I sense a disturbance in the Force. It's coming... articles are starting to bubble up. You see them here and there- whispers and accusations. The War On Holidays is about to open up a new front- the War on Columbus Day is almost here.*
Let's get one thing out of the way, right up front: Columbus Day is not a real holiday. It's a bullshit holiday. I never got a day off school for Columbus Day. I never get holiday pay for Columbus Day. All I know is that it's a day where you can get appliances for cheap and the mail doesn't come. And let's be clear: why are we celebrating Columbus anyway? For a start, he was a terrible, terrible human being- people always trot out this excellent edition of The Oatmeal which points that out- and for two, he didn't actually discover 'the new world'**. Leif Erikson did that.
Which brings around to the meaning of this bullshit holiday to begin with. If, it's about celebrating the discovery of the Americas by Europeans, then we've been doing it wrong all this time, because, well, Leif Erikson did that and he already has a day. (Hey, by the way, Happy Leif Erikson Day, everyone!) If it's about some bullshit civilizing European culture-Judeo-Christian nonsense, then that's a bullshit reason to have a holiday and Columbus is a bullshit guy to have a holiday for. Bartolome de Las Casas is a far more worthy representative and a far more worthwhile guy to have a holiday for if that's what you're about.
Am I down with replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day? Absolutely! Columbus was a. a horrible human being and b. didn't actually discover America to begin with plus, if you take into account all the horrible shit that happened to the indigenous populations of America once the white Europeans showed up- the smallpox, the conquest, the genocide, the forced resettlement, the broken treaties, the reservations, I think they deserve at least one day, don't you? I think perhaps a day is the least (and I do mean 'least') we can do. If we're serious about it though, then, let's make it a Federal Holiday. Let's let the kids off school (weirdly, I think the Elder Spawn actually gets it off this year as a 'fall break') and give me some sweet, sweet holiday pay. Make it a real holiday. None of this bullshit 'let's go buy a cheap fridge' type of a holiday stuff any more.
Columbus? Meh. He'll be fine. If for no other reason that they can make the words 'blue', 'ocean' and '1492' all rhyme with his name.
*Okay, long tangent time: Bill O'Reilly and his fucking War On Christmas raises my blood pressure each and every fucking year and I know, I just know, there's going to be a raft of articles about how Columbus Day is important to our American heritage and it's just another sign of the evil liberal SJW agenda to destroy all things great and good about 'Mericuh. And only the Conservative media could make an issue out of a holiday that nobody really gives a shit about, but there you go.
And don't even get me started on the Christmas bullshit. America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution who wanted the freedom to worship as they please, but GOD FORBID you say 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS' to some uptight Christian who'll faint and scream about persecution- as if we feed Christians to fucking lions in this country. Here's my thing though- the joy of America, the beauty of America is the ecumenism of our religious beliefs. If I meet you walking down the street, I'm not going to assume that you're Christian. There's a good chance you are, but there's an equally good chance that you're not. You might not celebrate Christmas at all, but in the spirit of wishing you warm greetings for the Year's End, I will say 'Happy Holidays' just to cover all my bases. It's not anti-Christian. It's not politically correct. It's the American thing to do.
**'The new world' is such a loaded term. It's not like this was a totally new place Europeans just 'found' it was here the whole time. With people and cultures and languages and cities and traditions... it wasn't 'new.' It just, well, was... and some Europeans found it. They found what was already here all along. Really when you think about it that way, it's not that big of a deal.