America is all that land beyond the trash fence.

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

America is all that land beyond the trash fence.

Postby teeroy » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:43 am

America is all that land beyond the trash fence. Flying a flag from some other place is breaking the ONLY rule of Burning Man--participate! Create something new. Our city is polluted with things imported from other places; objects, clothing, attitudes. Make something new and unique or have an interesting twist on "stuff" that you bring in. If you think Burning Man is just a festival like the Love Festival or Redding, then maybe you should skip this one. BM is our home. We've got a world to build and we could use your help. Participate!
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Postby Rabbi Dali Rick » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:52 am

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you're eternal patroit,
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Postby DE FACTO » Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:43 pm

I was just wondering, is there a burningman flag?
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Postby drowned_saved » Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:02 pm

DE FACTO wrote:I was just wondering, is there a burningman flag?

oh, good.
and after that we'll create a burning man army.
and next a burning man arsenal.
and next...
and next...
and next...

sorry DF...i know you were "just wondering."
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And then

Postby naga brain » Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:36 pm

A Burning Man invasion of United States of America that the United Nations refuses to sanction or the rest of the world will pay for. "No really, it was a gift to you all," said Burning Man creator Larry Harvy...
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Re: America is all that land beyond the trash fence.

Postby Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:12 pm

teeroy wrote:America is all that land beyond the trash fence. Flying a flag from some other place is breaking the ONLY rule of Burning Man--participate! Create something new. Our city is polluted with things imported from other places; objects, clothing, attitudes. Make something new and unique or have an interesting twist on "stuff" that you bring in. If you think Burning Man is just a festival like the Love Festival or Redding, then maybe you should skip this one. BM is our home. We've got a world to build and we could use your help. Participate!


While I appreciate the 'participate' sentiment in your post, I don't think someone bringing in Old Glory in any way violates it. For some people waving the flag is a deeply personal thing. It's not *my* thing, but I fully support people doing whatever they want as long as it doesn't harm others.

'Create something new'? Absolutely! But do it everywhere and always, -you don't need burningman for that.
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Postby Badger » Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:18 pm

You know, I wear a small flag on my khaki outfit when I go to the playa. A lot of us Rangers do. It's something I never did before. Hell, I'd have never considered doing prior to 9/11. A good number of us feel that way. One might rightfully consider/us as clods for doing so. You know, 'jumping on the bus' kinda folks. But I started watching the shit unfurl with all the state and national politicos, the 'freedom fries' horse shit, babbling tards preaching from pulpits across the US, lame fuck Demos and Repubs keening about the need for patriotism during our time of mourning, Hummers barelling down I-280 with a cutesy flag sticker just above their NRA emblem on the back window., etc. and I got tired of it. I thought "this is bullshit." Maybe you get my drift here.

I know I don't have all the answers or witticisms to respond to the pundits and 'true' patriots who continually try to define citizenship/patriotism for me not to mention my humanity. To do so would probably leave me exhausted, demoralized and bitter. So I choose to respond in my own little way with my own little symbol. The flag that I wear on my khaki shirt is that symbol. In wearing it I hope to perhaps convey to others who feel like I do that we are part of the diaspora of this country. That we do count. That we do matter and that no one holds the premium on what it is to be an American - or a patriot. That it's not a shame to love where you live and relish the good things about it. And that it's o-fucking-k to disagree with and challenge the status quo who blindly accept the spoon-fed ideological shit and insane government policies that are put in place under my fucking name.

You see, I want my fucking flag back and one of the best ways I see to get it back (at times) is to take it back by wearing it. And wearing amidst one of the craziest fucking gatherings of people in the US for me has made for a good start.
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:35 pm

Ok, the next beer is on me. That kicked ass.
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Postby drowned_saved » Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:04 pm

it certainly did kick ass.

one question, though: does there come a point at which certain symbols are too far gone to allow for reclamation? for example, on the subject of flags, there are some who have tried to reclaim the confederate flag using an argument like yours, i.e., that the symbol was not REALLY about racism and slavery and shouldn't automatically be understood as such. did you buy that one? And do you suppose that the people who see in the stars and stripes a symbol of rampant imperialism and unilateralism will buy yours? Maybe something new and relatively untainted is in order?
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:19 pm

I know that question was directed at Badger, but since he is washing my car, I would like to answer.

