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(New York Daily News)   Columbus and our common civilization: It's complicated   ( nydailynews.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Columbus, Carib, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Spanish priest Bartolome, current moral scale, cruelest Carib chief, four-day celebratory festival, deadliest Aztec emperor  
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264 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 01 Sep 2017 at 2:46 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-08-31 11:00:58 PM  
"...going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans."

That's entirely bogus.
 
2017-08-31 11:05:41 PM  
It's not really that complicated, actually. The day he found the New World was a really shiatty day for the people living here.

Unless you think European people and their history is more important than anyone else's - then it might be more complicated
 
2017-08-31 11:47:37 PM  
the Caribs - regularly raid the Taino village, killing and torturing the men, and kidnapping and enslaving the young women, which explains why the Tainos hid their young women when Columbus came ashore.
So should we judge Columbus against the Carib chiefs? Or is that, you know, bad form - holding dark-skinned people from indigenous cultures to the same moral standards as we hold light-skinned people who symbolize the West?

Perhaps we should judge Columbus against the Aztec rulers whose empire was then in full flower, and who were engaging in wars of conquest and enslavement with their neighbors - once, according to their own oral tradition, sacrificing as many as 80,000 war captives during a four-day celebratory festival.


Sounds like they're all a bunch of assholes.
 
2017-09-01 02:28:51 AM  
Columbus was an asshole.  A huge, arrogant, money-driven asshole.  When we say "he found America," we're not saying he was the first Old Worlder to set foot on this rock; we're saying he lit the spark--charged forward with the ethos--of unbridled exploitation, greed, shortsightedness, and general clusterfarkery in the name of "freedom" and "exploration" and "destiny" that led us to one Commander-in-Chief Asshole.

We celebrate and reward assholes in this country.  In fact, you're required to be an asshole from early on.  Sure, you could let people cheat off you in school and gain social popularity and/or money, but no, we require you to be a selfish asshole... "for their good," you see... else we'll punish you for inadequate levels of assholery..

That said, why care about the statue so much?  If people don't like it now, they might like it later, or never again... who knows?   Stick it in storage... or eBay it like everyone does with furniture they're tired of.  Someone else will want it.  Or you could buy it back one day. Or make another.  Whatever.  We've clearly got much, much younger--and worse:  living--assholes to worry about. :P
 
2017-09-01 03:10:05 AM  
Imagine if we decided to rename all those places called Columbus/Columbia.
 
2017-09-01 03:18:44 AM  
Columbus was a douchebag and I encourage everyone to piss on his grave.  Wherever that may be.  It is amazing that government offices are closed on Columbus day.  That is some bull shiat right there.
 
2017-09-01 03:29:06 AM  
static1.1.sqspcdn.com
 
2017-09-01 03:30:09 AM  

SoupGuru: It's not really that complicated, actually. The day he found the New World was a really shiatty day for the people living here.


For him, it was Saturday.
 
2017-09-01 04:05:49 AM  

koder: We celebrate and reward assholes in this country.  In fact, you're required to be an asshole from early on.  Sure, you could let people cheat off you in school and gain social popularity and/or money, but no, we require you to be a selfish asshole... "for their good," you see... else we'll punish you for inadequate levels of assholery..


That's an oddly specific example.
 
2017-09-01 06:59:52 AM  
Author forgot to mention that future slaves were often caught by African chiefs. Many sides
 
2017-09-01 07:17:31 AM  
Willful ignorance.

The point is not "tear down statues of assholes." The point is we have a foundational mythos in which brave white dudes hack a new world out of a wilderness.

That story only works if native Americans aren't actually people. If you grant natives the status of "actual human beings" then the story is now "these guys came and stole everyone's stuff", which doesn't sound quite as glorious.

Setting up a statue of someone is glorification. You're establishing that person's story as the one celebrated by the common society.

Right wingers and other white supremacy folks say that taking down these statues, we're erasing history. That's nonsense in one way, but in another way it's absolutely correct: we're retelling history in a way in which more people matter.
 
2017-09-01 07:45:47 AM  
I still remember Republicans cheering as the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down.  If I'm not mistaken, wasn't he an historical figure as well?
 
2017-09-01 08:48:54 AM  

bigfatbuddhist: I still remember Republicans cheering as the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down.  If I'm not mistaken, wasn't he an historical figure as well?


And was taking down his statue "erasing" history? We all remember him, with or without any statues.

