Why North America Needs ¡Olé!

Let me describe for you a typical evening from my Mallorcan childhood: Taking a basketball, I dribble warily on the cobblestone streets to the local gymnasium, which hosts open tournaments in the evening. Music drifts in the air of each narrow street. As I open the gym’s portal, cigarette smoke, loud flamenco music, and lusty cries of “¡Olé!” emerge from inside.

Yes, we Mallorcans have a great passion for music. And perched as we are on the Mediterranean, rhythms and instruments from Muslims, Gypsies, Jews, the Portuguese, and even the odd Cossack have reached Mallorca and combined there into a rich, crimson sauce.

What effect has flamenco music had on my island’s people? Let me describe my pre-school teacher to you. Flamenco music played constantly in her classroom.
She was a slender woman in a long ruffled dress, clicking castanets, twirling her shawl, and stamping the filigreed heels of her boots as she drilled us on the alphabet! How her eyes flashed as she stoked our fires of outrage and tutored us with such passion, many masterpieces of clay and fingerpainting were produced... ah, the memories.

At home, too, I was constantly exposed to the international musics. And even the most mundane of activities —learning about men’s fashion or finding the ideal way to pass a basketball between an opponent’s legs— was accompanied by clapping, finger snapping, and a music that, while savage, was a soothing poultice to my soul.

And now for ¡Olé! For we Spaniards, a quiet audience is a dead one. When an athlete or flamenco performer takes a risk or touches our soul, we must express appreciation! Stamp your feet, make some noise… ¡Anda jaleo! Cry ¡olé!

Given all this, you can imagine my excitement upon arriving in the United States. Here is such a great variety of musicalities! So picture how I shuddered in revulsion at the harmonic travesties that my mates Martell Webster and Jerryd Bayless have tried to impose upon me.

oy vey!
Rudy foto from Fotoglif.


  1. perusing these bloggings has become my favorite pastime activity!

  2. Rudy, my dear Rudy, beware of your Spanish... As an amigo of yours, I'm seeing with great sorrow how it's going downwards: among the albums you have selected to illustrate your notable text, there are two written in Portuguese... ¿Are you confusing our loved language with the fine language of our Iberian fellows?
    Or is it a hidden message to your friend El Chacho, meaning that you're starting to forget the language in which you used to have long conversations in the past?

  3. Ah, many thanks. Duly notated...and regretted!


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