Columbus Corruptus

Happy October to all the boys and girls in the Gregorian Calendar Universe!! Whether you’re a cat or an ant lion, I hope you all have a wonderful October; and may the Great Pumpkin bring you lots of presents on Halloween. But, hey, if you really ARE a cat or an ant lion, it’s not likely you’re reading this, so just nevermind. Go eat some antmice or something.

For all youse human reading-type beings, Happy October already. Not sure about your neighborhood, but ours is extravagantly beautiful with glorious fall colors these days.  It’s truly a magnificent Autumn this year.

So this past Monday was Columbus Day.  A federal holiday here in the U.S.; which is why our daughter now refers to it as “no mail day.”  She actually calls it that for other reasons which I shall elaborate upon in a minute.  Even though it’s a holiday, nobody invited us over for Columbus Cobbler with Moosetracks ice cream and small waffles dripping with olive oil.  Maybe I was expecting too much!!  I don’t need any of that stuff, anyhow. My COVID midriff is already becoming large enough to store unused motor oil. Wanna go get a Whopper?  I think they’re on sale!!  Anyway, I remember hearing about Columbus when I was very young. Most of you probably do too; you know… he journeyed over here in 1492 in three ships: the Ninja, the Placenta, and the Hanna-Barbera. Or something like that…

Now that I’m an old fart and have learned a few things, I’ll have to say I’m a bit confused about the fondness for Columbus Day. Well, I understand how the Italians think it’s pretty cool; he was one of theirs, after all. But when I was a kid, the teachers lied to me with their faces. They told me that Columbus discovered America. This makes me cry inside. They even made us learn that stupid poem:

In fourteen hundred and ninety two,

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

If he hollers let him go,

Eeenie, meenie, myenie, moe.

Pretty weird poem. Even though I may have it a little wrong, my revised version makes about as much sense as Columbus “discovering” America. Sure, he was able to talk Isabella into financing a voyage to look for a new route to India. He basically got lost and ended up in the Caribbean, in what later became known as the West Indies.

Eventually he figured out where he really was, so he made several more trips and got the ball rolling for Spain to conquer Central and South America. Then lots of Europeans were catching on to the riches in “New World.” Bad medicine for the folks who were already here for several thousand years (not so good for lots of Africans, either). The white folks were absolutely sure they lived in a Superior Universe, and if you didn’t believe them, they had the weapons to prove it.

OK, I digress.  Remember when I mentioned that my school teachers lied to me about Columbus “discovering” America?  Well that’s because archaeologists and historians have learned otherwise.  Turns out Vikings were here about 600 years before Columbus, and even tried to settle in a place they called Vinland. Didn’t work out so well, so they went back home. Guess they were happier chasing whales and herring.

My ancestors were vikings, but that’s not your fault.  Come to think of it, it’s not my fault either!!   And it’s also not my fault that when I was a kid in school, we white folks didn’t seem to get nearly enough information on the history of the Native Americans; who were really the first ones here. But hey, why should we have focused on any of that?  We Europeans stole this continent from them fair and square!

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?? I mean, Columbus didn’t discover ANYTHING. Lots of folks knew about this place before he did. When I was a younger lad, I’d rant and rave about this stuff like there was no tomorrow. Get really emotional and all that. Veins protruding from my neck, pale face turning into red face. With freckles. Now I’m still a young lad, but I live in an old man’s body; so I’m pretty sure all that red face vein protrusion stuff is not healthy.  But I’ve learned a few things over the years; and now I can do something REALLY weird. I can pay attention to what’s going on, and vote. Change the things I can, accept the things I can’t.  No more red vein protruding face stuff.

Sure, I love living in a free country and having the luxury of owning too much junk. But I try to be sensitive to those who were here first. I still get mildly irked about all the Columbus Day hoopla, but it’s numbed out substantially. Thankfully, the term “Idigenous Peoples’ Day” is being celebrated as a substitute for Columbus Day in more and more places every year.  As our daughter so accurately stated:  for us, “Columbus Day” is just another day when we don’t get mail.

As I said in the beginning of this little rant, the Autumn colors of the trees are pretty much at a peak. Now, THAT’S something to celebrate for a Happy October!! Fresh apples and lots of other fall harvest goodies are ready and waiting for us at the farmers markets and in the stores!!

Well, it’s getting late, there’s supposed to be frost on the pumpkin tonight, and the kitty wants in. He’s staring at us, just outside the door, and probably beaming messages for me to get off my hiney and let him be warm with us.

Guess I’ll go outside and “discover” cold air!

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that one of Columbus’s ships was the Hanna-Barbera?  They made a lot cartoons!!  Unfortunately, I could only find snippets of them on the interwebs; so I didn’t really want to plop one of those here for the weekly video.  So here’s a here’s an early Merrie Melodies gem I “discovered” after some digging (meaning I’ve never seen it before).  Hope you like it as much as I did.