Columbus Day

September 1st, 2017 20 Comments


“Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”

It’s one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies. It is putatively an ad lib made by Orson Welles during the filming of The Third Man. There are a number of things factually wrong with the statement (it was the Medici, not the Borgias; the Renaissance is normally considered to have begun at least a hundred or more years earlier than the time frame referenced; and the cuckoo clock is a product of the Black Forest region of Germany, not Switzerland), but that’s not the point. The essence of the statement is spot on: certain elements contribute to the creativity and productivity of a culture, and tasteless milk-and-honey-peace-love-Woodstock-can’t-we-all-get-along is not one of them.

Any person or society that cannot or will not learn from and adapt to new ideas, new technologies, new ways of thinking and being, is doomed to stagnate and perish. On the other hand, any person or society that embraces every new idea and every new technology, every new way of thinking and being that comes along, will be in constant flux and chaos, and will therefore never be able to devote the requisite energies to creating and growing. What is needed is a dynamic tension between stagnation and evolution; not stasis, exactly, but rather an active sort of ebb and flow that invites and promotes creativity. What is most emphatically not needed is the kind of society that embraces every flabby, overly sensitive, overly protective, overly politically-correct piece of idiocy dreamed up by stupid people with too much free time. We emphatically do not need the moronic and completely unrealistic attitude that somehow some kind of mommy-government can make all hurts go away, make everyone feel good about themselves, and do everything for everyone so that we can all live on the dole and, to quote that towering intellectual giant Nancy Pelosi, write books and paint with all our free time.

Which brings me to Columbus Day and Los Angeles City Council’s decision to eliminate that particular day from its calendar. It brings me to the tearing down of statues of Confederate icons, the changing of names of streets and parks, the whole ridiculous, dangerous attempt to rewrite history because someone might be offended. Sportscaster Robert Lee, of Chinese descent, was yanked from his spot because his name is similar to you-know-who. The horse that is one half of the symbol of the USC sports teams is no longer to be named Traveler, because that was the name of you-know-who’s horse. Robert Avrech, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and author of the blog, Seraphic Secret ( predicted Gone with the Wind would soon be targeted by the morons who are targeting everything that offends them. I thought Mr. Avrech must have had one Margarita too many the day he wrote that, but he was right: it’s been done in Memphis. Some pastor in Chicago wants Rahm Emanuel to rename Washington Park, and I have heard some other idiot wants Washington, DC to be renamed. (That may be a piece of satire, but these days, who can tell?) What’s next? Do we ban Huckleberry Finn, The Sound and the Fury, Uncle Remus, Othello, The Nigger of the Narcisus, My Sweet Charlie, The Defiant Ones, The Emperor Jones, all history books in general, and then execute those of us who remember or know history? It’s a sort of mind-boggling attempt to erase the past à la Stalin and certain Chinese emperors and other remarkably stupid despots, all in an attempt to do—what? Not hurt someone’s feelings? And what names should we use to ensure that another, future generation won’t be offended? Or shall we just rename everything to reflect a completely passive, gender-neutral, non-temporal, non-offensive, non-denominational, non-racial, non-ethnic, flavor-free, all-embracing, one-big-happy-family kind of existence, a sort of Pablum-like, cream of wheat, Care Bears world?

It won’t work. Someone will always be offended. I, for one, would be deeply offended to have to live in such a smothering, creativity-killing, soul-killing, passion-killing world. I will vandalize all the Care Bear statues.

I sincerely hope I’ve offended someone with this post.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Not offended here, just sad. Not by what you wrote, but by the truth of what you wrote. On a related note, my sister called me three days ago to 1) check up on me, making sure I was still surviving the floods, and 2) to tell me that she already bought my Christmas present for this year. I wondered out loud how she was able to get a hold of the next season of Outlander when it hasn’t even aired yet, but she said, “Not Outlander. I found a DVD of ‘Song of the South’ that will play on American devices.” Made me smile from ear to ear for the first time in days. Needless to say it was a favorite of ours when we were growing up, and we watched it in the theater every time it was showcased. Can I also just say how much I love my sister? 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts exactly. Society has become a whole bunch of wimps. It’s ridiculous to try to erase the past. I mean we are supposed to learn and rise against are path. It is the only way to better on self. Yes, I am tired of people being to touchy. I’m native American and I didn’t mind Columbus day. The U.S government did more to treat native American’s bad during the 19th century than Columbus ever did. Anyway, yes I hope you have offended somebody because society needs to grow up, in order to have a clearer path to proceed to be better.
    Best Wishes

