Is Basketball Emerging as the New World Sport?

October 21, 2016

It is October and that means that all true sports fanatics in my home country are fixated on baseball.  For some that means making a subtle adjustment in their feelings towards teams that they are willing to root for and the process can be remarkably pragmatic and rational as far as emotions go.  Often times baseball fans will use this time of year to switch allegiances of sorts from their hometown or favorite team to a team that actually still has a shot at winning the World Series grand finale -if only temporarily.  Much like the “holiday” of Halloween, these agonizingly deep and tortuous spirits of October don’t elicit too much attention considering all the people on the planet.  Baseball is one of those great American inventions that has largely been confined to the Americas, Caribbean, Japan, and the Philippines despite the lofty titles that the ultimate prize bestows. However, basketball is the treasure to the world presented by the United States that shows the most persistence in spreading.

When trying to explain the intricacies that can aptly surmise the fascination with a pastoral game without time limits even the most expert baseball aficionado may fall well short.  The marketing just hasn’t been the same for baseball since Babe Ruth, but basketball has an angle that is blatantly apparent.  Instead of trying to explain that accurately hitting a spherical ball with a cylindrical bat is arguably the hardest skill in professional sports through physics examples try showing a highlight reel of a top level basketball player.  Virtually any variety of shots in basketball will leave the viewer with a sense of awe instantaneously.  Pictures of distance shooting with incredible accuracy and powerfully graceful slam dunks have spellbound us all and are suspended in time on the internet.  Even dribbling and passing a basketball can invoke a kind of Magic that can enchant a casual observer.  A novice could watch 1000 home run at-bats before ever glimpsing why the seemingly simple task of knocking the ball over the fence is amazing, every single time.

Basketball cuts to the chase, and you don’t need a history lesson on antebellum Americana and the abundance of yeoman farmers to understand the new world sport.  Basketball started out as a team game that could be played indoors.  Later basketball evolved into a sport that would thrive in urban spaces especially when played by individuals that faced more economic hardship than merely bored farm workers.  Historian and Associate Professor at the State University of New York, Justin Turner referenced that the first baseball squad ever recorded playing a game was none other than the New York Knickerbocker Club that also published the first rule book in 1845 in his post doctoral dissertation.  (BASEBALL DIPLOMACY, BASEBALL DEPLOYMENT: THE NATIONAL PASTIME IN U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS, page 14)

1946 New York Knicks Team Photo

The New York Knicks (1946 – 1947) Basketball Team

Thanks to modern agriculture we may never see the likes of the conditions that created baseball again but human beings keep reinforcing the circumstances that founded basketball.  The impact that each game has played in the global economy is quite astonishing but the blueprints for additional wealth seem to be divergent.  Indeed, the future looks brighter for one of the games.  The increased development of the world is leading towards larger populations living in denser cities where the disenfranchised and marginalized dream of a nontraditional means of escape.  What is more, the equipment for playing basketball is more along the lines of the most popular world sport of soccer and the purest form can be embraced by both sexes.  All you really need is a ball and people start to come together.

Baseball might be the official American pastime but it just hasn’t been all that infectious.  The established realm of baseball can only claim the Netherlands as the only foothold in Europe.  Basketball has been full on sick since before the time it saw Doctor J and it still has a chance to go viral.  In the modern era that also includes the highly chronicled legends of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Pete Maravich, and LeBron James so there may be no end to more stories like these from running whatever courts that they want.  The youth of the world have taken up basketball on all inhabited continents due to the inspiration and excitement from striking visual cues that align with prevalent social themes.  This is the secret to the health of the game of basketball.  The culture of globalization is perhaps inadvertently breeding basketball lovers at a feverish pace.

The International Baseball Federation began six years after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and there they no longer sanction a culminating event that unites the world for a true championship since the Baseball World Cup folded in 2011.

The sports that we all play have a certain potential to reveal more about our increasingly interconnected and technical society than we may care to admit.  Prolific participation in sports can certainly coincide with the rise of entire regimes and there is a hardly an upstart political movement that wouldn’t leap at the chance to appropriate such successes.  Popularity matters but total world domination is still like a jump ball in basketball: completely up for grabs.  In other sports it can be more like a forgone conclusion but the courts at least seem like the more egalitarian alternative than the diamond or the fields.  The United States has enjoyed a significant head start on the rest of the participants but the FIBA Basketball World Cup results show that the medal count isn’t lopsided.  Besides, things are known to change.

