Hispanic Globe 2018

The New Year

Looking back on 2017, I made a lot of mistakes.  But you know life is like exploring a little-known country.  There’s fear and anxiety. Sometimes so great it colors your judgement.  That can lead to more mistakes.

Two “HUGE” ones come to mind.  One I won’t mention here – a bit too personal.  The other is one of my biggest – not publishing last year.  As my favorite baseball oracle, Yogi Berra once said: “We made too many wrong mistakes.”

But as Albert Einstein reported saying: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  I tried some new things last year.  Some were epic mistakes, others worked out fine.  The jury is still out on that.

However, I’m looking forward to this new year. 

Let’s see, it’s 2018.  You add all those numbers up and you get 11 – my lucky number.

We think it’s a lucky year for Hispanic Globe too.

Hispanic Globe 2018

Map of Roman Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula of current Spain and Portugal 220 B.C.-19 A.D. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula

Map of Roman Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula of current Spain and Portugal 220 B.C.-19 A.D. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula

Hispanic Globe is still dedicated to exploring and sharing Hispanic culture with you and the rest of our planet.  We think there are valuable things to learn that apply to our lives. 

Looking forward, we’ll do more in-depth articles on several Latin countries, places, and people.  Culture covers a lot.  The arts – literature, dance, theatre, film, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, philosophy, and others we haven’t thought of yet.  We think food and drink are part of that too.

We’ll briefly cover items of interest in our free newsletter published quarterly starting January 30 .  If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, please do so now so you don’t miss our first issue of the new year.

We’re also launching a paid subscription service that provides in-depth analysis of our stories launched in our newsletter.

And finally, we’ll offer a few more of our Super Thinking Spanish courses.  We’ll arrange dates soon.

Food for Thought

We at Hispanic Globe try to avoid political discourse.  After all, we’re about culture not politics.  Some would argue that politics is part of culture and visa versa.  That argument can be made. 

So, at the risk of the above, I’ll leave you with one thought, or perhaps something to think about.

National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 Columbus Fountain Washington D.C.

Columbus Fountain is a public artwork by American sculptor Lorado Taft, located at Union Station in Washington, D.C., United States. This sculpture was surveyed in 1994 as part of the Smithsonian’s Save Outdoor Sculpture! program. Columbus Fountain serves as a tribute to the explorer Christopher Columbus. WikimediaCommons.org

There was some talk in the media last year about removing Columbus Day from our calendar.  Apparently, the impetus was “racism.”  The argument claimed since Columbus “enslaved” the native people of the “New Word,” the memory of him should be removed from our public places and our consciousness.

I have three responses to that.

First, the “native” or indigenous people were already enslaving and killing each other for years before Columbus arrived. 

How do you suppose Cortez allied with an overwhelming force of other indigenous tribes to conquer the the Aztecs?

Of course, no one in their right mind supports slavery.

Upon a closer look, this idea that the Spanish were the “really” bad guys got its start with the “Black Legend.” 

The English-speaking world spread this legend around as “history” and it even exists today. The English and the French as well as other Europeans were competitors for the new world land and riches. There is blaming to go all around.

Second, without Columbus, we would not be who we are today as a people.  Establishing and claiming settlements for the Catholic Monarchs took persistence, hard work, and cunning.  We would have not settled the U.S.A. as we know it today, without the Spanish settlements in North America. 

Of course, Columbus was far from perfect.  He basically conned the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand to put up the cash for the adventure.  He was in a hurry to get a step ahead of the rest Europe.  He had a hunch, a theory – a short cut to the spices of the “Indies.”  His theory was wrong, but you cannot deny it took skill and courage to pull off the expedition.

True, many indigenous people died agonizing deaths from the “old world” diseases. The Carib and Arawak of the Caribbean islands for instance were almost completely wiped out by disease. By the way both tribes were at war with each other and practiced cannibalism when Columbus arrived.

Columbus was an excellent navigator.  He was also a struggling entrepreneur, willing to put his life on the line to reach his goal – the new route the “Indies.”  He convinced many superstitious 15th century sailors to make the journey.  That was no small feat. 

I would put Columbus up against any so called new billionaire entrepreneur class we have today.  For most, all they risk is other people’s money with little or no skin in the game.

There are exceptions.  For example, Richard Branson.  I believe he would risk it all including his life.  He’s done it already in a balloon. Soon to do it space. But I doubt not a few of you would desire to share a foxhole in battle with the rest.  They know who they are.

Lastly, revisionist history is useful but can lead to historical negation if one is not diligent. Worst yet a kind relativism can evolve.  For instance, removing or destroying books, artifacts, architecture – in short anything in our physical world under the guise of what is politically expedient or rises from a form of populism is dangerous.  The Taliban abroad and the removal of historical monuments here at home are current illustrations.

Would we in the Western world destroy the Coliseum in Rome because it was a place where slaves were forced to murder other slaves, Christians, and innocents?  The intention misses the proverbial forest for the trees.  Where does one stop the slide once it starts?

However offensive a symbol is to whomever, without it we lose the opportunity to instruct, to teach, to learn, and hopefully become wise.  Dachau is one case in point.

If you asked most Hispanic folks throughout the Hispanic Globe if Columbus Day (an Italian sailor from Genoa) should be removed from the calendar, you’d get a variety of answers.  But, the best answer is that it’s simply an important holiday that they look forward to spending with family and friends.

Did I mention the Italians both here and abroad?   You have people like Joe Piscopo willing to take to the streets of New York to defend Columbus Day.  Don’t mess with the Italians.

All people can have pride in their culture without endorsing or acquiescing to the destructive parts.  It provides identity and tells us who we are.

As a footnote, there is evidence that Nordic people were the first Europeans to arrive in the new world. Can you say “Vikings?” They didn’t stay.

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