Columbus the Day

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It’s Columbus day, I’m not on an airplane, and there’s nothing more satisfying than proudly looking upon this Italian American answer for St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating a not so nice man that traveled halfway around the world and claimed he was the first one to do it.  In all fairness, anyone who traveled halfway around the world without knowing that he wasn’t the first one, was probably a bit crazy to begin with, so I’m not really buying the argument that we shouldn’t honor his accomplishment because he was mean.  He had to be.  How the hell do you do what you do without being mean?  And the fact that he either killed or took advantages of the nice, kind savages that he met along the way is also not a reason to disparage him.  He didn’t know what History was going to see.  In fact, History did not see any of it.  There isn’t video tape or photos of how nice the “Indians” were.  I doubt there are first hand accounts from the savages about how “taken advantage of” they felt.  I can’t remember reading a diary entry that read, “Columbus, nice boats...but a bit pants”.  In fact I can pretty much guarantee that there’s more negative bullshit about me floating out in the world, and I still haven’t discovered today’s lint hanging out in my belly button. The only thing that I’ve done of any note, is to be named after St. Patrick and to be honest, I didn’t really have a choice in that one.  So why not honor Columbus?  Why not throw a parade?  It’s a nice gesture, in an imperfect world where there’s not a lot of “first time” claims, unless you read the president’s Tweets. There’s someone who’s probably not going to get a lot of parades, poor fella.  I’m sure that there will be quite a few people who will take great delight in knowing that history’s pen will describe this president as the “Tweeted Trump”.  I mean how embarrassing is that going to be?  Teddy Roosevelt is remembered for speaking softly and carrying a big stick. I’m sure that Donny would say that Roosevelt carried a normal sized stick and had small hands like himself, but we’ve all seen his statue at the American Museum of Natural History and witnessed his enormous meat hooks.  For those of you who haven’t visited yet, there’s not an accurate description of Columbus anywhere on the premises.  All we know is that he wasn’t ever accused of “Tweeting the Natives”, to which I say “hurrah”.  So you know what, enjoy Columbus day, celebrate it, revel in its mysteries and inaccuracies and hyperbole.  Don’t be ashamed to heroicize a man none of us ever met, nor had to sail the sea with.  He knew enough to charm a queen, he was able to get three boats, and if he mistreated a few indigenous folks along the way, so be it.  I know that when I’ve been waiting a few needless hours on a tarmac, the welcome crew at gate D33 will not be witnessing my best side.  If I was somehow able to inspire a bunch of folks to hold a parade for me every year after flying a delayed Economy Plus flight, I think that I would take it.  I may not deserve praise and admiration, nor history’s favorable pen, but at least I did something goldarnnit, and until Delta gives me a free upgrade on my next flight, I’m going to hold on to that sucker for as long as I can.

 

-pmd