In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. By two thousand thirteen, Columbus was just another yahoo. Christopher Columbus is the Rodney Dangerfield of explorers. "He don't get no respect!".
During my elementary school days, Cristoforo Colombo aka Christopher Columbus was always cast as a great explorer. Columbus Day (on October 12th in those days) was a day for celebrating the discovery of America (more accurately The Bahamas archipelago) by a great navigator with a faulty GPS. This was especially true in East Utica (Utica, NY) with its predominately Italian-American population. Every politician worth his salt made a speech at the statue of Columbus which graced the Parkway. Nary a word that it was Spain that financed this discoverer and not one of the Italian states. Considering the antics of another Italian in those days, Benito Mussolini, old Christopher wasn't a bad choice for an Italian hero. In fact, at one time Christopher Columbus was even an American Hero. Those days are long past and the chances of Christopher Columbus regaining his once lofty status are no better than the Chicago Cubs winning a World Series.
Like President's Day, the celebration of choice to honor Columbus is a gigantic Columbus Day sale at the local mall. Perhaps it is fitting since Columbus' trip was all about money.
Some parades do survive but hardly a word will be spoken or written (this post being an exception) about someone named Columbus having discovered America. Although he never set foot on the shores of Manhattan, he still should receive some credit for stumbling on a New World.
If we default on our debt in a few days, Cristoforo will probably wonder why he even set out on the ocean blue only to find a world of a different hew which would be populated by deadbeat Tea Party members with a sick view.