Spain was the last basketball team to win the FIBA tournament other than the USA in 2006 and the country will be the subject of further coverage on the phenomenal organic growth of the sport on The Chronicles of Six.  This author believes that the next basketball legend will speak Spanish as a first language which would dramatically extend a broad appeal.  Three English-speaking countries ultimately went into the creation of the sport of basketball as Naismith was Canadian born eventual citizen of the United States of immigrant Scottish lineage.  Currently the majority of the basketball innovators are from the USA because the sport is still an evolving invention 125 years after James Naismith recorded the first game in Springfield, Massachusetts.  In this series several Spanish athletes have been chosen for the spotlight in order to give interested readers insights into the emergence of basketball anew, and from a different perspective.

These stories are important and so expect more at a later date.

DeMatha Versus St. John’s College Is Back On In High School Football

October 4, 2016

DeMatha bested St. John’s College 14 – 13 on Friday, September 30 and one thing quickly became clear: The rivalry between DeMatha and St John’s College High School (SJC) is back in full effect on the gridiron.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) has several high profile events in football despite imbalances.

(Full Game Highlights from utrhighlightvideos / YouTube)

DeMatha has not lost to SJC in football in almost a quarter of a century and the Cadets haven´t notched a championship in football since 1989.  While the recent football record has been lopsided in the favor of the DeMatha Stags it is now obvious that the Cadets are once again serious about challenging their supremacy.  Their last appearance in the WCAC football championship game in 2013 resulted in a 31 – 10 drubbing at the hands of DeMatha.  The Cadets haven’t been back to the WCAC final game since, but they have recently lured a myriad of skilled athletes with undeniably augmented facilities.

A recent influx of cold hard cash from Under Armour CEO and SJC alumnus, Kevin Plank, has propelled the Cadets into not just WCAC relevance but also national rankings.  The Cadets (4 – 2) came into the DeMatha game ranked in the top 25 in the USA and had previously been ranked as high as number 10 prior to their loss to IMG Academy in Florida.  As sports fans have witnessed at the university level there are often higher expectations and thus more pressure with such generous financial support.  SJC forced an alumnus out as head coach of the football program last year to make room for a renowned outsider in Joe Casamento.  A bevy of top prospect transfers bolstered the Cadets that have continued to make gains but the narrow loss on September 30 against the 3-time defending WCAC champions has created more questions than answers.

The talk around the WCAC is that SJC can’t be satisfied with anything less than total victory but it remains to be seen if all of the changes are going to be enough.  DeMatha is currently ranked number 4 in the USA and the Stags have their eyes set on a national title.  In order to complete that mission the Stags are going to need a little luck with absolutely no losses for the remainder of the year.  DeMatha has been fortunate with a 6 – 0 record but as they might recall from the previous year, a national title in high school football is no easy task.  Surprises can come from unexpected sources however the Cadets are all but assured a second chance at beating DeMatha in WCAC playoffs in a shrinking football league.

There aren’t too many WCAC schools that have had the stomach for this kind of high school football arms race.  Bishop Ireton and Paul VI have long since departed from playing the football schedule but still opted to stay in the WCAC for other sports.  When Bishop O’Connell of Virginia also dropped the sport there were only Maryland and DC schools left to play each other.  Three of the remaining six schools filled the holes in their schedules with national prominence in mind and that suddenly made wins against them hard to come by.  Gonzaga managed the feat last year in league play against the DeMatha Stags in 2015 and effectively ended the strongest national championship bid in recent years by a Washington DC metropolitan area school.

In order to even be considered for a national title the focus has to be maintained because every single game essentially becomes a national title game.  Contests against traditional rivals within the league are often the biggest pitfalls.  Even teams like Bishop McNamara and Archbishop Carroll have their hearts set on upsetting their more famous neighbors to make a name for themselves. There is a lot of good football to look forward to in 2016. SJC versus Gonzaga is one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the sport and DeMatha must play at Good Counsel to finish the WCAC regular season.  Both games will be played during the first weekend in November.

The grueling season will only get harder from there.  The WCAC playoffs and the pollsters are unforgiving in football and we all can’t wait to see how 2016 factors into ending these debates.

(Featured Photo A Stag In The Woods)

Beau English is Mr. Perfect

September 19, 2016

#17 Beau English was a perfect 15/15 passing and leads the #4 team in the USA.

