Columbus Day

Columbus Day

Monday - October 12th, 2009

On Columbus Day, it seems like everyone is pissed off. The Indians are pissed because Columbus is a symbol of colonialism and genocide. The Italians are pissed because everyone is dissing on Columbus. The Spanish are pissed because Columbus was an Italian. And pretty much all of the workers in America are pissed that the only ones who get the day off are the postal workers.

And it’s always kind of been like that… The holiday itself was founded, in part, because organizations like the Ku Klux Klan were pissed at Catholic immigrants (and everyone else for that matter), and organizations like the Knights of Columbus wanted to remind them and the rest of the country that the person who “discovered” America was a Catholic Italian — or was he? According to a Spanish friend of mine, Columbus was secretly Jewish. I’m sure someone is pissed about that. Oh, the saga never ends…

The Vikings might as well be pissed off too. After all, they landed in North America almost a full 500 years before Columbus, yet get completely overshadowed in the discovery department. Around the year 1000, the Vikings sailed to North America from Greenland, shouted praise to Odin, and then fought with the skraelings (the native “wretches” they found living there). Then, as the story goes, the Vikings cleared the hell out of Vinland because they were freezing their nuts off. The Vikings only lasted about two years in North America because, unlike Columbus, they did not land in a tropical paradise, but a rocky beach in Newfoundland.

I hope you observe today’s holiday in whatever way pleases you. Personally, I propose we change the name of Columbus Day to Explorer’s Day and celebrate the pioneering spirit of all who have dared cross mighty oceans, deserts, and ventured forth into outer space. Screw the Spanish Crown for their exploitation of the Indians, but yay for Columbus for having Italian meatballs big enough to sail across 2000 miles of ocean swarming with sea monsters.

And woohoo if you work for the U.S. Postal Service!

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