  3. Anonymous says:

    How many recall Sambo’s restaurants?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have very fond memories of eating there as a kid in the late 60’s through the 70’s/early ’80’s. So yeah, I remember it. There were many of them in southern CA.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do

      • Anonymous says:

        I also remember READING the “Little Black Sambo” story as a kid, that originated all this stupid hullaballu! Apparently the faction ranting about how insulting that was did not read the child’s primer very carefully(nor look very closely at the illustrations) or they would have realized Little Black Sambo was from INDIA(remember the TIGERS chasing him around the tree? Ain’t no tigers in Africa–just sayin….)Nobody from India has(to my knowledge) ever complained about that very innocent children’s story. I also remember when this farce was going on, Saturday Night Live did a news skit about it, and declared Sambo’s was going to change it’s name to try and mollify the outcry, from “Sambo’s” to “The Rich Jew”! No offense to any of our Jewish readers, but that’s SNL for you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So sad what is happening! History is history…it can’t be changed..Leave things alone and let people know the true history of America…not a fantasy version.. I so agree with you!!

    Nancy Gallinger

  5. Anonymous says:

    At first I thought this was an Onion article. In a “you can’t make this sh*t up” moment some students were triggered by a banana peel. Yes, I said a banana peel. It would be funny if it were not so sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is next? The Statue of Liberty because she’s a woman and not gender neutral. Statues of Jesus Christ on Church properties because He offended an atheist just by walking by? Sounds ridiculous now but so did tearing down confederate statues ten years ago. When does it stop as JP pointed out?! The daily news is enough to make ones head spin. The country is out of control. I have strong faith in God. And I think it’s going to take God to get things back where they belong in this country.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    I’ve heard abot the attcking og General Lee’s statue. What a primitive vandalism!

    And just this morning I read that the famous “Orpheum Theatre” in Memphis quits to show “Gone with the Wind” after 34 years because it is unsensitive to a certain demographic goup. My goodness – it’s hard to believe! This is loss of culture in my eyes. Of course it is rassistic – the plot is settled before the Civil War when slavery actually still existed. Tara was no exception! It is so naive to think one could extinct unpleasant facts from history so easily from history. Some incidents are still shameful and must be never forgotten like slavery, the two atomic bombs or what happened to the Native Americans. You know where I come from and it certainly is more important in my country never to forget than elsewhere (except Russia maybe but that’s another issue). Kids today learn so less in school anyway, in a few generations they might not know about these things anymore. And isn’t it worth to keep the memory just in order to be proud of the merit those conditions are overcome?

    Some members of certain groups are a little too sensitive sometimes.
    During my studentdays was on a gay party with a friend. And in rhe later evening I came to talk with several guys just about Rhett Butler… 😉
    We also talked about discrimination of minorities and so on. They were so insecure in their behavior towards me just because of their own expectations although I was the only woman there and was the actual minority.
    Actually I don’t care if anyone is homosexual, transsexual, bi- or pansexual or whatever. This is something personal. Or do you introduce yourself by saying “Hi, I’m JP. I’m hetorosexual.” (Just a personal assumption…).
    Honestly, there are so many other serious problems in the world. See Houston (I sincerely do hope Trump wakes up from his climate fairy-tale now), wars, incurable deseases and many other. I simply refuse to waste any energy in discussing things so subsidiary. Au contraire I’m thankful moreover for all the little differences, the diversity. I’m glad there is man and woman, colored, hispanic, white and all the different cultures. And none of them is better than the others. We just shouldn’t lump that together.
    Thank you for pointing that out!

    Best wishes

  7. Anonymous says:

    As always well said JP.

    We are dealing with far more than the “sensitive” (said with a sarcastic and mocking voice) and the snowflakes. We are dealing with people who are driving all this nonsense who want to start a race war, ALA, Helter Skelter and even with people who are anti-White racists (just as evil as White racists).

