Never forget Christopher Columbus's linguistic crimes and horniness for manatees

The Carib > Canib thing exemplifies the arc of human discovery. Explorer/researcher/whatever ventures into unfamiliar territory armed with preconceptions (if I sail in that direction I’ll reach Asia). When explorer encounters a new experience (island populated by people he doesn’t recognize), explorer interprets it in a way that fits those preconceptions (I sailed in that direction, so this is Asia, so these people are some kind of Asians). This interpretation is shaped by explorer’s limited knowledge of the world (these Asians call themselves Carib? Canib? Wait a minute. Genghis Khan was Asian. Canib, Khanib–these people are descended from Genghis Khan!) and informed by explorer’s fears and prejudices (unknown people are savages. Savages eat other people. These savages will probably try to eat me). All these assumptions, inaccuracies, and misinformation are bundled together into a “discovery” which explorer takes home and which shapes “understanding” for generations to come, becoming nearly impossible to change.

I was refrering more to the “we set aside a day for this” thing. Yup, loads of statues and colonial hangovers - just look at recent events in Bristol!

But nobody’s yet saying we should make it a national day of celebration.

Although thanks to the current government, I had to put “yet” in the last sentence. What a bunch of tossers…

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Reminds me of that episode of Disenchanted in which Prince Merkimer celebrates his bachelor party with an orgy on “Mermaid Island.”



Quite so…

not Italian.


Mea culpa. It had been a while since I actually read the comic and I mis-remembered it.

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Lol, wrong forum

The days are for the colonies. We have “Australia Day” or “Invasion Day” (YMMV) and “Waitangi Day” or “New Zealand Day”.

Same story, different costumes - accumulation by dispossession.
Their journals and letters tell it clearly…

Christopher Columbus:

“They would make fine servants. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want … They should be made to work, sow and do all that is necessary and to adopt our ways.”

Captain James Cook:

“It doth not appear to me to be attall difficult for Strangers to form a settlement in this country. They seem to be too much divided among themselves to unite in opposing, by which means and kind and gentle usuage the Colonists would be able to form strong parties among them.”

If the single word “Catholicism” “basically suggests Catholics are assholes,” who am I to disagree?

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lol’d at your comment :slight_smile: . Follow my blog for more single word blog posts that say a lot.


next post: Drachenzähne

As a lapsed Catholic myself, it’s been my personal experience that Catholics by and large, were assholes.



Oh come on, aren’t we done kicking this man?!
Makes quick calculation on beermat
Oh wait, no. You’re fine for now. Carry on.

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The days are for the colonies. We have “Australia Day” or “Invasion Day” (YMMV) and “Waitangi Day” or “New Zealand Day”.


Actually Waitangi day (referred to as New Zealand day by exactly no-one) has nothing to do with the “discovery” or “exploration” of NZ but it’s to mark the signing of NZ’s founding document so it would be more analogous to independence day in the US than Columbus day.

Australia Day (Invasion Day) does mark captain Cook doing something which I can’t be arsed looking up. That said it is really more about celebrating Australia as a whole (except for indigenous Australians) in a nauseating explosion of jingoism than it is about Cook

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C’mon, just because you haven’t heard people say something doesn’t mean it isn’t spoken.

Perhaps you are fortunate enough not to listen to local talkback radio and conservative politicians speaking around Waitangi Day.

Folks get very vocal calling it “New Zealand Day” and demanding an official change (because “we’re all equal here, happy families, nothing to see here, move along”).

Technically maybe but these things aren’t mutually exclusive and it isn’t coming from me anyway. Take your complaints to the National Socialists showing off their swastikas, waving their NZ flags on Waitangi Day, and using the occasion to extol all the things Tangata Whenua “neglect to thank their colonisers for”.

I don’t even know which founding document you’re referring to. There were 5 English versions (all different) and 1 Maori version (different again) and each one had everything to do with the “discovery” and “exploration” of these islands.

This is my point. It’s the same in NZ. Jingoists use Waitangi Day to champion the “discovery” and “exploration” of the country precisely because there is no other recognised day.

Edit: My reply was rude and belligerent. Sorry @lenscanlon , you highlighted relevant technical distinctions and I may have got a little defensive trying to be right rather than taking your points!


The Sopranos talks about Mafia, albeit in a stereotypical way, and actually dind’t have a big success in Italy, where unfortunately we know too well the problems of organized crime.
One thing is common in Mafia people is to negate and minimize and instead protesting that they have problems and are discriminated.

by the way as Italian I can assure you that some of us are and were total assholes, but Colombo isn’t the worst of.


I stand corrected. I don’t recall hearing it called that but that may be a function of the circles I move in.

The Initial signing on 6/Feb/1840. Issues with the text and whether or not it was adhered to (spoiler alert - it wasn’t) are kind of beside the admittedly tiny point I was trying to make about the comparison with Columbus day and are a huge and important subject unto themselves that I suspect we fully agree on.

You are probably right. I may have committed the sin of comparing NZ and Oz in binary terms when the reality is far more nuanced and the differences are really only in degree rather than kind. I get pissed off when people hold NZ up as some liberal paragon of harmony and equality and I may have been guilty of that here.

All good I suspect we agree on far more things than we disagree.


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