"Tough question."

I think that when the symbol is that of something as important as the promise that America holds, then yes, I do think it is worth taking back. -Even if that path is fraught with misunderstanding.

Some people will see you wearing Old Glory and attribute the typical mindless patriotism to it, but what of it? If wearing the flag is your personal statement of your patriotism to an America that has largely been orphaned in our push for global domination, then I say more power to you. Just please be ready to address the reasons why, because I will be one of those eyeing you curiously and inquiring about the apparent incongruity.

Badg, you missed a spot dude.
Last edited by Don Muerto on Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Troy Van Berry » Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:22 pm

teeroy wrote: Flying a flag from some other place is breaking the ONLY rule of Burning Man--participate! Create something new. Our city is polluted with things imported from other places; objects, clothing, attitudes. If you think Burning Man is just a festival like the Love Festival or Redding, then maybe you should skip this one. BM is our home. !


Don't even get me started here on the logic in your point. The "only" rule of BM?????? If this was a rule we would all come in with almost nothing. Shall we start by leaving our cars and survival goods at the edge of the playa, because we certainly didn't make most of it? To pick a flag out of all the shit we bring seems supect to say the least. And about importing attitudes, you mean like the one where we would rather hang with people who think and act like us, or otherwise should stay away? Well, really, we didnt mean to bring you down from your glorious state of bliss. The polluting in our minds is brewing before we ever get there. BM will alway's be a cross section of society to some extent as opposed to a small homogenous segment of it. As the old saying goes:You can lead a horse to BM , but you can't make him wear a tutu. :D

It alway's blows me away how people love to taint their utopia's. :wink:
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Thanks Badger

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:10 pm

Badger wrote:You know, I wear a small flag on my khaki outfit when I go to the playa. A lot of us Rangers do. It's something I never did before. Hell, I'd have never considered doing prior to 9/11.
(And the rest of it--it bears re-posting, probably, but this is a little close to the original.)

For so many americans patriotism is mindless obedience. For me, it's heartbreaking, which is why I'm very seldom patriotic--and often snottily cynical about the whole damn thing. 9-11 was one of the first times in years when I let myself feel pain and horror along with the rest of the country and in a matter of weeks, those idiots has spoiled it for me. Again.

You're fighting the good fight there. And your post had me tearing up.
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Postby Badger » Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:31 pm

And your post had me tearing up.


Hey! Can't have that shit. I gotta reputation to maintain here.
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Postby que.f.o. » Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:52 pm

Assume nothing...expect nothing.

It makes your Burn much more interesting.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Fri Nov 28, 2003 9:08 am

Badger wrote:Hey! Can't have that shit. I gotta reputation to maintain here.


(Yeah! I have e-playa reputation!) Or were we talking about yours?
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Re: America is all that land beyond the trash fence.

Postby Bob » Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:07 am

teeroy wrote:America is all that land beyond the trash fence. Flying a flag from some other place is breaking the ONLY rule of Burning Man--participate! Create something new. Our city is polluted with things imported from other places; objects, clothing, attitudes. Make something new and unique or have an interesting twist on "stuff" that you bring in. If you think Burning Man is just a festival like the Love Festival or Redding, then maybe you should skip this one. BM is our home. We've got a world to build and we could use your help. Participate!


It's vague mumblings like this that keep us isolated, obscure, and unpopulated.

Good work!
Last edited by Bob on Fri Nov 28, 2003 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Guest » Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:16 am

drowned_saved wrote:it certainly did kick ass.

one question, though: does there come a point at which certain symbols are too far gone to allow for reclamation?


Hell no!
When you give up on the reclamation, you're letting the tainters define that symbol.

Like the queers reclaiming that word, when you fight what scoundrels have tried to define America as, you're taking a stand for what you believe in. Yeah, there'll be people who don't understand, and it might be difficult or in even in some cases impossible to educate them to what you are trying to say, but don't stop trying.

