In Defense Of Christopher Columbus (Day)

*DISCLAIMER: That title was clickbait. This is not a serious blog defending or demonizing Christopher Columbus, more of just a Columbus Day blog*

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
A compass also helped him know,
How to find the way to go.
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
“Indians!  Indians!”  Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
But “India” the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he’d been told.
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
The first American?  No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright”

I know the pool to pick from isn’t exactly large, but this is easily my favorite rap song about Christopher Columbus. Good lyrics, a rhythmic flow to it, and it tells the story well without getting off track too much. Just a perfect example of how a rap song about a 15th century explorer should be done

Anyway, the world has “blessed” us with another Monday, and if you’re like me, 5 o’clock can’t come soon enough. Some of you lucky bastards out there can’t relate, as you probably enjoyed a day off filled with naps and Netflix instead of working like the sucker that I am. Although to be fair, napping and Netflix are also part of my work schedule since I’m still WFH, but I am punched in and technically working a lot harder than those aforementioned people, so my point still stands

Regardless of what you’re doing, today is Columbus Day: A holiday that’s recognized in a few countries around the world to remember 15th century explorer and “discoverer” of The Americas, Christopher Columbus. I had to put discoverer in quotes because there’s a different answer for that depending who you ask, but for all intents and purposes of this blog, let’s say that Columbus did discover America and that’s why he deserves a holiday

As far as holidays go, Columbus Day brings with it more controversy than the Christmases and Easters of the traditional calendar year, and movements to change the name or get rid of it altogether have gained a lot of traction recently. Several cities and towns around me no longer call it Columbus Day, having replaced it with the more progressive Indigenous Peoples Day, and I assume that’s happening in other places around the country and world too

Personally, I don’t really get worked up one way or the other about stuff like this because I have better things to do, so that usually leaves me stranded somewhere in the middle while both sides yell at eachother. One side says it’s a holiday and tradition that honors a brave and revolutionary explorer, while the other side claims it’s disrespectful to the indigenous people that were eventually victimized by Columbus and other explorers from that era

Like I said before, I don’t really care either way. The guy died like 500 years ago, so I’m not sure what difference honoring or vilifying him does at this point. But, because I’m bored and do like stirring the pot, I’d like to announce that for the sake of this blog, I am pro-Columbus Day. Not because I love Christopher Columbus or anything, but just because I’m thankful for all of the long weekends and time away from school that he gave me while growing up

Now before the anti-Columbus crowd starts gathering outside of my house with pitchforks and torches, just understand that my stance on this issue has zero basis in facts or historical accuracy, nor am I even being sincere in most of this. All I’m saying is that the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus, for better or worse, lead to him getting a holiday that then allowed me and all of you to get a free Monday off from school every October, and I feel like not acknowledging or appreciating that would be a little bit ungrateful

It took me until just now to realize the importance of this holiday, mainly because I’m working instead of eating cereal and watching cartoons like I’d done on many previous Columbus Days. Come to think of it, maybe the realization of having to work on Columbus Day for the rest of my life will eventually radicalize me enough that I’ll completely switch sides on the issue. Not because I think that the other side is right and it’s time to move on from Columbus, but because I’m a childish asshole who thinks that if I can’t have a day off, then nobody can

So to sum things up, I’m very appreciative for all of the long weekends Columbus Day gave me in the past, and I’m dreading the thought of not having them anymore in the future. I think there are better uses of time and energy than trying to cancel people from the past, but if you aren’t like me and do want to fight over Columbus Day every year, feel free to head down to your local protest and duke it out like they did in that Sopranos episode

PS: I have a quick little related story from college that I didn’t think would fit properly into the blog, so here it is. Right around Columbus Day during my freshman year, we had a class discussion about the whole change or don’t change the name issue. It wasn’t with the teacher moderating or anything like this, more of just a pre-class conversation that turned into an argument. As we all know with class arguments like this, there’s usually 2 sides with 1 person leading each team. On the “I hate Christopher Columbus and we need to get rid of the holiday” side was this girl who was taking it WAY too seriously, so much so that she had to have prepared for this exact moment and practiced in the mirror every day. On the “Who cares?” side was this dude he seemed pretty stoned and was clearly just fucking with her for his own enjoyment. She would go on these huge rants about how Columbus slaughtered and raped the natives etc. and that’s why we have to change the holiday, and he’d just go “Nah, I disagree” and she would lose her fucking mind. She had just finished one of these long winded rants, and the other kid asked her if she planned on coming to class on Monday (which would have been Columbus Day). She said “No, it’s Columbus Day. We don’t have class” And he goes “Oh, so you plan on celebrating Columbus Day this year? You’re basically supporting Columbus then”. To everybody else he was clearly joking, but that comment broke this poor girl’s brain. She looked like a robot that just short circuited, and I thought her head was actually going to explode for a second. She was so deeply invested into this argument that she had to stop and ask herself, “Wait, is he right? Am I complicit in his crimes because I’m technically going to observe Columbus Day this year?”. If I had a picture of her face right after he said that, I would set it as my home screen just so I could relive that moment every day

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