Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Columbus Day Sale!

If you think you've lived your life without offending anybody then apparently you haven't lived...


Christopher Columbus, the subject of the book,...
Christopher Columbus, was an explorer and one of the first European founders of the Americas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy Columbus Day!

        Yes I said it even though here in Los Angeles what used to be called "Columbus Day" is now "Indigenous Peoples" day.  Somehow the new day seems more impersonal with an overgeneralizing of all the many peoples who lived in the Americas before the "evil white men" came to destroy paradise. 

        Frankly I'm glad things turned out the way they did because I'm happy with my life and with my country.  Stuff happens and when it comes down to past history there ain't nothin' you can do about it when it's all behind you. 

         So I raise a glass to say, "Thank you Christopher Columbus!"  Without him then someone else would have come along and discovered America.  Mankind is restless and always in search of new ventures and adventures.  Enslaving the indigenous peoples the 15th century Spaniards encountered might not have been what you and I would have thought of doing with our 21st century outlook, but people back in those days thought differently than we today think.   The past is what it is and that's that.

         What Christopher Columbus achieved was by any account pretty amazing and something that few of us would dare try.  Personally I'm going to give acknowledgement to the driving curiosity that drove those men of the past to do what they did.  I'm not their judge and nobody--absolutely nobody--living today is worthy of casting judgement on Columbus or any other from the past.  Our judgement over past humans amounts to intellectual exercises that have no real consequence to the world other than bantering about in intellectual fantasies.  The more important thing is to learn from the past to become better ourselves.

         I will continue to think of October 12th as the actual Columbus Day.  And I will continue to think of him as a hero of his time, though a flawed hero as heroes often tend to be.  Please leave his statues be and please don't start changing names of all of the cities named in his honor.  That would really be a big mess.

Garage Sale Days Are Over

        Though I don't like to say I'll never do something, I'll say in this case that this past weekend was my last garage sale.  It was a lot of work for about 3 hours in the hot sun before I started packing it all in.   The $60 that I made from the sale seemed hardly worth it and I barely made a dent in all the stuff in my garage.  And now I have a huge mess to continue to organize and put back. 

           Hopefully, in putting everything away, I'll organize it all better so that it will be easier to find stuff for the next garage sale.  I mean, I don't plan to do another sale, but you know how that can go sometimes.   Never say never.   But I think I am going to say it and probably stick to it.  Standby Goodwill--I've got a load coming your way.

           Do you think Christopher Columbus is worth remembering and honoring?   Would the Americas be a better place if the Europeans had never come here?   What do you think a world without the influence of "white people" would be like?  





36 comments:

  1. I think everyone has offended someone during their life and have regrettedit.
    I think Christopher Columbus should be remembered. although some may not agree.
    Your garage sale sounded like fun although perhaps you were expecting to raise more cash.
    But it's the fun that counts.

    Have a lovely week and take care.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I haven't regretted most of my words that have offended, but I've been disappointed in those who took offense. Usually that offense occurred because the other side wasn't listening to what I was actually saying.

      I was hoping for more cash, but more than that I was hoping to get some bigger stuff out of my garage.

      Lee

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  2. We still call it Columbus Day here. Pretty soon, we'll have wiped out entire past from the history books in an effort to not offend someone.
    Told you garage sales suck.

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    1. Alex, each generation seems to become more sensitive about silly things. Get over it!

      The garage sale would actually been kind of nice if it had been cooler or perhaps not so sunny. More customers would have been nice too. Now I'm forced to reorganize and clear out my garage--that was the main mission.

      Lee

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  3. I was a history major, but I don't think I've ever "celebrated" Columbus Day. Maybe other people do, or did.

    I'm torn when it comes to attempts to rethink old holidays and historical landmarks.

    On one hand, it is really impossible to hold historical figures to modern moral standards. Few people would pass muster.

    On the other hand, we should be actively aware that history wasn't as rosy as we often try to portray it. Or at least it wasn't rosy for most people. Probably not even the rich and powerful, who all died at 55 anyway and could end up with something like polio or the plague.

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  4. Harry, I never celebrated Columbus day, but I've had an awareness of its existence and have had a willingness to learn more about the story and evaluate it in what I think is a fair and appropriate manner.

    It's difficult for younger people to look back to my younger days or my parents' time and understand why we did some of the things we did and what we were willing to accept. Attitudes change with time and some of those changes are for the better, but some are also for the worse--in my opinion at least.

    Lee

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  5. Indigenous Peoples? We can't even call them Native American Indians anymore?

    The only thing I think about with Columbus Day is the famed Columbus Day Storm that hit Oregon in 1962.

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    1. L.Diane, well since those indigenous peoples aren't actually from India then it does get a bit confusing to call them by that name. Native Americans works okay for me, but mostly I don't give it much thought.

      I don't remember that storm and I would have been living in San Diego at the time. But I wasn't paying much attention to things happening in the world.

      Lee

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  6. Columbus Day was really just one of those minor holidays that was a good excuse for a white sale. We used to get it off school, and the banks and government offices were off for the day, so when I worked for a bank I got a day off. We had it off when I was in grammar school, too. It was usually the first day off in the school year. Chicago has a Columbus Day parade where they roll out the Miss Italian American winner and all the unions and city workers march down the street in green, white and red.

    I don't want to change Columbus Day, so maybe we create another holiday for indigenous peoples. The world can always use more white sales.

    The mistake we make in trying to rewrite history is that we judge people in absentia for things we now consider horrible. Yes, the Trail of Tears was a terrible abuse of the Cherokee, slavery was a bad thing all around, the US should never have gone into Vietnam, etc. etc. ad nauseum, but those are things we know now that they didn't know then. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I'm sure if we had time machines we would go back and change the decisions that were made then, but then, would we return to the same world we left? I don't think so.

    If we had never inflicted ourselves in the Americas, would things be better here today? No idea. All I know is, we wouldn't be here to find out; we'd be in Europe, and there'd be a whole lot fewer of us. I think we would have ended up here anyway and would forget about colonizing the moon.

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    1. John H., I don't know how well a "white sale" would go over for Indigenous Peoples Day unless someone were selling white people into slavery.

      What certain elements of our society today has done is absurd and peculiar. History should be read about, studied, and analyzed, but it is useless to put historical figures and events on trial. They are then and not in the now so the exercise is a futile waste of time, energy, and resources.

      I'd say let the ethnicity groups have their celebrations and special times without interference from the groups who don't agree. There is enough time for all to celebrate their own heritage and no group has the right to stop others from doing that.

      Lee

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  7. My opinion on CC has changed over the years. As a kid, I didn't care much about him other than memorizing enough for our quiz. As a young adult, I joined the movement that despised him for his cruelty. The guy was a terrible leader, and so were his brothers.

    History always has an edge, which is both eye opening and fascinating.

    These days, I look at CC in more of a historical context. Yeah, he had the makings of a villain, but you can't deny his achievements and how it shaped the entire Western World.

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    1. Jay, my growth has followed a similar path as yours. I think that comes with aging, learning, and acquiring a certain amount of wisdom. The past is important no matter how bad the events of that past has been because we are the products of our predecessors.

      Lee

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  8. Like Columbus, I have discovered never put anything into a garage sale that you aren't willing to take to the Goodwill can if unsold...

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    1. CW, actually I did have a number of things in my garage sale that I wouldn't take to Goodwill and would rather keep. Those I priced very high. My thought was that if someone were willing to pay the price I was asking then I'd let it go, but otherwise I wasn't that excited to get rid of it. It's one of my rummage sale experiments that has never actually worked.

      Lee

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  9. In San Francisco, they used to have big Columbus Day parades- they still do, but they call it Italian Heritage Day as to not offend.

    I on the other hand, observe Leif Erikson Day.
    hinga dinga durgen!

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    1. Debby, I'd say have separate days for them all. Non-stock vacations-with pay!

      Lee

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  10. The last garage sale I did, none came back into the house...it all went to the Salvation Army. It’s a lot of work with people coming at 7am when you state no early birds and they are looking for antiques. You have young kids with leather jackets, big boots, tattoos and you know they are on disability, hold their nose up at your stuff only to have older ladies buy up a lot of clothing because they know wha5 it truly means to have nothing. I don’t see ever having another garage sale...but you never know. History should never been rewritten or forgotten. I. The past Columbus was looked at as a hero when he wasn’t this at all. The past showed the Indians as tomahawk throwing meanies...not the truth at all. America would have been found no matter what and was by the Vikings actually. I think the sad issue is how horribly mistreated the native people were dealt....due to Manifest Destiny. This is the past and it is gone but people should be educated about both sides. I’m Canadian but I am of German descent and one should never forget the atrocities that befell the Jewish people before and during WW2. The problem is that the average person thinks all Germans were Nazis and all Germans raised their hand in brainless following. Few know that gypsies, homosexuals, people who were handicapped and people who went against Hitler were also sent to the camps. Few know that many Germans also tried to fight him or were doing their best to keep their family together lest they be taken away. In other words, it is never black and white but many shades of grey. I do think that many Americans, or should I say, immigrants, went westward and took and took and took and were supported by the government and the native people had no real say and have been mistreated to this day. The African American people were not from this land but taken from there’s and treated horribly as well. One can’t forget but balance needs to be achieved and I don’t think a true apology has ever been given so that then one can move on

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    1. Birgit, our sale started at 8 AM and since we are in a gated community that kept the early birds out. Of course that may have hurt.

      I say to leave the statues and monuments and learn about all sides. There are all sorts of histories converging, diverging, and emerging. We should keep open minds and try to look back with an attempt to understand what was going on with folks back then. There was good and bad on both sides just like there is today. It's the story of humanity and it needs to be remembered and passed on to future generations.

      Lee

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  11. Where have I been? I hadn't even heard of Indigenous Peoples Day! All day long I thought it was Columbus Day. I agree a lot with what John said...although I sure haven't heard of a "white sale" in decades. Do they still do those? Of course, again, it was Columbus Day to me so maybe I'm behind on things...

    The past is to be learned from. The past should always be presented with truth. I don't have children so I didn't really pay all that much attention a few years back when there was a big uproar about some of the textbooks being rewritten to, for lack of a better word, whitewash the past so as not to make people uncomfortable and protect sensitivities. I said it then and I still believe, that's ridiculous! The past is the past, reality is reality and it should always be presented truthfully. I read a quote somewhere and I can't remember where and don't even know if I'm quoting it accurately but it's something like this: People should learn to get past their discomfort and use the warts of America's past as tools for a less blemished future.

    That being said though, I do not at all have a problem with the removal of Confederate statues and monuments. The monuments were put up to honor their service to the Confederacy and we all know that the Confederacy existed to protect and extend slavery. I don't believe that these men should be honored. That's not to say that they should be wiped from history: to the contrary, it's important to point out exactly who they were, what they did and what they stood for. But, in my opinion, they certainly don't deserve to be held in high regard with a statue.

    Anyway, I'm probably getting off topic here. To sum up my point: We shouldn't hide from the past, the past should be presented with absolute truth and we should learn from the past.

    As for Columbus Day, I never believed the holiday was to honor Columbus the man but instead to celebrate his discovery of America.

    On to garage sales: I have done my share of garage sales. Probably more than most. And I know I'll never do another one either. It's a lot of work, you never make what you want to make and people never want to pay the price for what you think your stuff is worth. If you have a lot of junky stuff that you are cool selling for cheap and making a little bit of pocket change, then yeah, maybe getting together with a friend or two and hanging out with coffee and donuts and chit-chatting with strangers can be fun for a minute. But you can't sell nice stuff at garage sales. People who go to garage sales want to spend nickels, dimes and quarters and maybe a whole dollar but they aren't coming to shell out a few hundred dollars for art, antiques or collectibles. That's what Craigslist is for.

    I'll be interested to see if you or I ever end up doing a garage sale again. We say no now but who knows? As for me, not anytime soon...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, if you lived in L.A. then you would have heard of Indigenous Peoples Day because it was a big topic on all of the news and talk shows here. The idea is even taking root in other places around the country. I don't mind paying homage to Native Americans, but I do resent the attempt to erase the achievements of white Europeans. All history needs to be remembered with an attempt to understand it.

      I've made far more from selling on Craigslist, but there are some things that either don't move there. Selling cheaply at a yard sale will move some stuff, but things are moved far more quickly by just donating them somewhere. I'd probably not do anymore garage sales unless I had someone helping me. Me wife hates doing stuff like that and it's all too much work for one person.

      Lee

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    2. Oh definitely too much work for one person. I would never do one on my own. For the main reason of being over-run with customers, especially first thing in the morning when people are showing up while you're still trying to set up. And I think it would be really tough to control people stealing. I did a garage sale with me and two friends so there was three of us there and still people managed to walk off with stuff....Which really pisses me off. How low can you be to steal from someone having a garage sale?! Plus if you're by yourself you can't take a pee break... :)

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  12. Lee,

    I think America is blessed more than they know by Christopher Columbus' discovery. I like that you pointed out that heroes are flawed just like other people. None of us are purrfect. All this getting offended over this or that is just silliness and means to keep society from being productive in a good way. This sort of stuff is just one more step toward our own undoing and folks are too stupid to see it. I say move forward, leave the past in the past, and thank God you have it so darn good living in America! And, who can we thank for that? Why, Christopher Columbus! I think he should be on a coin or a dollar bill, don't you? :)

    Sixty dollars isn't a lot of money but you have sixty more than you did the day before and that's always nice.

    The white man gets a bum rap all.the.time! There are equally bad or worse men who aren't white. I think America would not be the America we love today had it been settled by anyone else. Racial superiority has been with the world since it was new and I doubt it'll go away because folks want to restrict what you say or do or how you remember or tear down the past. If the "offended" would stop getting offended then they would see the design of all this conflict is meant to keep them down while lifting those who push this agenda up giving them MORE power over all people. Let's say NO to being offended! Oh, yeah and HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY from an evil white chick to an evil white dude! :) HA-HA!