I'm reminded of that song "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen. When i hear it do i think of Ronald Reagan, or the 'end up like a dog that's been beat too much till you spend half your life just a coverin' up' person that Bruce wrote it for. I keep thinking of that person Bruce wrote it for, and the next time i see the flag i'll think of what Badger wrote, in direct opposition to what those "babbling tards preaching from pulpits across the US" would have us believe about America. Thanks Badger.

edited for gramatical errors. Man that L-tryptophan has me fuzzy this morning.
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Postby drowned_saved » Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:08 am

abeerinthemorning wrote:
drowned_saved wrote:it certainly did kick ass.

one question, though: does there come a point at which certain symbols are too far gone to allow for reclamation?


Hell no!
When you give up on the reclamation, you're letting the tainters define that symbol.

ok, and you see no difference here between the efforts of a beleaguered minority to reclaim a term of derision (e.g., queer) and the efforts of disnenchanted patriots (i.e., those who love their country, but not necessarily the policies of the current administration) to wrestle the flag away from those who have disgraced the principles it once stood for?

apples and oranges, i'd say.
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Jeezuz folks.

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:41 am

What the hell is the big hubbub about the flag? Some people look at it and think "A symbol of our global oppresion", some see "George Bush", and some see "mindless patriotism". Aren't you reading too much into a piece of cloth here?

In reality, what does the flag truely mean? Same as a coat-of-arms. It's a visual way of identifying a group of people. Ours happen to be one identifying the civilization/culture/population of those living in the USA borders. Of which Burning Man is definately a portion.

Don't like being an American? You can change that if it really bothers you. I always thought people that bitched about it were silly. Why get bent over where you live? The government and the populus are different entities. I doubt there is a country on earth where the people agree 100% with what their government does. In most countries, they don't even get the appearance of a choice in the descision process.

America is all that land inside the fucking trash fence too. Don't believe me? Walk up to a BLM or LEO with a loaded bong and a rifle; and declare yourself a sovereign nation. Just make sure to get a hold of me before you do it, cause I would love to see it.
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Postby Guest » Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:57 am

drowned_saved wrote:ok, and you see no difference here between the efforts of a beleaguered minority to reclaim a term of derision (e.g., queer) and the efforts of disnenchanted patriots (i.e., those who love their country, but not necessarily the policies of the current administration) to wrestle the flag away from those who have disgraced the principles it once stood for?

apples and oranges, i'd say.


I see your point, and i'm not sure if i there is any refuting it.

But i would like you to consider the possibility that the principles the flag stood for have always been somewhat in question. The puritans viewed America as a city on a hill that would serve as a moral exemplar to the rest of the world. At the same time the people that were kicked out of Massachusetts struggled to provide their own answer as to what the new society represented. Same issues hundreds of years ago.

I guess my main point is that we shouldn't let the people on the pulpits define what the flag represents, same as we shouldn't let them define what a queer is.

Thanks for making me think drowned_saved.
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Re: Jeezuz folks.

Postby drowned_saved » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:01 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:What the hell is the big hubbub about the flag? Some people look at it and think "A symbol of our global oppresion", some see "George Bush", and some see "mindless patriotism". Aren't you reading too much into a piece of cloth here?


rob, with all due respect, isn't this a tad reductionist? sure, it's a colored piece of fabric...but clearly one that is laden with all kinds of symbolic meaning. using your logic, one could easily wriggle out of just about anything. for example: "can't understand why that fellow got so upset when i called him a queer-loving fudge-packer. that's just some silly noises i made with my mouth."

or try this exercise...just a piece of cloth? what's all the hubbub?

Image

my point is this: some will want to wrestle with the uber-patriots who fly the american flag without much consideration for the message it sends to those who feel aggrieved and oppressed by it. this is the reclamation camp, the not-with-my-flag-you-don't camp. on the other hand, some will decide that the symbol is basically irredeemable, not because there is no difference between the american citzenry and the current administration (of course, there is), but because they see no pragmatic value in the flag any longer...other than to incite the wrath of others.
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Postby drowned_saved » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:08 pm

abeerinthemorning wrote:But i would like you to consider the possibility that the principles the flag stood for have always been somewhat in question. The puritans viewed America as a city on a hill that would serve as a moral exemplar to the rest of the world. At the same time the people that were kicked out of Massachusetts struggled to provide their own answer as to what the new society represented. Same issues hundreds of years ago.


