Monday, October 09, 2006

Dead Reckoning

I'm busy as always. I've had a lot of things to write about but now it's Columbus Day so now I will have to flick my acid tongue at that instead.

Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday? If, by "holiday," you mean "a swift kick in the kiwis," then I say ABSOLUTELY. Google is known for adding graphics to their homepage to mark events dear to us all and yet there is nothing there about Columbus. I'm sure they do it to avoid bickering but I don't need some snooty search engine telling me when to keep my trap shut. Here we go:

One lofty argument as to why Columbus need not be celebrated is... HE DID NOT DISCOVER AMERICA.

I do not consider myself an overly-sensitive person but I do get annoyed at key moments like when I was visiting my sister in Jacksonville, Florida and we voyaged to the fort at St. Augustine. The highway signs said, "St. Augustine. The first (or oldest) city in America." It wasn't just any sign. It was one of those official green highway signs.

As an "Indian" of North America I know that this statement of St. Augustine just isn't true. But let's move on. Even if we accept that THINGS DONE BY BROWN PEOPLE DON'T COUNT and that people living on the North American continent for 13,000 years doesn't count for anything... there is still the matter of that thousand-year-old man, Leif Ericson. Today is actually Leif Ericson Day as well as Columbus Day but who will celebrate that? A viking who does nothing but enjoy the weather and eat grapes? There is no marketability there.

But I think a name like VIKING DAY would be more appropriate than Columbus Day. The idea of murderous plunderers gives a more straight forward idea of what the DISCOVERY of America was all about.

I know that people calling themselves "Capitalists" or some other retarded name will defend the holiday tooth and nail because they like the go-getter business attitude of Columbus's achievements and they think of all Indians as blood-drinking cavemen who are all better off dead. It would be an injustice NOT to take the land they live on, destroy their means of feeding themselves and give them all those diseases. IT'S TIME TO MAKE THIS CONTINENT "CIVILIZED."

When Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were doing a long study of the Iroquois Indians to borrow all those radical "new" ideas in democracy for the Declaration of Independence they were writing, they invited their friend Tom Paine to come along. After many visits with the Indians Tom Paine noticed the tribes had no equivalent of the impoverished bums lying in the gutters like whites had in all of their cities and made this comment:

"Civilization, or that which is so called, has operated in two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would ever have been the lot of either in a natural state."

Jefferson said, "I am convinced that those societies [as the Indians] which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments."

Which is not to say that any of these political figures did anything to prevent the future mistreatment of Indians in North America. They wrote the Declaration of Independence BEFORE the Revolutionary War was fought. I believe they used pathos wording just in case they lost. Maybe they wouldn't hang for fighting against the crown if their cause was noble enough. There is something underlying the Declaration of Independence that suggests their message was, "We are English but the people of England are treating us the way WE treat our African slaves and we just can't stand for that." They may have omitted "From one white guy to another white guy..." (These truths, self evident, all men created equal). Jefferson died poor. When he died he released SOME of his slaves. The ones he is rumored to have fathered.

Now back to Columbus:

Spain was locked out of the best trade routes around Africa. Columbus was bad at geography and the stars were mysterious petroglyphs to him, but he promised that he could circumscribe the globe for faster access to those wonderful spices. They didn't want to be stuck drowning everything in Tobasco, afterall. He took a big, fat cargo boat as his flagship, Santa Maria. Probably not the best choice for exploration, but things never got to the point where the crew had to eat eachother or anything. When he reached America, it was kind of like today, in that there was nothing readily available in America to trade with other nations. First he thought, GOLD! There must be gold around here and Spaniards love gold. But he couldn't find it. Next he looked at the "Indians" and thought SLAVES! but that must not have worked out either and, much like today, America ended up importing their slaves.

Stupid history. Why do you always have to suck. Why can't you be flattering and wonderful with tales of one true blue hero after another? Okay, let's forget the history. We will all say this dude "discovered" America. We'll wave some flags. We'll teach our kids the names of the boats like one day they will need to know them to get their lockers open or something and everyone will have a good time with chips and soda and all that.

It is a holiday. That means I have to work extra hours this week.

No comments: