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Old 25th June 2020, 06:26 PM   #1
MrFliop
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Why I still believe we should commemorate Columbus

There’s a reason why Columbus Day is observed on October 12th.

Now, Christopher Columbus was a bad evil person who had A LOT of blood on his hands, and is responsible for many inexcusable actions.

However, the MAIN reason he is remembered in history and on his National Holiday is because of his historic landing in the Caribbean on October 12th, 1492. He may not have been the first European to sail the ocean and step foot on the Americas, and he died believing he was in Asia the whole time. But, he was the founder and commander of the voyage that EVENTUALLY led the Eastern Hemisphere to become AWARE of the existence of the Americas. And vice versa.
That’s why he’s remembered and celebrated!

Ridiculous to think that Americans are celebrating his slavery and murders of Tainos (which by the way happened much later after his October 12th landing, and on a different island). Nobody is celebrating or trying to embolden white supremacy by remembering Columbus with either a statue, a name of a place, or his national holiday.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:31 PM   #2
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We should commemorate Columbus as the guy who discovered the Americas as far as the rest of the world was concerned...

...and then we should condemn him as the monster he was.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MrFliop View Post
Ridiculous to think that Americans are celebrating his slavery and murders of Tainos (which by the way happened much later after his October 12th landing, and on a different island). Nobody is celebrating or trying to embolden white supremacy by remembering Columbus with either a statue, a name of a place, or his national holiday.
No, they're celebrating an arrogant white man who believed that civilization couldn't exist until white Europeans declared it so.

**** Columbus forever.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:39 PM   #4
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He also thought the world was a lot smaller, and refused to believe during his lifetime that he had found a new continent.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:39 PM   #5
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Because, you know, if not for Columbus, no European would have ever figured out there were continents to the west between Europe and Asia.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Because, you know, if not for Columbus, no European would have ever figured out there were continents to the west between Europe and Asia.
Yeah, if he didn't do it, some other jerk would have. And it's not like he was alone on that trip, there were three ships. He was just the boss. It was the workers who did the actual work. Unless you imagine Chris was up there in the rigging, wrestling with the sails.



And nitpick: the Americas <> the Western Hemisphere. Portugal and Ireland, for examples, are entirely within the Western Hemisphere.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Because, you know, if not for Columbus, no European would have ever figured out there were continents to the west between Europe and Asia.
Who even knows? It was known thousands of years before Columbus that the earth was round, but who would’ve wanted to sail across such a long distance? If no one did what Columbus proposed, the “discovery” of the Americas could have been hundreds of years after the late 1400s. It could even have happened as late as the 20th century. Maybe as late as the first ever shuttle launched into space could have been the first time.
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MrFliop View Post
Who even knows? It was known thousands of years before Columbus that the earth was round, but who would’ve wanted to sail across such a long distance? If no one did what Columbus proposed, the “discovery” of the Americas could have been hundreds of years after the late 1400s. It could even have happened as late as the 20th century. Maybe as late as the first ever shuttle launched into space could have been the first time.
Or maybe those Vikings who'd already been at least as far as Newfoundland would have decided to come back and push further. Maybe they'd have met the Aztecs, fallen in love, and centuries later when Evil Queen Victoria arrived with her fleet of dirigibles she'd have faced a mighty civilization of blond Aztecs who put lutefisk in their hot chocolate. What-ifs make for fun fiction but they're pretty useless as historical analysis.
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:07 PM   #9
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I don't think finding out about another continent is a big deal. The world would have been fine if Eurasia and the Americas just did their separate thing.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't think finding out about another continent is a big deal. The world would have been fine if Eurasia and the Americas just did their separate thing.
Honestly... just how small is the imaginary isolationist country you'd prefer to live in?
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:59 PM   #11
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Couldn't we just acknowledge Columbus' contributions without immortalizing his mug hither and yon, and having mattress sales in his honor? It's the idolizing that seems unnecessary.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MrFliop View Post
Who even knows? It was known thousands of years before Columbus that the earth was round, but who would’ve wanted to sail across such a long distance? If no one did what Columbus proposed, the “discovery” of the Americas could have been hundreds of years after the late 1400s. It could even have happened as late as the 20th century. Maybe as late as the first ever shuttle launched into space could have been the first time.

Very, very unlikely. The technology by Columbus’s time was such that people were exploring all over the place looking for “riches” and land.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Very, very unlikely. The technology by Columbus’s time was such that people were exploring all over the place looking for “riches” and land.
Columbus may have been the first, but if it hadn't been him, it would have been someone else. Probably someone equally as nasty.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Columbus may have been the first, but if it hadn't been him, it would have been someone else. Probably someone equally as nasty.
Or much worse, like Cortez.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Or maybe those Vikings who'd already been at least as far as Newfoundland would have decided to come back and push further.
Yeah and they'd actually physically touched North America, unlike that other guy.

Hey! Does anybody know who the first person, so far as historical record is aware, to stand on the shore of Antarctica was? Not the first guy to reach the South Pole, mind - just the first guy to leave a boot print on the continent? It was some rando named John Davis. He wasn't part of an expedition or anything, he was working on a ship that was hunting seals. But he's The Guy.

Do you know where John Davis Day is celebrated? Nowhere. History acknowledges his part by having his name "in the books" as it were, and that's good enough.

Columbus got to name the first few islands he landed on. Some of their names persist to this day. He also had the opportunity to establish actual colonies and became incredibly wealthy trafficking slaves, and contrary to popular "wisdom" he was still quite wealthy when he died. History rewarded him enough in his time.
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Yeah and they'd actually physically touched North America, unlike that other guy.

Hey! Does anybody know who the first person, so far as historical record is aware, to stand on the shore of Antarctica was? Not the first guy to reach the South Pole, mind - just the first guy to leave a boot print on the continent? It was some rando named John Davis. He wasn't part of an expedition or anything, he was working on a ship that was hunting seals. But he's The Guy.

Do you know where John Davis Day is celebrated? Nowhere. History acknowledges his part by having his name "in the books" as it were, and that's good enough.

Columbus got to name the first few islands he landed on. Some of their names persist to this day. He also had the opportunity to establish actual colonies and became incredibly wealthy trafficking slaves, and contrary to popular "wisdom" he was still quite wealthy when he died. History rewarded him enough in his time.
And of course after John Davis came a heap of colonisers which turned Antarctica the world power it is now.....

What a laughable analogy.
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Old 26th June 2020, 10:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
He also thought the world was a lot smaller, and refused to believe during his lifetime that he had found a new continent.
Yes. Columbus was basically a very lucky idiot. His first expedition was based on a gross underestimate of the distance from the west coast of Europe to the east coast of Asia. Had there been nothing but ocean in between, the expedition would have run out of food or fresh water and they likely would have never been heard of again.
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Old 26th June 2020, 10:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jim_MDP View Post
Honestly... just how small is the imaginary isolationist country you'd prefer to live in?
I took his post to mean that the world would have been just fine if Europeans hadn't decided to barge in and "civilize" everybody else. I happen to agree. We would have ended up with quite a different type of world, but so what. The one we have really isn't so great (though we're working on it).
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Old 26th June 2020, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
And of course after John Davis came a heap of colonisers which turned Antarctica the world power it is now.....
No piece of land Columbus ever set foot on during his expeditions ever became a world power. Your premise is rather faulty.

Oh but right, we're supposed to give Columbus credit for things that other people did because he "held open the door" or something. For instance, Columbus deserves credit that John Davis doesn't because it just so happens that hundreds of years after Columbus's death other people turned North America, a land which he never saw, into a global superpower. Are there any limits to how long this post-mortem attribution applies? Is Columbus responsible to some degree for the moon landing? The atomic bombing of Japan? Justin Beiber?
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Old 26th June 2020, 11:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Or maybe those Vikings who'd already been at least as far as Newfoundland would have decided to come back and push further. Maybe they'd have met the Aztecs, fallen in love, and centuries later when Evil Queen Victoria arrived with her fleet of dirigibles she'd have faced a mighty civilization of blond Aztecs who put lutefisk in their hot chocolate. What-ifs make for fun fiction but they're pretty useless as historical analysis.
I suppose we should also burn all Viking ship replicas, stop holding Viking re-enactment festivals, and tear down all rune stones. Because after all, Vikings did back things.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
I suppose we should also burn all Viking ship replicas, stop holding Viking re-enactment festivals, and tear down all rune stones. Because after all, Vikings did back things.
I don't know why the whole world couldn't live forever with maximum happiness and peace without any Viking anything. I would also expect the same ongoing everything-is-just-fine if all of the jackalope taxidermy mounts were destroyed and with fierce penalties for making another one.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MrFliop View Post
Who even knows? It was known thousands of years before Columbus that the earth was round, but who would’ve wanted to sail across such a long distance? If no one did what Columbus proposed, the “discovery” of the Americas could have been hundreds of years after the late 1400s. It could even have happened as late as the 20th century. Maybe as late as the first ever shuttle launched into space could have been the first time.
Um, no! They all LAUGHED at Christopher Columbus when he said the Earth was round.

Additionally they all Laughed when Edison recorded sound.
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Old 26th June 2020, 12:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
I suppose we should also burn all Viking ship replicas, stop holding Viking re-enactment festivals, and tear down all rune stones. Because after all, Vikings did back things.
Back things?
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Back things?
Mostly chiropractics. If you went to get Skeptics to demand the removal of a statue, there’s no point complaining about the commemorated person’s role in genocide. That will merely get you a shrug. If you want them to get angry tell them the commemorated person was a dabbler in woo and pseudoscience. “Get that ******* statue down, NOW!”
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:09 PM   #25
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It's just a statue. Who cares?
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It's just a statue. Who cares?
Some statues come to life at night and strangle people. Some are Weeping Angels, others are just plain old golems, and a few are street performers. All are equally horrible and must be destroyed!

Except for classical Greek statues, and the Roman copies of them. Holy crap those people knew what a magnificent butt should look like! I saw one on a statue once, the statue was on a pedestal exactly the right height that when you came into the room the butt was on eye level, and it was beautiful. Such was the sculptor's skill it really seemed that the butt followed you around the room. It haunted my dreams for a while, too.
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:18 PM   #27
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I agree that if it hadn't been Columbus somebody very soon would have discovered "the New World." Markets would have demanded it. But I'm not sure it's strictly accurate he did not reach the main continent, because I can't figure out if Central America is considered part of either South America or North America.

IIRC at around 1513 someone got a high enough vantage point in central Panama to see that there were oceans on both sides. Venturing into the interior was fraught with all kinds of problems, so even though it's only 50 miles wide in parts exploration of the interior lagged coastal explorations. The person (Balboa) exclaimed "it is truly a new world" or some such, hence the popularization of that term.
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:22 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I agree that if it hadn't been Columbus somebody very soon would have discovered "the New World." Markets would have demanded it. But I'm not sure it's strictly accurate he did not reach the main continent, because I can't figure out if Central America is considered part of either South America or North America.

IIRC at around 1513 someone got a high enough vantage point in central Panama to see that there were oceans on both sides. Venturing into the interior was fraught with all kinds of problems, so even though it's only 50 miles wide in parts exploration of the interior lagged coastal explorations. The person (Balboa) exclaimed "it is truly a new world" or some such, hence the popularization of that term.
He must have felt really, really stupid when he found out later there was a canal connecting the two oceans just a bit further up!
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:28 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
He must have felt really, really stupid when he found out later there was a canal connecting the two oceans just a bit further up!
“I’m a man, I have a plan, oh ****, here’s a canal! No way can I make a palindrome out of this. I’m way too stupid!”
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 26th June 2020, 01:45 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Back things?
I only do back things in a committed relationship.
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Old 26th June 2020, 02:39 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
I suppose we should also burn all Viking ship replicas, stop holding Viking re-enactment festivals, and tear down all rune stones. Because after all, Vikings did back things.
Would upset a few white supremacist LARPers.
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Old 26th June 2020, 03:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It's just a statue. Who cares?
Correct. Statues exist to get pooped on by birds. So why prominently display them in public squares?
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Old 26th June 2020, 03:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
He must have felt really, really stupid when he found out later there was a canal connecting the two oceans just a bit further up!
Yup.

I hope they're not still teaching schoolchildren all the crap about Columbus that was spewed in my day!
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Old 26th June 2020, 03:43 PM   #34
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Old 26th June 2020, 03:44 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Yup.

I hope they're not still teaching schoolchildren all the crap about Columbus that was spewed in my day!
They tried to teach my nephew better. Unfortunately, he has a Fox News-loving father who categorizes teaching facts as the sort of thing in which evil progressives engage. Hell, the same thing was even a plot point on The Sopranos around 20 years ago.
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Old 26th June 2020, 04:14 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Deadie View Post
Correct. Statues exist to get pooped on by birds. So why prominently display them in public squares?
It wouldn't bother me if we got rid of all the statues except that some bright spark would find more expensive ways to decorate the public squares.
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Old 26th June 2020, 04:36 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It wouldn't bother me if we got rid of all the statues except that some bright spark would find more expensive ways to decorate the public squares.
I'm hoping we'll get programmable 3D projected holograms, like on Star Trek. Then we could just have a platform that would project different holograms suitable for the day. Xmas trees at Xmas, a giant turkey at Thanksgiving, etc. Seasonal symbols, holiday icons, or just nice works of art or images from nature. Instead of a stupid statue of some boring dead guy from two centuries ago it could project an actual sculpture of real artistic merit, like Michelangelo's David, or classical works.

Although realistically what would happen almost immediately is product placement for advertising purposes. Nothing good stays uncorrupted for long.
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Old 26th June 2020, 05:11 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Because, you know, if not for Columbus, no European would have ever figured out there were continents to the west between Europe and Asia.
That's pretty irrelevant. That logic applies to every single historical character.
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Old 26th June 2020, 05:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't think finding out about another continent is a big deal.
Sure you don't.
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Old 26th June 2020, 05:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That's pretty irrelevant. That logic applies to every single historical character.
Yes, exactly.
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