i agree completely. that's one way to understand politics, i'd say: as a battle to control the meaning of words and symbols.

i'm simply suggesting that my side (the makes-me-sick-to see-the-outpouring-of-reflexive-patriotism side) has lost the battle and ought to move on to take up other issues.

others believe they can still turn the tide, e.g, by refusing to abandon the flag and by calmly explaining the meaning they want to attach to it. one could say, of course, that i have given up much too easily, but i see it as a pragmatic decision...my way of saying, 'okay, the bastards have won this round, so i'd better move along quickly and work to make my case elsewhere.'
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Sorry Rob

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:13 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:In reality, what does the flag truely mean? Same as a coat-of-arms.


Actually, the coat of arms thing is quite pertinent, as it it my understanding that flags were basically used to identify your side or group--in a battle. So, it has that war association that I don't like. But I didn't pick the flag as a symbol. It happens to be a very potent one, and I have to react to that--privately or publically. We put one on the moon. That and the plaque with Nixon's name are about the only intentional artifacts up there. So we spent a lot of money to put one on the moon. It has weight or meaning beyond what I would grant it.

Rob the Wop wrote:Don't like being an American? You can change that if it really bothers you. I always thought people that bitched about it were silly.


I hate this sort of statement. I find it a closed loop, meaningless and tiresome to respond to, but hte people who make them are very invested in their logic that produced it, so you either have to discuss it or walk away from the conversation. I did actually live abroad for a year when I was a kid, and it has had a lasting effect on me. I don't assume that the American Way of Life is manditory, nor superiour. Even if I got my German citizenship and moved to the EU never to darken these shores again, however, I'd still be an American. You can't erase 39 years of experience. What I hate is the widely held (as far as I can tell) rhetorical assumption that being indifferent or ambivalent to the flag is just one step short of active treason. I love things about this country. I hate other things. I want to make this place better, though I often have not idea how to do it, or even discuss it. So I refuse to belive "America, right or wrong" or even the 2nd half of the toast "May she always be right" but a third thing "May she strive to be right and correct herself promtly and with compassion." And if striving to redifine the flag is part of that, then I guess I have to do that.
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Postby drowned_saved » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:40 pm

abeerinthemorning wrote:But i would like you to consider the possibility that the principles the flag stood for have always been somewhat in question. The puritans viewed America as a city on a hill that would serve as a moral exemplar to the rest of the world. At the same time the people that were kicked out of Massachusetts struggled to provide their own answer as to what the new society represented. Same issues hundreds of years ago.

of course, this wasn't a battle over the flag or even the meaning of the united states of america (neither yet existed in the colonial context you cite here), but i take your meaning and agree to a certain extent (see above). just don't see the point in wasting my breath and energy on a battle i consider to be over (and, sadly, lost).

you say, don't stop trying even if you stand no chance of prevailing. that's admirable and deeply idealistic. i say, time to regroup and prepare ourselves for the next battle.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:52 pm

Drowned Saved--
You may be right, but I'm scared you aren't. I think that maybe it's all the same battle--the battle over what America "means." And maybe it has to be fought on all fronts all the time.

For example, in the 20th century we went through these terms. "Colored" "Negro" "Afro" "Black" and "African American." Each was introduced as a positive name for a despised people. Each (except the last, but maybe in time) eventually became derogatory. Admittedly, huge strides were made in that hundred years, but still blacks (she reverts to what was correct in her childhood--no offence meant) are dispised. How much running and coining should we do? Maybe we should be putting our energies elsewhere, but this fight wont be won until we can have our own gloss on the flag.
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Re: Jeezuz folks.

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Nov 28, 2003 12:58 pm

rob, with all due respect, isn't this a tad reductionist? sure, it's a colored piece of fabric...but clearly one that is laden with all kinds of symbolic meaning. using your logic, one could easily wriggle out of just about anything. for example: "can't understand why that fellow got so upset when i called him a queer-loving fudge-packer. that's just some silly noises i made with my mouth."