So should we judge Columbus against the Carib chiefs? Or is that, you know, bad form - holding dark-skinned people from indigenous cultures to the same moral standards as we hold light-skinned people who symbolize the West?

Oh, snap! Holding the natives to a different moral standard is a form of racism, too.
 
2017-09-01 08:53:43 AM  

bingethinker: bigfatbuddhist: I still remember Republicans cheering as the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down.  If I'm not mistaken, wasn't he an historical figure as well?

And was taking down his statue "erasing" history? We all remember him, with or without any statues.


And, we'll remember Robert E. Lee without any statues.  Are you missing my point or are you a performance artist, son?
 
2017-09-01 09:15:12 AM  

DanInKansas: The point is not "tear down statues of assholes." The point is we have a foundational mythos in which brave white dudes hack a new world out of a wilderness.


Perhaps. But that's not Columbus' role in it, even if you're right.

He's not Cortes -- he's just the discoverer.

Things fell apart when Columbus wasn't around to manage them, but that's hard to pin on him. Someone was going to find the Americas, and someone was going to exploit them when they did, because the locals had fallen badly behind the times.
 
2017-09-01 09:27:49 AM  

This text is now purple: DanInKansas: The point is not "tear down statues of assholes." The point is we have a foundational mythos in which brave white dudes hack a new world out of a wilderness.

Perhaps. But that's not Columbus' role in it, even if you're right.

He's not Cortes -- he's just the discoverer.

Things fell apart when Columbus wasn't around to manage them, but that's hard to pin on him. Someone was going to find the Americas, and someone was going to exploit them when they did, because the locals had fallen badly behind the times.


I truly get sick of white supremacists...
 
2017-09-01 11:55:48 AM  

This text is now purple: DanInKansas: The point is not "tear down statues of assholes." The point is we have a foundational mythos in which brave white dudes hack a new world out of a wilderness.

Perhaps. But that's not Columbus' role in it, even if you're right.

He's not Cortes -- he's just the discoverer.

Things fell apart when Columbus wasn't around to manage them, but that's hard to pin on him. Someone was going to find the Americas, and someone was going to exploit them when they did, because the locals had fallen badly behind the times.


Cortez would never have been successful had somebody (almost certainly not Columbus) not brought smallpox to the mainland.  But at least on the islands he found, Columbus was at least as bad for the islands as Cortez was to what would become Mexico.

What really sticks in my craw about the whole "Columbus story" is that the size of the Earth was apparently controversial in the Spanish Court (but not in Portugal: they new the trick of "running the latitudes" and thus new exactly how big the Earth was (at least in terms of how long it takes to sail around it).  Toledo is due north of Madrid, but apparently nobody bothered to measure the the angle of the Sun at high noon on the same day (which is exactly how the text they were debating described how he determined the size of the Earth, although the original had it far easier by knowing one was equatorial (or at least tropical, and knew when the Sun was *exactly* overhead).

Columbus was financed by Spain largely because of ignorance of the scientific method (and considering they expelled both the Jews and Muslims in 1492, pretty much ignorance of everything).  The Spaniards of the time were essentially barbarians who plundered/conquered the civilization of Andalusia and were about to luck into a wildly bigger and richer (in terms of gold and silver, at least until bringing them to Europe crashes all money based on those metals) empires.

Spain was able to plunder the Americas due to their own spectacular ignorance.  On the other hand, at roughly the same time China was burning her own ships (presumably at least as good as anything Columbus had at hand).  Conservatives (the eunuchs of the Imperial Court) had gained power and were determined to maintain Chinese ignorance of other lands at all costs.  While this might look like a "whatabout" the point is that while being ignorant is bad, *choosing* ignorance is worse (ok, I'm furiously ignoring that Spain choose ignorance in deporting anyone with any education [it would be decades later that the Jesuits to be founded [in France], and more decades to set up their schools], but they got first crack at Aztec and Incan gold and silver thanks to at least attempting to learn something new).
 
2017-09-01 01:23:45 PM  
If we want a holiday to celebrate explorers and pioneers (which we do), why not the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing instead?
 
2017-09-01 02:48:35 PM  

spiritplumber: If we want a holiday to celebrate explorers and pioneers (which we do), why not the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing instead?


That's one small step for a man... one 3-day weekend for mankind.
 
2017-09-01 04:32:05 PM  
I'll just leave Furio's little history lesson right here:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cbbMIg-Aw8E

Columbus was from Genoa... Italy didn't become Italy until Garobaldi in 1877 or so!

Fark the Spanish!
 
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