The Spanish [Identity] Crisis

January 28, 2020

I was raised in Madrid listening to Michael Jackson and watching the Simpsons, just like any regular Spanish kid in the ‘80s. We would go to an occasional #birthday party at Burger King and get Disney toys with our happy meals. Then there was the American blockbusters and endless begging for my parents to take me (I had to watch the next Will Smith film in order to have something to talk about at school).

 

At age 13 we moved to America. The curtain was lifted and the move made me more Spanish conscious than I had ever been and more so than those friends I left behind. Perhaps the more alarming discovery was the fact that “Barrio Sesamo” was a Spanish adaptation of the American show Sesame Street. Shocking for a kid! It was as if I had taken the red pill and entered the Matrix.

 

Over the years I’ve seen the Spanish youth consume American pop culture compulsively to the point Spain's citizens detest many national #artists and #productions. Bands from Madrid have been emulating the sound of the Smashing Pumpkins, but the #lyrics in Spanish were simply laughed at.

 

Is this wrong? Absolutely not! We’re free to consume and create any #art we want. Do we understand it though? No! There is no way we can understand all the cultural references in an episode of the Simpsons or the teen angst of a bunch of working class kids in Seattle.

 

As the American #culture machine continues to pop out new acts for global #entertainment, many countries, as my own, have become creatively stagnant. Who should we blame, the giant or ourselves?

 

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