, likely several of them independently of each other. That leads them to casting blame over whose chance error was "really" the one that did it. And then cliques, office politics, etc. go on top of that.

    At this stage, the cancer is terminal, and either this toxic reward scheme kills off the company, or it gets put on life-support (like when the central bank keeps dumping billions of dollars into zombie companies).

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  18. I don't mean this is the state of the company you work for, only that the game you guys played tonight is a simulator for the toxic reward schemes of companies that are terminally infected by the cancer of HR Karens and MBA morons.

    If it has to be billed as a "team-building exercise," obviously it is not. Genuine team-building activities speak for themselves, and don't need such branding.

    You know what was truly cooperative, team-building, and strengthening the bonds of solidarity among the HoloEN teammates? When you work on a project together in Minecraft! :)

    I was just watching an old Gura stream (and maybe others streamed it too), where the central project was Sana's gingerbread house. I think there were 6 of you there at the same time! Each contributing their own tasks and roles, the whole thing coming together in a few hours -- and you also got to have plenty of time for goofing around, bantzing, and trolling each other, too.

    Just like a real workplace with real work and real workers (not a fake zombie company being run into the ditch by managerial pathogens, and only propped up by the life support of central bank money-printing).

    When you're working on a real team, with real teammwork, you typically have some real result to point to -- what you did constructively with all that time and effort. In that stream, you had that whole gingerbread house area to point to.

    What did you guys construct or achieve tonight in that other game that shall never be named? Nothing, aside from "crossing the finish line," which doesn't even feel that rewarding because you didn't set a record or anything, just finished. I'm glad your team did get to finish it, but it's not enough prize to be worth the pain.

    Not that I have to urge you too strongly, but please don't play these solidarity-destroying games again. :) Maybe no one had any idea of what it was like beforehand, other than a vague assurance that it was a co-op game. Yeah, cooperating on scapegoating!

    Speaking of Minecraft, look at how well you built those elaborate farms! Those are real systems -- if you make a single human error, you can correct it. :) It doesn't all instantly blow up, and make you go back to square one. Only an artificial game would have fake rules like that. Not one that's trying to simulate the real world (however fantastically).

    And throughout that process, you had to work with some One Guys in your chat, in the comments, etc. That's all part of teamwork, too.

    You're a great team-member, not just judging from the results that speak for themselves, but from how much your colleagues love collaborating with you.

    I don't mean to lay it on so thick! But when you get thrown into the crucible of these fake HR Karen games, it can make you doubt yourself for a moment, while you're shocked and in a daze. Please realize that it's the artificial nature of this sadistic divide & conquer game that produced those results, not anything from your worth as a team-member. :)

    :::Faunya:::

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  19. The best corrective to tonight is visiting Sana's tower top as a group. Now there's a real team-building exercise -- paying respects and expressing gratitude for one of your former genmates (though still kinda there in the shadows). Sharing memories & stories, joking around about the experiences you had, not just in Minecraft but overall.

    No competing, no pressure, no finger-pointing. :) And something you guys couldn't have done too much earlier, since it had not yet totally sunken in. Now you can reflect a little.

    It'd be totally fine if just Councilrys went, since getting you guys plus all of Myth, at the same time, is pretty tough, and you're doing a lot of that already this weekend.

    But the Myth girls could visit individually, at their own schedule, after Sana's genmates had already been. Or they could just remark about it during a chatting period of some other stream. I dunno.

    And it wouldn't have to be as solemn as if it had been right after her graduation. If you all get to goofing around afterward, or otherwise treat it like a slumber party with no concrete goals, it wouldn't seem disrespectful to her memory. She'd want you to keep your relationships lively and fun, once the grieving period were over.

    Mooms escaped the crucible tonight, but I think the rest of you are still feeling some unresolved tension, and the need for some group healing. It's the perfect occasion -- everyone would want it, so you wouldn't be herding cats. :)

    :::Faunya:::

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  20. Also thanks for covering Franz Ferdinand's early great material on the last karaoke! And getting past your aversion to their goofy later stuff.

    I know you think of yourself as stubborn, but it's more in a persistent / resilient way, like sticking to it even if the goal seems doomed (as in the funny fish farm in Minecraft). Not as in you don't take suggestions or listen to others' advice. You're very good at that.

