February 28, 2009

1492 in Breakfast of Champions

Thanks to correspondent DMarks for bringing this to my attention:

Memorable quotes and quotations from Kurt Vonnegut1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
Comment:  For reader Stephen's sake, let me point out that "sea pirates" is a hyperbolic generalization. Vonnegut knew the so-called pirates included military men and civilian colonists of varying degrees of innocence. They weren't all literally "pirates."

True, many of them were the functional equivalent of pirates, who crossed the seas to rape and pillage. But some of the colonists were literally babes in the woods. They didn't all deserve to be slaughtered for their parents' or predecessors' sins.

All clear, Stephen? Do I need to explain every posting of this type to you? Or do you understand the concept of a generalization now?

For more on the subject, see This Ain't No Party, This Ain't No Disco:  A Columbus Day Rant.


dmarks said...

"Many of them were the functional equivalent of pirates: crossing the seas to rape and pillage"

Perhaps they can be called amphibious pirates.

Anonymous said...

As I said errr typed before I grok the definition of a generalization. Also you might want to reply to my posts sometime, after all you wouldn't want to look 'cowardly' now would you?

dmarks said...

stephen: check my profile, and send me an email. Thanks!