Just in time for Columbus Day, creeping up on the centennial celebration for Lewis and Clark, on the verge of invading yet another sovereign nation, while occupying scores of others...
The imperialists' steps are echoing around the world, ringing with the hollowness of soulsucking capitalism, and followed by vultures who eat up the scraps and leave nothing for anything left alive. Lewis is painted as a herioc rugged individualist, and Merriweather has such a kind ring to his name- but they were nothing but agents for a heartless master, attacking the integrity of every people that they met. They traded beads for land in manipulative (and still broken) treaties, they killed anyone who resisted their displays of power (and held a special hatred for nations who enforced their borders) and they consumed, decimated, and catalogued the world they had come to destroy.
Why do we hold them in such a tender place in our heart, with all there sickening reinactments of the triumph of the white men against the dangers of "wilderness" and "wild men"? For a little insight, why not look at Columbus Day, since that is coming right up. Columbus is a national hero, kind of a father figure to many. There he is in his tri-cornered hat, Cristabol Colon, the merchant seaman, visionary who believed the world was round. But look closer. There, it's dripping from his gold-ringed fingers...it's genocide, pooling at his feet, marking his footprints. He and his men would slice people's heads off to test the sharpness of their blades. They enslaved hundreds of thousands, praising the gentleness and docility of the people, while wiping whole peoples from the face of the round earth.
Perhaps his vision is respected because he laid the foundation for America's global imperialist system. We believe the world is round, and we can control it all, with bombs or bread, or smallpox and cholera. There are a lot of people who hate Bush, just because this fire we stoke with everyone but the elite few, to fuel the crushing weight of our capitalist motor, is getting too big and too hot and is starting to singe more and more of us. But how many have the strength and dignity to stand against imperialism as a whole, and demand an end to this killing machine?
Whether the fire that burned down the fort in Astoria was lit by a human or some other hand of poetic justice, I wholeheartedly am glad that it happened,