Beau English is no stranger to the winner’s circle and he has already led DeMatha to the WCAC championship in 2014 and 2015 after taking over as the quarterback for the Stags as a sophomore.  The United States Air Force Academy commit has dazzled fans early in the 2016 season by turning in not just one but two perfect passing performances en route to an unblemished 4-0 start.  This young man has measured up to the highest standards off of the field and on it.

Hot right out of the gate, Beau English has scorched opponents with a variety of passing options that DeMatha isn’t typically known for.  Gun slinging isn’t how most DeMatha football fans identify the program that has relied heavily on the run in the past.  (Even the former DeMatha quaterback with the nickname “gun” was primarily a threat on the ground, see below.)  The idea of running between the tackles isn’t news to any successful program however DeMatha has made it a calling card of sorts even before the days of former head coach Bill McGregor.




DeMatha senior Beau English

The current DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks was a student of McGregor and one of his best running backs, but it is apparent that passing talent is in fashion as long as Beau English is on the field.  Beau has the ability to tally up yards even though DeMatha is still stacked at their most dependable position.  The featured running back this year, Anthony McFarland, was lost to pre-season broken leg but the Stags have hardly missed a beat.  The offense has opened up under the steady stewardship of Beau English and it has resulted in a natinoal championship buzz for DeMatha football.

After toppling Oscar Smith (VA), Avalon (MD), Bishop McDevitt (PA), and now McDonogh (MD), DeMatha football is ranked number 4 in the USA according to most polls.  Once again the eyes in Hyattsville shift to complete a perfect season and stay in the hunt for a national title.  While the entire cast of players and coaches deserves the credit for the success of the DeMatha football team there is no denying that Beau English has done his part so far.  The added dimension of the passing game has done wonders for running backs Khory Spruill and Myles Mireeand the DeMatha defense has been solid as well.


Beau English is now known as Mr. Perfect and he is headed to the Air Force Academy after 2016.


But it is worth mentioning that Beau English is the first to be absolutely perfect in the modern quarterback rating system at DeMatha.  That is really something in my estimation.  This kid deserves this nickname regardless of the outcome of the rest of the season but I hope that you know by now that I’m rooting for him to take it to the fullest extent.  I have been writing about the DeMatha Stags for a very long time and there aren’t that many players that have achieved the level of nickname status from me.  If anyone could stand up to the mounting pressure it would be this guy.

If Beau English can keep the party going with his third consecutive WCAC title in football he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks in school history.  A name like “Mr. Perfect” will only draw too much attention to him where he is going and I wouldn’t wish any correlations to any other demerit dodgers on him.  I think of previous nicknames like the one I bestowed on Tommy “gun” Chroniger and I always knew that I could do better.  (Tom Chroniger won three WCAC titles for DeMatha football, but his passing completion percentage left room for improvement.)  Whether or not Beau English is able to accomplish the extraordinary feat of winning DeMatha’s first ever national title in football, he will always be Mr. Perfect to me.

Environmental Sustainabilty Research Proposal Fail

September 9, 2016

Listen folks, I am determined to see my research in Environmental Sustainability through.  Yes I understand that my paper might be a little flawed but this is yet another one of my crazy ideas that just might work.  (I can be a bit of a toad


The toad that I found in Tokyo proved to me that environmental sustainability was indeed possible in large, thriving cities. [Photo Daniel Cooper]

in that way, but at least I am still evolving.)  The reason why this piece represents failure to me has nothing to do with how it is written, instead it has to do with the racket that is academia.

Check out my failed research proposal to measure net positive impacts on the environment here.

[Quantifying Human Caused Environmental Net Positive Impacts in a Modern World by Daniel Cooper is available for download and commenting for one month on Google Academia.]

The message that I received back after formally submitting this proposal was actually quite embarrassing but I am not ashamed to share it with you.  I believe that this is one of those cases in which stellar academic qualifications shouldn’t necessarily be a prerequisite, anyway.  The University of Edinburgh wasn’t impressed by my college partying ways at all and now I am scrambling around trying to figure out if anyone else is interested in building sustainable models with me.  My paper goes into greater detail as to what I was trying to accomplish this fall, but alas, now I making other plans.  I don’t think that this idea can really wait so I am gaining the necessary tools to begin the process myself.

