They’re not teaching about Christopher Columbus like they used to. It’s a good thing, right? Talking about what people actually did, both intentional and not, rather than embellishing it under tactless grandiosity.
Perhaps you’re among the types overjoyed to see holidays changed to honor the people exploited by conquistadors and the like. Perhaps it makes you feel upset to see certain people cling to honoring Columbus in spite of good arguments against him.
Perhaps the only good explanation is that respecting his “achievement” is merely a good vibe in spite of all your distaste for him. A good vibe, much like the type hobbyists feel when experimenting and debating upon how to craft new things and cure their boredom.
An essential part of “speedrunning” is people working together to figure out new techniques to beat a game more quickly. Different types of tricks and exploits get categorized according to the whims of the online community.
But on the whole, when somebody finds a new movement technique, or way of quickly vanquishing an enemy, or a means by which to escape the areas in which you’re meant to play, there is excitement, there is celebration, there is fascination, there is a humble joy.
The charming person in the image I’ve shown you never intended to go out of bounds while playing Metal Gear Solid. Bobawitch never intended to make “the Boba Skip”. She even humbly offered to call it “Kevin” and leave her online moniker utterly irrelevant.
Think back to Columbus, and the cruelty of civilization-ravagers throughout so many places and times. The laughable failures, the calamities spread, the legacies of torment that thankfully have somehow lead to a marginally less vile world order.
Behind all of it is usually just some guy who wanted to make a name for himself. Or who wanted to stop being poor. Or wanted to feel alive again. Or got totally lost. Or needed to escape his homeland. Or was following orders. Or ached for a small taste of purpose.
It’s that “good vibe”, that “sense of worthwhile action”, that “love of doing what few dare to try” which people get inside their hearts upon hearing about “Columbus Day” and talking about “sailing the ocean blue in 1492”.
That very mild and yet fierce sensation that comes with witnessing someone chase their dreams recklessly and ridiculously is what we all adore. And you’re under the impression you can tell the difference between the disgusting and the benevolent versions of it.
But everyone is already aware there’s something kind of nasty about such high effort things. Hardcore speedrunners and glitch hunters know they’re tinkering with finished products, defiling a software developer’s intentions. and committing phony exploration.
You can get riled up with rage about it. Respectfully debate about it. Eloquently speak about it. Ludicrously meme about. But in the end, trying to make fun of Christopher will always feel like a pretty “Karen” thing to do when talking about history and culture.
Even if people know barging into uncharted territory and asking to speak to the local village chief is objectively far more “Karen”.
The world is stuck in place until we all get
what makes us feel like
we are merely trying to have a heart worth savoring.