It is commonly accepted that the emperor Nero fiddled as Rome burned. This piece of history is often used by the politicized as an allegory to condemn a current administration for turning a blind eye to very obvious problems. And rightly so. However, what is to be said of a pop culture that is in its entirety an Age of Nero?
STUBBORN FACTS (and uncomfortable truths)
1) Columbus was a slave trader, a sex trader, and ultimately he decimated the inhabitants of Hispaniola. He arrived in 1492. By 1555 every single Taino was dead.
A member of his own crew, Miguel Cuneo, reported taking captive 1,600 indigenous Taino Indians. As Columbus himself wrote to a friend in 1500: “A hundred castellaneos (Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.” — From a letter quoted in Documents of West Indian History by Eric Williams, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: PNM, 1963, and Peter Martyr’s, De Orbe Novo, 1516. (Cited from Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight)
* We celebrate Columbus Day.
2) The American-published World Alamanac and Book of Facts doesn’t even list hunger or famine as categories.
It does, however, contain exhaustive listings of American advertisers, American university presidents, American movie stars, members of the United States Congress, and American athletes. (Cited from Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight)
* America is the goal developing nations wish to reach.
3) Diversity supports survival.
In an era of globalization and centralization we are told that humanity needs to “unite.” The opposite is true. Just think of the difference between 500 self-contained economies and the global one we see today. An economic collapse in one of 500 is terrible, but not catastrophic. Furthermore, the failed policies (perhaps) of that 1 in 500 don’t do much to the other 499. Fast forward to the present day: The American economic collapse has had global ramifications to the extent that almost no one is immune from the fallout.
* We call this the free market.
4) Totalitarian governments are the #1 cause of death.
One needs only to add up the death toll from Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Mussolini (and George Bush) to arrive at this staggering number of casualties in the name of “protection.”
* We vote for this.
5) So, how could it be that in the most prosperous nation on Earth, with by far the greatest media establishment, the average person is so uninformed?
* Because we, each of us, continue to fiddle while it all burns.