As I write this, it is Columbus day, but the image and the title of this post notwithstanding, I’m not actually writing about Columbus — or rather, I will refer to Columbus, but to quite a few other things as well.
There’s a larger problem. For example, elsewhere I am involved in a discussion of the recent fad of transgenderism; the sudden appearance of large numbers of people believing they are ‘transgender’ — a category of humanity that was about as common as Siamese twins just a decade or two ago.
Now, suddenly, they’re everywhere. Andy Ngo ( https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo ) seems to regularly find photos of them to post in his rogue’s gallery of the vandals ravaging Portland every night.
‘…Ronald James Connolly, a transsexual previously known as Rosemary Connolly, was arrested. He was accused of setting the Justice Center on fire & charged w/1st-degree felony arson.’
‘A transvestite in high heeled-shoes dances in front of federal officers at the violent #antifa Portland protest.’
‘Jason Rose Grant, formerly Jackalyn, 22, of Vancouver, WA; a transsexual…’
Changing genders is not just a perfectly reasonable thing, either — it’s a good thing to encourage your children to do, too. Mysteriously, the merits of this escaped all previous generations of humanity — but now, it’s good. Wonderful, in fact. We have books extolling the subject (see my post of September 17th).
But more to the point, it’s who is saying such things as this and the like are good, and the platforms they are now offered to say it. Somebody referred to the Wikipedia article on the subject to demonstrate that it was all just fine. A friend of mine retorted:
‘I’m going to stop you here because I also went to this Wikipedia page and it became apparent that Wikipedia articles about transgenderism are written by transgender activists, not by scientists or medical professionals. That’s why I went to the NHS website which is full of stark warnings about how extremely dangerous all of this is…’
‘Truth’ is no longer being determined not by relatively well-educated — if perhaps tediously orthodox — professionals, but by propagandists.
It’s not just confined to ‘castration is good for you,’ either. We’ve literally got the man who may well be our next President regurgitating nonsense about a black having invented the light bulb. ‘Systemic racism’ plagues policing — of course it does. The nonsense never ends.
Now we get to Columbus. Today is Columbus Day — and millions of Americans must take it for that Columbus must have been some kind of arch-fiend.
‘Why Christopher Columbus wasn’t the hero we learned about in school’ (CNN)
‘Why Christopher Columbus is so offensive to Native Americans’ (Snopes)
‘Why Columbus Day Courts Controversy’ (History)
‘Christopher Columbus statues torn down, drenched in paint…’ (Fox)
Actually — while he was given to what to a modern reader can only be described as fantastic schemes — Columbus seems to have been rather a good man, by any standard. Far from wishing the Arawak Indians he enountered ill, he was entranced by them:
“I believe that in the world there are no better people or a better land. They love their neighbors as themselves, and they have the sweetest speech in the world and they are gentle and always laughing.”
Columbus went to extraordinary lengths in his efforts to protect the Indians, going so far as to hang Spaniards who had mistreated them.
Of course no man can be expected to meet with the complete approval of those coming five hundred years after him — Columbus was decidedly a man of his time and place, but even across the centuries, he comes across as a man of sincerity and good will. I was thinking about him last night. Of course the making of history is a collaborative and incremental process — but isn’t Columbus as much the first man of the modern world as anyone? Think of the world as it was before Columbus — and what it became after him. He was still a man of the past, but he was also, at the same time, the first to step through that door, so to speak.
One would think people could leave his statues in peace.
And it goes on. For example, now we are led to believe that the black fighting man did much to win the American Civil War — there’s even a theory that holds the War was in essence a slave revolt.
‘The Largest, Most Successful Slave Revolt in History?
‘What historians get wrong about the actions of enslaved people during the civil war.’
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is nonsense. There were about 2700 actual black combat deaths in the American Civil War. That would come to approximately 2% of the total number of whites who died in combat on the Union side. Far from the American Civil War being ‘a slave revolt,’ blacks were actually relatively passive observers of the whole thing. Certainly the war could have been won without the help of the black fighting man.
But perhaps another day: we can fight over this some other time.
The larger point is that increasingly, any attempt to sanely perceive reality is being replaced with an insistence on absurd nonsense — and the more absurd the better. One of the two major parties is running a candidate who is literally and visibly senile. Want to be au courant? Encourage your boy to become a girl — or vice-versa. Past generations thought enough of Senator Snort to put up a statue of him? He must have been bad — tear it down.
Worse, of course the logic of it all literally is ‘the more absurd the better.’ The only way to top last week’s outrage is to commit an outrage still more extreme.
As one poster on Twitter put it, ‘Remember when they started tearing down statues & Trump warned that they’d eventually come for Lincoln & Washington & everybody laughed…’
It. is. literally. mad.