I will not make the argument that Columbus's arrival in the New World was insignificant merely because he was an absolutely awful person or because he didn't actually discover anything (which he himself maintained, claiming until his death that he'd merely found a different route to Asia). But think about this before you dismiss -- before Columbus, avocado, bell peppers, blueberries, cashews, cassava root, chili peppers, chocolate, cocaine, gourds, maize, peanuts, pecans pineapples, pumpkins, squash, tobacco, tomatoes, and vanilla were all unknown in the Old World and alcohol, apples, bananas, barley, cheese, coffee, mango, onions, rice, tea, and turnips, and wheat were unknown in the Americas. Imagine an existence without any of those and you can hopefully begin to get a taste of the importance of the Columbian Exchange. Imagine Italian cuisine without tomato sauce or gnocchi and you can't help but wonder if this is why Columbus is so dear to many Italians. Imagine, on the other hand, genocide, slavery, and old world diseases and you'll understand why he's even more hated by many others.
For Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15), the focus naturally tends to be on Latino experiences and contributions in the US. The US is a nation of immigrants (founded by illegals, some would argue) and currently the largest group of immigrants arriving are from Mexico (followed by China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Canada and Korea).
Individuals' reasons for coming to the United States vary but behind general trends there's frequently the specter of American involvement in the politics of their native countries that have made conditions less bearable at home whether it be the funding of right wing death squads, corporate exploitation, economic imperialism, secret anti-populist wars, CIA-backed coups and assassinations, or the American peoples' insatiable appetite for marijuana, meth, cocaine, rubies and gold.
The Boston Tea Party. (What - no Massachusetts-sized scone?)
It was the Fourth of July, which I recently learned is some kind of holiday? I dunno. Something about a “united” something-or-other; I guess it’s about, like, this one country where they killed a bunch of British people by making tea in the actual sea (I’ve tried this myself and let me tell you, there is no amount of cream or honey that will overcome the fishy flavor) and gave out blankets to native tribes… or am I confusing that with the day we celebrate our ancestors surviving a hard winter by eating Stove Top stuffing and hiding eggs under kids’ pillows for money?
Whatever. In any case, my boyfriend Corey, our friend Lisa, and good ol’ Logan of Amoeba Music fame, decided to mark the occasion by seeing “Transformers” at the Cinerama Dome (right across the street from Amoeba).
For those of you lucky enough to not live in Los Angeles, you are so unlucky that you don’t get to watch movies at this theatre. I am totally spoiled, and happily pay the outrageous fee for the experience. Reserved seating, witty/snide employees, no commercials before the previews, and none of those (insert whatever cuss word you think has the biggest punch here) SLIDES that propose stupid questions like:
“Which action film did Bruce Willis star in as a New York cop named John McClane?”
a.) Agnes of God
b.) The Little Mermaid
c.) The Little Mermaid, Part 2
d.) Die Hard
Really – if someone is dumb enough to find this trivia challenging, they probably can’t read to begin with, so they’re wasting everyone’s time!