If you are really interested in knowing how I am going to beat an academic system that has withstood the test of time so far, then you will have to check me out on Google+ and follow my Data Science collection.  Feel free to comment on the academic proposal if you want.   Also feel free to share it with any and all institutions that might be interested in my services.  I understand that we are all in this world together and that it is going to take an inclusive effort to make some real changes in it.  The realm of academia is by definition hierarchical and it smacks of elitism but that shouldn’t prevent the masses from engaging it.

If environmental sustainability research papers aren’t really your thing then I hope you consider commenting in my global public discussion group. Duck Pond Public Discussions is a Google+ community that formally launched two years ago but hasn’t been properly moderated it until now.  We are going to be doing a lot in the near future around here, and I am planning on a very busy September.  Please try and keep up with me!

Always remember that nothing beats a failure but a try.

Sherry Education All Stars In Jerez

September 7, 2016

This is a special bonus post to capitalize on all of the recent information that I have discovered in my personal, Jerez sherry education.  It is worth stating here that sherry has also managed to play a prominent role during the courtship of my beloved wife.


Vendimia Jerez 2016 Pisa de la Uva

While we were still just dating my wife was on exchange teaching English in the United States and she confided in me that she missed the wines that the Jerez region is famous for.  Her lamentations led to my eventual acceptance of the challenge to find and present her with a case of fino.  The rest, as they say, is history.

I was in love.  I was immediately launched into a new world of understanding about the intricacies of wines and the wine industry.  Seriously, my wife had me at “fortified wine,” but by the time I discovered what a ‘rebujito’ (* see below) was I knew that I was in over my head.  I had to get a better sherry education and also figure out how it was possible that I didn’t find this old liquid gold in my life beforehand.  I immediately set about on a course of research that directed me towards several fabulous people that have a presence in the sherry industry in Jerez de la Frontera, and on the internet.

The first super sherry aficionado that I found was right here on WordPress, completely by accident.  Sherry Sips was a pleasant surprise to find on the internet because the principle author Seana Yee’s adventures are documented excellently.  Seana’s strategy is proven and the native Oregonian employs honest words and great pictures in her Sherry Sips social media.  If you are the type of individual that can see yourself trying to obtain the very best education in sherry, then you would do well to study the method of Sherry Sips.  Her websites outline a clear path towards achieving that goal and she is in the process of completing it.  These are exciting times to check out her work because of her recent travels to Jerez de la Frontera and her bravery in attempting what can only be described as complete sherry cultural immersion.

[Photo courtesy of Sherry Sips Twitter]

People that might be in wine production in Jerez can be a little aloof and foreigners are looked at with both interest and suspicion.  Producers in the wine industry are typically family owned businesses and they have long been wary any foreign interference.  Sherry isn’t exactly an industry that the average international business person can break into.  It can take years to get on a first name basis with established sherry professionals.  Fortunately, Seana Yee introduced me to the awesome Roció Urium who not only blogs extensively but she is also deeply entrenched in the wine industry in Jerez.  If you are ever fortunate enough to come here and engage Roció in conversation you will note that the potential exists to rapidly increase your base of sherry knowledge in a short period of time.  The next best thing might be her extensive internet media because Roció Urium is fluent in English and very easy to follow.


A photo posted by Rocio Urium (@rociourium) on Sep 6, 2016 at 12:03pm PDT


[Photo courtesy of  Rocio Urium (@rociourium) by Mario on Sep 6, 2016 at 12:03pm PDT via Instagram]

Lastly I would like to draw your attention to our fantastic friends across the pond that have been steadily filling the annals of sherry lore as the world’s biggest importers -almost since the beginning of recorded history.  Great Britain and Scotland have had a very long relationship with sherry producers in Spain and the legacy is continuing in a modern way with Criadera.  The sheer volume of the work in the blog there will take even the most avid oenologist quite some time to digest.  There is a terrific diversity in the topics covered by Criadera and so it is very difficult to get bored.  The Criadera team is comprised of my two new friends Helen and Stuart that turned a quick holiday into an obsession that blossomed into Sherry Boutique. It has often been said that ‘way leads on to way’ and that it is the journey that should be cherished and not so much the destination.  I hope my readers take the time to really get lost in the sauce during their free sherry educations.

[Photo courtesy of Criadera Twitter]

In just one day during the ‘Pisa de la Uva’ I met people from all over the world that have an interest in one of the world’s oldest and most famous wines.  To embark on this odyssey, you need a very open mind and plenty of stamina but the rewards are also great.  A sherry education is valuable and you might find yourself on a slightly different course in life because of it.