Out on a limb with this one. If you directly confront someone to call them names, you are singled them out and directly insulting them. Flags were originally designed to distinguish different groups on a battlefield or in an area. If you point to a flag and say, "How dare you fly that thing! It means the death of millions!"- then you are projecting your own personal feeling onto an inanimate object.

In the America I know of, you could fly any flag you wanted- so that nazi flag could be on someone's house. Big fucking deal. Are you going to kill the person for flying that flag? No. I wouldn't even fuck with them unless they started being an asshole via their actions.

If someone walks up to you wearing a blank purple flag, and you stab them to death because you take offense to that symbol- you need some serious meds. I'm saying that your projections of hate or love onto an inanimate ojbect are your own. I feel differently about the flag, but I felt the exact same way before the 9/11 attacks.

Funny that, it seems that maybe a possible interpretation of the flag is the freedom to fly the flag or not. Ain't life weird that way?
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Re: Sorry Rob

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:16 pm

BlueBirdPoof wrote:
Rob the Wop wrote:Don't like being an American? You can change that if it really bothers you. I always thought people that bitched about it were silly.


I hate this sort of statement. I find it a closed loop, meaningless and tiresome to respond to, but hte people who make them are very invested in their logic that produced it, so you either have to discuss it or walk away from the conversation.


Actually, I hate this type of statement too, which is why I tried to tone it down. I have relatives that moved to Europe. I'm not saying this in a "Ifins yalls don't like the flag, yalls kin move the fuck outta my 'Merika!!" type of way. Sorry if I came out too strong with my phrasing.

We have different styles of government, life quality, and culture. I've considered moving to a more socialist country, but I'm too much of a capitalist at heart. I was unsuccesfully trying to target those that complained non-stop about how evil our government and way of life are. If standing under a spot under a leaking roof gets you wet, find a spot to stand that makes you dry. Just don't stand next to me and bitch constantly about how others spots are so much better than the one you're standing in. The world is a big place and no one is keeping you in one spot. I don't agree with a lot of things that our illustrious leaders do by a long shot, but I love our culture and how we approach things. Maybe later on I join my little brother in Sweden- who knows? I joined up with the Navy for a stint out of a feeling of duty, so you can get a bit of a feeling for how I feel about my country. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't leave if I felt that my life would be better elsewhere.
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:20 pm

BlueBirdPoof wrote: "Colored" "Negro" "Afro" "Black" and "African American." Each was introduced as a positive name for a despised people.


Actually it went from "Nigger" to "Colored" "Negro" "Afro" "Black" and "African American." ( I know no one wanted to go there but it's part of the process.) All to which I think is stupid (the concepts of classification. to a certain extent). It would be nice if the world would grow up a lot faster than it currently is.

I think BlueBirdPoof is right. The world should be putting thier energies elsewhere. Passed the flag symbolisims, religion, politics and other unessasary B.S. that causes humans to be distracted from what should be the focus. (IMHO) Cleaning up the planet and exploring other places. That's what I think humans should be doing. Something the humans seem to not only be made to do but seem to do naturally.
It's part of the curiosity factor in humans. I think somehow the self defense mechanisim got replaced with the war thingie.

Like drowned_saved says "i say, time to regroup and prepare ourselves for the next battle."
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Postby Bob » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:22 pm

Never have so many dictionaries gathered so much dust.

black -- c. 1400
negro -- 1555
nigger -- c. 1700
Afro-American -- 1853
African-American -- 1856
colored -- 1916

Amerigo Vespucci -- born c. 1451 in the Republic of Florence; business agent and ambassador of the house of Medici in Paris and Seville; as navigator explored the eastern coasts of the American continents under the Spanish flag, and for a time under the Portuguese flag, but ultimately reported to Florence

New World (Mundus Novus) -- 1501, coined by Vespucci

America -- 1507, coined by Martin Waldseemuller, German cartographer

Columbia -- 1775, coined by Phillis Wheatley, African (region of current Senegal/Gambia) slave of a Boston merchant
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Postby Bob » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:57 pm

BTW, "cowboys" originally referred to British sympathizers who, in the frontier areas of New York in the late 18th Century, stole cattle and burned settlements of those more aligned with the American Revolution -- terrorists, essentially.
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