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    1. Cathy, I'm all for putting Columbus on a coin or bill. There have been stamps printed in his honor and that's kind of cool I think.

      I'm with you about saying "no" to being offended--at least by stupid stuff. I'd rather have an honest discussion about where the offense comes from but it's difficult to get opposite sides to come together for a calm rational discussion.

      Lee

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  13. I can't bring myself to enter the conversation about Columbus Day. The history I learned is getting pulled out from under me, saying what I think on any subject triggers someone to call me names, and years of learning and experience count for nothing anymore.

    Garage sales, though, that's a subject close to my heart. I will never, never, never have another one. As I clear out and de-clutter, I send stuff to family members, donate to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity, or consign stuff to the trash or recycle bin. It's much easier and much less stressful.

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    1. Patricia, there are factions in our society who want to create alternate histories that discredit those we once recognized as heroes. To me they are still heroes.

      I won't say that the garage sales overly stress me, but they do require time and work. It's kind of a challenge to get rid of stuff in a sale of this nature, but it helps a lot if there are enough customers who are interested.

      Lee

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  14. As a Brit, we never celebrated Columbus Day. But I'm also quarter Chilean so from my college days I've always been expanding my knowledge of the European Age of Expansion. I have to admit that from the moment I first read about the Spaniards, I disliked their approach to the indigenous people - whether to the Taino in the Caribbean or the Mapuche in Chile. Neither Columbus, nor Cortez, nor Custer was my hero growing up.

    More likely Wilberforce or Euripides.

    As to modern attitudes, I am proud to have inherited mine from ancestors who were at the forefront of the early anti-slavery movement - some of them Quakers whose relations settled in Massachusetts in the 17th century.

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    1. Roland, as a beneficiary of the trails blazed by the early explorers I can appreciate their efforts. It would have been nice if they had done some things differently, but we weren't there so we don't know for sure why they did all that they did. I wish those explorers and settlers would have done more to document the societies they decimated and kept more of what they had created in their societies.

      Lee

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  15. I know who Christopher Columbus was well I have heard of him but till I read this really knew bugga all about him

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    1. Jo-Anne, the histories are fascinating to read about. I thought the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise did a good job of telling the story with fair accuracy. If you want to know more about Columbus this film might be a good place to start.

      Lee

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  16. This brings to mind the post by The Oatmeal a few years back. It's still a holiday I get off from work, so I'm not complaining.

    I wanted to hold a garage sale this summer, but I never made the time to organize it. I'm tempted to just post to one of those facebook buy, sell, trade groups saying "free kid stuff for anyone who wants it" just to get it out of my house.

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    1. Loni, there is mythology from many sides. I've even heard Islamic "scholars" claim that Muslims were the first to discover America. When I was a kid I learned the traditional Columbus stories as well as the Viking stories. I've heard many other claims made. The real truth is than Columbus blazed an trail that set forth centuries of exploration and discovery. Sure there were bad outcomes, but it's all a cumulative thing that brings us to where we are today. And you can't change the past no matter how hard you try--even if somehow people do eventually manage to change history the way that it gets told.

      I've gone the free route and always managed to get rid of it all. I like it better when I get a little money from it. Or at least a tax deduction.

      Lee

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    2. Any Villain action Figures...??? We would pay postage good Lady Loni

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  17. We got a good "Laugh" from your opening Statement... This Town Hates and Fears Stacey...
    Safe to say we have apparently (in some way) "Offended" the Entire town of Marshville... We are the "Town Boogeyman" ... a Body-Snatcher" and voted the Worst Villain on this town (over Murders and Big Drug Dealer... Our Mayor was one of the biggest and most "ruthless")
    Have to go for now... just accidentally set the front of my head afire... Later, good Sir Arlee... Lump of burning hair stuck to forehead... (removed 1/2 of left eyebrow..., oh well... we have ad Worse....)

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    1. Stacey, how in the world did you set your head on fire? Or maybe I don't really want to know?

      Maybe the folks in your town just don't appreciate you. Don't know what anyone can do in a case like that.

      Lee

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  18. I have no feeling one way or the other about Columbus Day. My concern is the direction of our country. We can't seem to pull it together and unite. My hope is that we will. Soon.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Elsie

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    1. Elsie, it's going to be difficult to unite the U.S. if we have so many factions in vehement disagreement. Why some are so passionate about the Columbus issue without any logical defense is beyond me. I'm hoping more of the country gets on the same track or at least stops being so resistant to the opposing side of issues.

      Lee

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Lee