* Rebujito – a mixed sherry drink consisting of relatively equal parts 7-Up and fino typically served over ice on hot days in Spain.

Stomping Grapes In Jerez For Vendimia

September 6, 2016

The Cathedral in Jerez de la Frontera during the official opening of the Vendimia Festival.

The ‘Pisa de la Uva’ or the stomping of the grapes is the most important Vendimia Festival in all of Spain. Xerez may be the city of horses but the name is literally translated as sherry. The wine is amazing and unique; and the city of Jerez has a history with wine unlike any other city in the world.

Let’s recap: sherry = Jerez = Xerez = famously fortified wine.

I met some friends on the steps of the Cathedral in order to witness the Blessing of the Grapes which is the traditional start of harvest events as sanctioned by the City of Jerez.  In fact, on this particular occasion the government became the central story in 2016.  Apparently there were some disgruntled workers that took it upon themselves to protest the mayor during the proceedings.  Loud horns and blaring sirens were directed at the officials conducting the ceremony.


These guys really know how to clear out a grape harvest festival.

The desired effect was achieved and most of the attention went to former government workers that had the audacity to hold a politician’s feet to the fire over one of her campaign promises of reinstating them.  Flyers littered the ground as tourists and locals alike traversed the steps of the Cathedral to hear the words from the priest.  Anyone within 500 meters of the protesters would easily hear the tumultuous din that they were causing, but none of the audience could even hear a word of the blessing.  The protesters showed the world that they were adamant by not only drowning out the voice of the church, but they also completely distracted what looked to be school aged children performing in the band.


Vendimia is normally festive.

Spain is a wonderful place full of character.  There is no way to factor that unique aspect of the culture into an event, such as this.  Of course in the front rows that were carefully partitioned ahead of the rabble the gentlemen in suits or women in fine dresses didn’t even peer in the direction of those protesting for their jobs.  Some people had made it a point not to notice what absolutely could not be ignored.  Others were even more prepared and donned their own earplugs.  Many of the local folks simply gave up and resigned themselves to drink fino, amontillado, and oloroso away from the noise.  The tourists like myself were treated to an extra ambiance of Bronx cheers and chants at an otherwise peaceful, yet abbreviated event.

Protests happen all around the world and the complaints of the aggrieved have never agitated this New Yorker to the point that I lose empathy so I pushed on.  My understanding of the festival wasn’t diminished as much as my hearing but it would have been very nice to see how much my Spanish comprehension has improved.  The only chance to listen to anything at all was the eerie silence of the protesters during one, purposefully elongated, Spanish national anthem during which all stood quietly.  I have to admit that the band was pretty good and that the idea of a national anthem without all the problematic and pesky words might be growing one me.

I had no use for the audio in the video above so rest assured that you will be spared and any offensive sound is replaced with a mellow soundtrack.  The last thing that I will write about this event is that the good people of Jerez did have the decency to pour some wine for the masses.  Maybe I’ll see you next year?

Silence Is Good Sometimes

August 25, 2016

“Number 2: never let ’em know your next move.  Don’t you know bad boys move in silence; in violence?  Take it from your highness…” – Notorious B.I.G


I thought that I would let you know how I’ve been failing recently.  Right.  You read that correctly, I did not mean feeling but failing.  I’m a writer and that means that I fail a lot.  Silence is good sometimes, but in this case I actually need a little bit of noise so I am asking for your help.  I wrote this treatment for a company that will not be mentioned and they never even saw it.  As a result of that fact, I never got the feedback that will help me write a better treatment next time.

Sometimes I need other people’s opinions in order to make a breakthrough, and this is one of those cases.  If you have an interest in the emerging field of cannabis or cannabinoids, I need you to take a look at this treatment and tell me where I went wrong.  Don’t worry if you don’t know what a treatment is.  A treatment is a pitch to a production company for a show and an idea, if you will.  Folks in marketing are always so secretive because they are afraid that people will take their ideas.  As a writer and a scientist, I understand that I am an idea factory so I’m going to risk enlisting your help.

Download the treatment from my production company WMIBAS?

Please comment or write to me and redistribute this idea because we really need to turn this it into reality.  Lives are depending on it.  We need to shout this from the rooftops.

Help me out.