    I believe that is what Trump was getting at the other day when he mentioned bad people on all sides. The Antifa, Black Lives Matter, La Raza, Southern Poverty Law Center and increasingly certain parts of the Democrat Party (Progressive Socialists, etc) are racists and/or want race wars.

    While I deplore and detest the Nazis, Klan, etc I equally abhor groups like the afore-mentioned “Progressive” groups. This is driving more and more of the extremists on the extreme right and it is becoming increasingly understandable (and the left knows this and which is why they do it) that they fear a destruction of white culture. Then the left can cry that “see anyone who sticks up for anything of white or Euro culture MUST BE an evil racist!”

    Who controls the majority of the media, press, entertainment and education in this country? Hint: it isn’t the right or conservatives. They are breeding this into these kids and youth to hate all of the things you worry about being killed off that you mention. So much for the classical meanings of the term “liberal arts” education and with it the liberal ideal of free exchange of thoughts and ideas!

    That is really what this is all about and it isn’t going to get even more ugly in this country. I fear for the Republic! Every day it looks like a Civil War 2 is coming our way…. 🙁 I wouldn’t want to be in the People’s Republic of CA when the sh*t hits the fan…

  8. Anonymous says:

    How very sad. It really does seem like it should be from ‘The Onion’s. I can’t believe that the banana peel would offend anyone. It’s a damn peel that landed in a tree! How the hell can that offend anyone? What a sad world this is becoming. People have become far too sensitive. We also should not be erasing history whether good or bad. We need to learn from it and realise that it was a different time and the people of that time were reacting to it. And yes Jameson, you would be offending my daughter very much if you destroyed the Care Bear statues as she loved Care Bears very much as a child lol.
    Nancy Ontario Canada

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well said indeed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Below is link to a video of a so-called “antiracist protesters” which proves this is a mental illness and is about anarchy/communism and racism against whites.. Sadly this is in Vancouver, BC so it has also infected Canada.

  11. Anonymous says:

    it’s the same here in Germany. St. Martins procession has been changed to “light-festival-procession”, it may hurt other religions. The “Zigeuner (Gipsy)-Schnitzel” has been renamed to “Balkan-Schnitzel”
    We had a Chocolate from Sarotti with a logo of a person with high pigmentation, it’s gone. So are the “Mohrenköpfe” which is a real yummy treat, and it springs from Tête de Nègre, but you see it could hurt people with a dark skin. They are “Foam-Kisses” now. HA!
    So if all names of Historic people will be changed, why not do it like in New York? I mean 1st street, 2nd street, but then we don’t use the numbers that bring bad luck to any other culture. The world is going nuts.
    Viele Grüße aus Deutschland

  12. Anonymous says:

    To me, the solution to all this stupidity is to tell the complainers to just come up with culturally diverse holidays of their own, and celebrate them, and leave other peoples’ holidays alone. Being particularly sympathetic to Native American culture myself, it has still never occurred to me to eliminate Columbus Day. I DID invent(as far as I know) and celebrate a holiday recognizing when one of the biggest jerks in history got exactly what was coming to him by the very people that should have dealt it out(a sadly rare occurrence throughout history, you must realize, and therefore worth celebrating!)–I speak of course of June 25th, the anniversary of the meeting at Little Bighorn! I have found that BRIBES are an excellent way to get new holidays established, and I have had little trouble getting my co-workers at my place of employment to join me in celebrating, this date, by making it a tradition to buy everyone ICE CREAM to commemorate that historical occasion!……L.B.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Not offended sorry if that was really what you were hoping for Jameson. Have to say more like it confused me but then today that is easy to do.
    Nancy Darlene

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but I really couldn’t care about Columbus Day. 🙁 I also didn’t get offended or aroused with anger either because I don’t consider it a threat to my freedom or beliefs. I don’t think you should let it get the best of you JP. We’ve all have more important things to focus on such as helping those in need in Texas and Florida.

    On a happier note…. CONGRATULATIONS to Gerald McRaney for his Emmy win!!!


    Carla In California

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