Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Class 4/15

I don't know if I have ever heard a collected group of people bash Columbus quite as much as we did today. Normally Columbus is regarded as a hero being the man who discovered America and made possible the world as we know it today.

I thought it was very interesting how we established that Columbus was in some way unaware of the the world around him and yet most people believed his position was more favorable than Cortes. Yes Cortes was more in touch with reality than Columbus but we seemed to decide that because Cortes realized what he was doing he must have been unhappy. Of course PTJ brought to our attention that the book never said Cortes felt guilty but that the feeling of guilt is what we all believed he would have felt. Columbus saved himself from this by creating his own utopia and refusing to accept anything that would challenge that state.

It has just occurred to me that I believe I said the account of The Conquest of New Spain was written by Bartoleme de las Casas, correction that was written by Bernal Diaz.

After all of the set-up I can't wait to read Children of God, I certainly hope it lives up to all of the hype by PTJ.

I will leave you all with a glimpse of the Conquest of America with this clip from the film 1492.


Chris said...

It's a pity that there aren't more groups of Columbus bashers in the U.S. He's certainly up there with Washington in our list of "People Who Magically Created the United States, God's Chosen Land and Kickass Amusement Park."

The flat Earth nonsense plays into that so well - the first time we learn about Columbus, it's usually that he went around saying, "I think the Earth is round!" Everybody else says he's crazy, but he wins in the end and gets the whole New World to party in. And, of course, history progresses directly and inevitably to the present day. Problem is, the flat Earth thing is bullshit as anyone with a sextant and half a brain had long ago figured out that the Earth was round.

But we like to claim that Columbus was a brilliant free spirit whose independence brought about America like magic. Because we're God's chosen people on New Jerusalem/New Athens. Thanks, Anders.

gcsilmoldor said...

Did you hear about the group on campus who wanted AU to change the celebration of Columbus to Native People's Day or something like that? Caused some people on campus to be quite peeved if I remember correctly.

Tim said...

I didn't know about Native People's Day. Maybe we should have invited them to class so we could have seen a real example of the political.

Mr_Brefast said...

Tim, you don't understand - those outsiders would have been massacred. I mean, it would be our classroom, so we would be the natives. They therefore wouldn't want to hurt us, and they would then keep telling us the virtues of their new holiday until we were angered into destroying our newly-minted foes. And, since we would be the natives, they wouldn't fight back.

Perhaps its better that they DIDN'T come to our classroom...

Andrew said...

I don't understand why the sicilian americans in america aka nearly all italian americans, love Columbus so much. the man was genoese, they thought and still think tat sicily is a backwater craphole.