EpiPen Monopoly Attack on Children

August 24, 2016
Epinephreine Structure

The generic epinephrine is less than $1 per dose.

Despite significant profit growth the world’s leading manufacturer of a lifesaving delivery system for anaphylactic shock has continued to raise prices.  EpiPen is a popular epinephrine auto-injectable that can potentially avert fatal allergic reactions in sufferers during emergencies.

According to the Mylan website, the multinational distributor of EpiPen, the driving factor behind a whopping $650 million gain was attributed to the strong sales of their lifesaving allergy drug.  The average retail price has climbed to over $600 per kit for buyers without insurance on while Mylan has recorded a gross profit of over $2 billion during the second and third quarters of 2016 according to a press release.  One kit includes two, 0.3 mg doses of epinephrine and a special injector while the generic compound sells for a meager $10 per mg.  Syringes are sold separately and it can be cumbersome to use generic epinephrine without special training.

The mobility of the EpiPen has made it particularly attractive to allergy patients that might struggle to deliver an immediate and exact dosage, but recent price hikes have revealed agonizingly few alternatives to the product.  CVS is a leading retailer of EpiPen in the United States and divulged that cheaper generic drugs lagged far behind the leading brand in sales through their site.  (The data also shows that the majority of consumers are under the age of twenty.)  Mylan has leveraged this advantageous market position to a devastating effect that has sent shockwaves throughout the pharmaceutical industry and even drawn the ire of politicians around the world.

Talk of yet another pharmaceutical monopoly will likely reverberate within the chambers of the United States Congress.  Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) made a public inquiry to Mylan CEO Heather Branch on August 22, 2016 regarding the uptick in EpiPen costs for Medicare recipients.  Most of the public remember the debacle of former CEO Martin Shkreli smugly and frequently invoking his Fifth Amendment rights when questioned by the House of Representatives in February of this year.


Mr. Martin Shkreli doesn’t appear to feel remorse at a Congressional Hearing in February.

Mr. Shkreli is still infamous in an internet meme as Pharma Bro for suddenly raising the price of a rarely effective treatment for life threatening diseases like malaria and AIDS.   Senator Grassley could be onto a trend.

If it feels like big drug companies have a knack for putting pressure on the most dependent and vulnerable, you aren’t alone.  Congress enacted laws to amend the Public Health Service Act in 2013 to increase access to epinephrine in schools due to concerns over American children.  Despite that fact one of the easiest delivery methods of the active compound is proprietary, and Mylan still hasn’t given their best customers much relief.  $100 coupons are offered as a manufacturer rebate for people getting pinched but individuals that might use the shots frequently are very worried.  In a world where allergies are increasing in number and severity, price hikes can have consequences that hit all of us suddenly.  The sensation is rooted in the belief that corporations like Mylan might be too focused on their investors at the expense of the little people.

Upcoming Events: Vendimia 2016

August 2, 2016

Click on the Google Calendar link above to add my event to your calendar if you happen to be in the area of Andalusia this coming September.  I have been spending so much time talking about Jerez de la Frontera, Spain that I haven’t had the chance to properly invite you.

IMG_20160629_124236I know that it is a bit of short notice but this is one of the last events of the official 2016 calendar of events for the City of Jerez.  Vendimia is the grape harvest festival and generally folks make a pretty big deal about it here in Spain according to the board of tourism for Andalucia.  The most important Vendimia festival in Spain is right here in Jerez so if you want to meet me directly after the Blessing of the Grapes, then we can can watch the Stomping of the Grapes together.

It should go without saying that we are going to be sipping on something and only those legally allowed to drink can imbibe.  Anyway it will be a really good time.


Epiphany 2016

January 6, 2016

Get out there and share the good news in 2016 that Spain has decided to include actual Africans in some of their parades for Three Wise Kings Day, also known as Los Reyes Magos.  I wrote about my general disgust for the practice of donning blackface last year, but my opinion about this particular Spanish tradition is evolving now.

Largely, I look at the event as celebratory and the incidences of changing one’s appearance to resemble the most striking African features is crude flattery.  My argument to have someone black play Balthazar is still firmly rooted in tact, but the levels of inclusion for the large numbers of Africans that find themselves in Spain is encouraging.   Participation in the parade festivities is a very big deal in Spain, and I was pleased to see cultural sharing and exchange rather than the usual cultural appropriation.

I hate to start out in a new year on a sour note, so Happy New Year to all of you out there.

Spread love!