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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Columbus -- an Ultimate Conumdrum

It seems that one day around this time, Columbus Day rolled around again.

I don't celebrate Columbus Day. But then I don't celebrate any of the Days or the Holidays. Of all of them, however, Columbus Day must be the most bizarre.

I don't know why any Europeans -- the originals on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and the derivatives on this side -- would celebrate this day, because the events that followed the landings of Columbus and his crew don't do much for their heritage.

Columbus makes me think of three things: the land that he found, the people that he found, and the way that things followed him and ultimately ballooned into the enormities that we have today.

Today the land itself is in a much worse condition than it was when he arrived, and the treatment of the tribes by the Spanish, the English, and other supposed Christians is one of the saddest chapters in human history.

Still, Columbus can't be blamed. If not him, someone else would have accomplished the crossing, and, given the Europe of that time, it was all inevitable.

Too bad that Columbus is celebrated more for what he supposedly discovered than for his voyage itself. That must've been a thrilling thing, setting out into a really great unknown in three small ships, trying to catch the right winds and meanwhile never knowing how far they would have to sail before any land could be sighted to the west, and then that great moment when they finally saw the horizon crowned by a beautiful, low-lying, forested place, followed by the even greater thrill of wading ashore and looking around to see what might be there. And how remarkable, the fates that came ashore with them, riding on their shoulders and larger than at any other moment in human history.

How I would've loved to have been there, though not with knowing what I know now, and it will be a very sad day when they find out how to warp time enough to make such irregularities possible!


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