    All part of the Mother Nature / onee-san vibe. You're the most mature and level-headed of EN, although you have your girly-girl singsong voice, occasional sweaty gamer moments, and "it's always emo night karaoke" traits to keep you young as well. ^_^

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  21. > ywn deeply inhale the used towels of vtuber idols

    Seeing Gura in the Among Us stream sniffing those towels so hard she nearly got the mic lodged in her nostril... sensory sharky. Hehe.

    When she opens her own Gawr Gura Airlines, instead of a freshly steamed towel, her first-class customers are treated to a second-day funk towel.

    That's right, ladies and gentleshrimps -- ethically and sustainably sourced from local e-girls who don't have the time in their 7-hour daily streaming schedules to take a proper shower, but still rub a hand towel around under their arms before rolling on deodorant.

    Simply inform our flight attendants of your preference for "free-range," from girls who touch grass and work out IRL, or "closet-aged," from those whose skin has never been chemically treated by sunlight.

    Flooded with pheromones, our heady aromatic towels are sure to lay you right out on your back, for our discerning customers seeking the next level of in-flight relaxation.

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  22. When I get that feeling,
    I need sharkual healing,
    Sharkual healing,

    Makes my dim den shine
    Cleanses all timelines

    And it's such a buff

    Sharkual healing

    She's something much more than memes

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  23. There's some she-wolves in the pre-chat
    Push "go live" so they can stream

    UWUUUUUUUUU!!!

    There's some she-wolves in the pre-chat
    Push "go live" so they can stream

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  24. Mooms willing the SNOT collab into existence by dueting with Gura, Fauna, and Kronii during karaoke. Well, sure, she's civilization -- using technology to beat back the forces of wild nature that might have otherwise prevented them from streaming together. :)

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  25. Mumei unlocking memories for Gen X-ers singing "Basket Case" instead of the 2000s emo era Green Day songs.

    It's strange to think that, back then, Dookie was considered their superstar album, cementing their iconic punk status, etc. But today it feels almost like a deep cut, when their legacy mostly begins with American Idiot (and the similar "Good Riddance" from the late '90s, slow / moody / accoustic).

    Possibly due to X-ers aging out of online discussions about anything, and replaced by Millennials? But now with Zoomers like Mumei aging into the contest over what's canon (through her selection of setlists), perhaps "Basket Case" will become a familiar fave again.

    She's also covered "Come As You Are" a couple times, also more of a deep cut these days, but was everywhere back then, and from Nirvana's breakout superstar album. And linked to the coolest band shirt of theirs at the time (the psychedelic sea horses one, part of the '60s revival of the '90s).

    Mumei's karaokes usually leave me lost in my feels for hours afterward, because she includes songs that are straight out of those awkward teen years, when angsty 8th grade me went to school with purple hair (way before anyone dyed their hair weird colors, which only became mainstream in the 2010s).

    Fauna has one song that puts me back in that time ("Lovefool"), and of course when Gura belted out "Creep," that took me right back as well. But I didn't own either of those albums, whereas I had Nirvana and Green Day in constant play on my boom-box's CD player.

    So much so that I still link certain albums with the video game I played with them as the background, on an endless loop. Dookie for Super Metroid, Smash for Zelda: A Link to the Past, Agent Orange's Living in Darkness and Kraftwerk's Man-Machine for Doom II, and on and on.

    But enough about 14 year-old me. The point being, any of you X-ers reading would enjoy Zoomers singing karaoke. If you like 2000s music, Millennials will never disappoint you. But if you want '90s memories unlocked, Zoomers are much more into that (and all other decades, they're not trying to pander to X-ers or anything).

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  26. Millennials and Zoomers, ywn stage-dive off of the cafeteria tables into the interlocked arms of your bros, while Nirvana or Green Day blasts in the background of the middle school dance in suburban America...

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  27. Sana tower visit this weekend. Nature is healing. :)

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  28. While Gura is undergoing some downtime, I've been testing out whether the streamer format is like old school TV -- endlessly re-watchable in reruns. At least for her -- and she's a natural entertainer -- answer seems to be... YES!

    I only started watching her during the Super Metroid streams of spring 2021 (and none of the other streams around that time). Regularly since not even a year ago. That's a lot of content to go back through. Starting with the coziest, most escapist, open up about yourself game of all time -- Minecraft. Hehe.

