a Someone should care, maybe not you....: A Rant on Human Stupidity. .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

14 October 2009

A Rant on Human Stupidity.

Ok, I know that ranting about human stupidity is really pointless. It could even be said to be stupid. But I must.

I was reading an article online on Monday that talked about how schools are “Teaching the Darker side of Columbus.” Like ti was a new thing. Good old Christopher C has been the whipping boy of the “we hate white European males” crowd for quite some time. There was a LOT of stupid stuff talked about in the article but one line just reached out and grabbed me because it is a really, REALLY stupid saying. An elementary school teacher said “Columbus couldn’t have discovered America. After all, people were already living there.” Now, Columbus came from Europe where no one had any good idea that there was an extra continent between them and Asia going west. It was unknown, it was undiscovered. He stumbled upon it by accident, didn’t really know what he had found at first but he certainly “discovered” it in the context of his society, culture, and civilization. To say otherwise is really moronic. Sort of like saying the no one discovered radiation because it had always been there.

I actually heard a man use that line in person once: In a graduate level education class. I resisted the urge to verbally abuse the fellow out of deference to the teacher. (This was a teacher who later showed the trailer for Disney’s Pocahontas movie and told us how that would be a great tool to teach “native American” culture. I did not let that lunacy pass unchallenged but that is another story.)

I am boggled by the politically correct drivel that some people accept. Any person with even a partial understanding of history could not with any degree of honesty make such a load of hogwash. Heck, if they knew the meaning of the word discover they could see that the use is correct. People discover things everyday that other people have known about for ages. Bands, Bars, restaurants, historical reality, the fact that crying about something won’t change it, all of these are things that get discovered all the time.

So, I have to ask myself, is that teacher I quoted deliberately lying, hence evil, or is he just a flaming moron? My guess is a moron.

9 Comments:

Blogger The Appalachianist said...

I'm posting more than you are. What's up with that?
People can make some senseless comments from what is nothing more than their self righteousness complex.

5:00 AM  
Blogger opit said...

Heyerdahl: 'Kon-Tiki man' to the end
'I say no European has discovered anything but Europe'
http://www.greatdreams.com/thor.htm

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~catshaman/09handman/0cadmus.htm

You might note a tradition of keeping discoveries secret from other nation states.

The history of Easter Island, for instance, poses about as many questions as it answers.
Sounding certain about the past may be reassuring : but has an excellent chance of being shown as windbaggery.

7:33 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Glad to see you so up front about Columbus. Yes, he is a whipping boy nowadays, but you know what? He deserves it.

I believe in teaching history as is, and that often offends people. For example, I don't think Adolph Hitler was the most evil person of the 20th Century (there goes another 10 readers). Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and Stalin were all worse.

But I call a spade a spade.

Back to Columbus, he was a butcher. You do however have to post a few things about Columbus that need to be said. Did he discover America? Hard to answer honestly because some historians now say he got his maps from the Chinese. Noted, they're a minority of historians, but the thought is now out there.

Also, some folks think Amerigo Vespucci really discovered America.

These are all things you have to weigh in.

You can't really say the Indians did because they were there and stayed, so by definition, you are correct. It would be like saying "I discovered this awesome band yesterday." By definition, you're right.

Same thing with the Vikings. How far did they get? Who knows? They got to America, didn't have a permanent settlement, and didn't tell anyone. That's not technically discovering something if you die not telling anyone what you found.

It's like let's say Bob Jones discovered radium, then died and didn't tell anyone. So Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie come along and discover it, then announce it to the world. Well, guess who gets the credit?

Anyways, that's my take on your blog post.

9:27 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

Yeah, I have been very slack in posting and need to step up and write more often.

As much as I like Heyerdahl, And I loved Kon-Tiki, liked RA and read Atu-Atu, I must disagree with his opinion.
Keeping discoveries secret certainly does not negate making a discovery. And credit generally goes to he who announces first.

Now ZS, I disagree with you about Cristobol Colon. By the standards of his day, which is how we should judge him , not by the standards of ours, he was an arrogant hard ass but certainly not a savage butcher. (Pizzaro on the other hand, and Cortez might be another story)

I also think you are confusing Columbus with Magellan. Magellan had a whole book of charts (a rutter) that he got somewhere and the Chinese are a very good guess. If Columbus had had maps he wouldn't have spent so much time claiming to have reached India leaving the door open for Amerigo Vespucci to put his name on this "new" continent.

The Vikings definitely got here but didn't stay and as you say didn't really publicize it much. (it is interesting to imagine what things would have been like if they had established an enduring presence)

Hell, if we go back to Heyerdahl he expresses the possibility that the Egyptians got here centuries ago.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:23 PM  
Blogger opit said...

Seems to me I recall Viking relics in Pennsylvania.

2:53 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I'll have to look up my source again for the maps. You may be right about Magellan and the Chinese.

However, Columbus was a butcher. It's known now that he would give the natives a quota for gold and if they didn't get their quota, he'd cut off their hands and let them bleed to death.

Even for his day, he was excessively cruel. I can guarantee had the general public known of things like that, they would have been unfavorable to him.

Like I said, I prefer reading history exactly as is.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

4:11 PM  
Blogger opit said...

The spambot actually got it right. You do write stuff worth reading when you take the time to do so.
But it can be a frustrating exercise to accumulate enough of a following to make that exercise compelling. I find places like Current TV much more sociable than blogging. Of course, I use it to post finds and leave a record...a news hack.

11:20 PM  

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