Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Happy Columbus Day?

Posted by evankessler on October 12, 2009

Most people who don’t ask for directions and wind up in a completely different place than they intended are usually met with heaps of ridicule.  Let’s face it, recreating Christopher Columbus‘ fateful trip would be like setting out for a road trip to your cousin’s house in Detroit, arriving in Flagstaff, and eating some stranger’s Fruity Pebbles, then having a kegger for your friends back home before setting their house on fire.

In the olden times, however, the serendipitous exploration that resulted in landing a mere thousands of miles off your original course was seen as a greatly forgivable offense, provided there were spices on hand and plenty of people to exploit.  Whether or not Christopher Columbus engaged in wanton cruelty upon reaching the New (yet already inhabited) World can sometimes seem immaterial when you stop and consider the alternative; If the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria had never sailed the ocean blue in 1492, many of us now inhabiting the Western hemisphere might live in Albania or somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope instead of  Colombia, Columbus, Ohio, or even British Columbia.

So while it’s easy to focus on man’s inhumanity to man or Cristobal Colon’s inhumanity to indigenous peoples….oh who are we kidding? Christopher Columbus probably wasn’t a very good dude and most people don’t even get off work to celebrate his misguided sailing trip anymore. When’s Amerigo Vespucci day anyway?


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