    But will get to the horror games soon, to treat myself to some classic scream queen goodness. She's such a natural at that, if our entertainment industry were in halfway functional shape, she would've been part of Hollywood years ago. But it's all nepotistic, or casting couch, and woketarded, with constant witch hunts (all of which is Democrat on Democrat violence, since no one there is conservative or Republican, just a great big terminal auto-immune disease).

    And the chatty streams where she's asking the audience how their day has been, what she's been up to, etc. -- a bff simulator. :) Like I said, the social climate is so fragmented, guys are eager just to get friendzoned. Oh nyo, pwease don't make me become close fwends with the cutest guhwy guhw in the whole wuhwd -- *anything* but that!

    It really puts the lie to the "guys just think with their dicks" misanthropy, which is the reverse-side of the "girls are such insufferable whiny cunts" misanthropy. Girl-haters are guy-haters too -- people-haters. We want a social and emotional bond, not a base physiological satisfaction. Like those orphaned baby monkeys in the sadistic Harry Harlow experiments. (An even more apt comparison when the Goobinator releases an official dakimakura.)

    Back in the heyday of broadcast TV, I used to re-watch certain series that I had them memorized! The classic Simpsons, a decent amount of Seinfeld, Star Trek TNG (beginning with season 3 or so), and even Project Runway when it was hot (seasons 2 and 3, which I just scored on DVD at the thrift store for only $3 apiece!).

    New content was so infrequent -- 47 minutes per *week* -- that you had to watch it over and over again before the next novel hit dropped.

    I'm not yet to the point of re-watching streams I've already seen, but I'll go there too eventually. And I don't think I'll be let down, she's too entertaining and leaves such a strong and irresistible impression. I could already re-watch the Big Brain Academy mega-collab, and that was just a couple weeks ago. Really burn her content into your brain, to truly test your devotion to your oshi. Hehe.

    Her fans have to do what they can to keep her spirit alive until she feels safe materializing once more. We will never lose faith in our earthly guardian angel. :)

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  29. Mumei revealing her Midwestern power level through her bowling skillz (Switch Sports), rivaling only fellow Midwestern emo Hologirl, Fauna.

    Also heard Mumei trying to nonchalantly say "soda" a few streams back -- it's OK to call it "pop"! It only tells us where you grew up, not where you currently live. People, especially young people with a tech-related job, have probably moved around the country several times after high school is over.

    Speaking of which, Fauna let in a "don'tcha know" sometime recently, too, but the "o" vowels were over-enunciated into Standard American diphthongs, instead of in the Great Lakes dialect with the monophthong "o". But even the phrase itself (regardless of how it's pronounced) is a giveaway to being a Lake Michigan girl.

    Regional character is endearing, and fleshes the persona out in richer detail. Please don't worry about it -- look at Gura's example. She uses "wicked" all the time, talks about clam bakes, and puts a high front vowel before a stressed "ah" (the vowel in "that"). So "cat" sounds closer to "KEY-at". It's so damn cute, especially when she's all hyped up and draws it out, like "i-ME-yagine the DEE-yamage!" Obviously a New Englander by upbringing, whatever twists and turns around the country she may have taken after high school.

    East Coasters recognize how non-standard they sound, no matter what they try, so they just don't worry about it and don't try to sound standard, whether they're Yankees or Southerners. It's charming!

    But since Midwesterners are already pretty close to sounding standard (which is Western), it doesn't take much to round off their sharper regional edges and "pass" as 100% standard all-Americans. So they'll switch to saying "soda" instead of "pop," or diphthongizing the vowels in "don'tcha know," and most people will be none the wiser. Except for true cultural connoisseurs, like yours truly. :)

    Trust me, though, the audience doesn't mind regional character -- the #1 vtuber in the world is a Yankee who frequently roleplays as a Southern-drawling Texan cowboy.

    Hmmm, stream idea, perhaps? Faunya or Mooms "roleplay" as a Midwestern / Great Lakes gal, and let it all out with no shame -- since it's only a roleplay, to showcase their voice-acting skills, and awareness of America's cultural diversity. Yes, that's why. Hehe.

    I'm not sure who they could imitate, the way Gura roleplays as a cowboy, but the girls themselves probably know a good example of a really Midwestern archetype, one that the audience would know as well. Maybe there's a really Chicago-sounding character from SpongeBob? I dunno, but they might!

    OK, wouldn't fill an entire stream, but an occasional bit they could commit to during their normal streams, here and there.

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