Why Margaritas?

 Let's talk about misconceptions. 

Today (the day I am writing this) is May 5th. You may know it also as Cinco De Mayo. 

Until my kids went to Spanish bilingual schools I thought this day was meant to be filled with tacos and margaritas. Any reason to have tacos and margaritas is ok by me. And to be truthful, I didn't really do any research into what the day meant. I just bought into the general thought that it was simply what it seemed to be on a superficial level.  When they hit school and started learning about the histories of different countries and what days are important to them, we hit the truth about May 5th. 

On May 5th, 1862, a group of vastly outnumbered (and under-armed) Mexican soldiers fought and beat a force of French soldiers at the Battle of Puebla. Outside of the city of Puebla, most of Mexico barely recognizes this day. Eventually, this day gained relevance in other places, and instead of a day to recognize a wartime victory, it has become a celebration of Mexican culture. 

It's kind of like a game of telephone. 

I am not going to say that the festivities that have since sprung up around this day should be stopped or altered. I am not from Mexico, and if there needs to be a correction that is where it should come from. But maybe a little more awareness about why it's significant wouldn't be a bad thing. 

I think generally (and I am doing it while writing this, how meta of me) we all have a tendency just to accept something without really looking into it. We are all busy people, who wants to spend all of their time looking things up? Sometimes though, you can't get accept what is said and keep moving. That is especially true when it comes to a headline or a post on social media. As our attention spans have shortened, the media and people who write things just to be inflammatory have learned how to have the most impact with the fewest words. 

Not only are the headlines not always factual, but important facts (or arguments) can't always be conveyed in a few words. We are knee jerk reacting to things before we know what is actually happening. And the misconceptions these things are leading to are holding more consequences than margaritas on a day that is about the little guys winning. 

Thinking critically is a skill that we all have. We just forget to use it when we see an article or some information that backs up a belief that we have. Especially when the information is written in a funny way, or comes with a clever picture. Media literacy has always been important, and it is getting to be a vital part of being a member of society. 

It's time for the mindless consumption of media to come to an end. It really isn't getting us anywhere, except deeper into the narrative that we are all deeply polarized. 


Music Corner

So, we are going with a bit of a gimme today. La Bamba. The Ritchie Valens version. The song itself is a traditional Mexican folk song from the state of Veracruz. The first recording of the song was by Alvaro Hernandez Ortiz in 1938 or 1939. The more famous Valens version was released in 1958 and became a top 40 hit. The most famous version though may be the Los Lobos cover that came out with the 1987 movie (one of my favorites) La Bamba, which was the story of Ritchie Valens. 

Shopping Corner

Mexico: The Cookbook


Margaritas

Myths of Social Media




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