For today’s #MondayMusing, I regret to burden you with the truth. This is a truth that I didn’t fully know before tonight so I’m not asserting any moral superiority here. We all had the nagging suspicion that Conquistadors weren’t such mensches, but how bad could they be? If you don’t want to know, then don’t read further.
“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”
– Thomas Gray’s poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1742)
Do we really need to know who shot JFK, RFK and what other ship was there in the Gulf of Tonkin? We hate the truth because we’re busy, lazy, and prefer things hazy. I mean, it takes courage and work to question what we believe. After all, who has the time and what difference does it make as long as I’m not too far out of step with what everyone else believes, right? Maybe. But someday, moral standards could change, like the Nuremberg Trials, or proudly posing for postcards of lynchings…
Final warning, if you are prejudiced to wanting Columbus Day to mean what it used to mean when we all accepted Audie Murphy and John Wayne at face value, then this is the end of your story. Stop reading because it will only lead to unpleasant revelations. There is nothing wrong with living in ignorance. After all, Einstein was quoted as saying:
“Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity.”
I think Einstein was a bit unkind here. A substitution of ignorance for stupidity is more apt. To “ignore” is not to be incapable of comprehension. It is simply to choose the Blue pill in the pivotal scene from the movie, “The Matrix” (1999). As the Navajo proverb says, ““You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep”
Many would default to the notion that revisionism of the Columbus story is a politically-correct act of sophistry engaged in by elitists and malcontents. They might argue that any reevaluation of Columbus Day is cynical because there is no absolute standard of good an evil; everything is just a matter of degrees and subject to moral relativism right? I mean Lincoln was probably a racist and MLK had affairs. So why not give Christopher Columbus a bye here?
The moral relativism game is easy to play and we all have gotten skilled at it:
If I say, “Tienanmen square killings, small pox-infected blankets, an Auto de fe” – those are bad associations, right? But “cheap consumer goods, removal of the Indian threat to New York settlers, and the Reconquista”?- not so bad. And “Preservation of Chinese order and incremental change, Manifest Destiny, and the glorification of the Christian faith”?- pretty positive concepts to many people.
But if we really look at the historical Columbus, the question of moral relativism falls as flat as Zylon B being a boon for medical science and Pol Pot being a patriot for Cambodia… This is your last chance to avoid the Red Pill…
If what this blogger is saying is true, you may find the very idea of celebrating Columbus to be offensive.
So what is the alternative? Maybe Portland got it right?
In the end, we can only be mindful in the present and hopeful for the future. Ironically, the only thing we can ever really change is the past, and we do this every night when we sleep, and every day when we learn. That is why it is so crucial to go to sleep with thoughts of gratitude. Click the photo below to connect to my podcast about dreams:
Postscript: Did you know that I feel like Leif Ericksson sometimes? He was in North America centuries before Columbus.
The investigation of TA-65 requires clinical trials because it is, in my opinion, a solid theory with compelling anecdotal evidence that I hear about daily from my over 1,000 patients. It deserves double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials. I wish someone would help me fund these studies just to shut me up. I’ll contribute my time and expertise completely pro bono.
Sadly, because no one can “monetize” this effort, there is not going to be any interest in investigating what I believe is our most promising cure for aging. As with the gap between the Vikings and the Conquistadors, we may have to wait five centuries for reputable science to discover what I am convinced is already the New World. There simply is too much money to be made in pick axes, Levi’s, and the quest for “El Dorado”.
As for the Philosopher’s Stone contained in each stem cell and unlocked by adaptogenic substances from Astragalus that I believe in?…..
“we’re not going to take it” ….. comes the reply from the monolith of serious scientists!
Let’s listen to Roger Daltrey, a user of TA-65, sing about the mentality that would rather hold to incremental truth that absolute truth. This reverence for serious science reminds us of the fight to keep Columbus Day sacrosanct. Don’t blame me because I’m doing my level best here. All I can really do is keep playing my pinball…