Monday, February 03, 2003


The recent assertion throughout the media that a Chinese navigator first discovered America some years before Columbus, and the ensuing debate over the certitude of the doubtful details, all appears to me to be chronically time-blind in the usual scholastic way, the facts likely being as I first surmised them some years ago in the Kyoto Journal, more or less as follows:


The very first discovery of America, or of the land mass that would one day be known as America, took place at what would have been 3:22 in the afternoon on April 27th, 39,926 B.C. when Aijuk, a young hunter pursuing a wounded caribou, jumped from a large ice floe onto the uninhabited continent now known as North America, beating out Columbus by a good 42,000 years or so. But no countries are named after Aijuk; no states, cities, streets or universities, automobiles, rivers, buildings, squares, expressways, moving picture corporations, record companies, dry cleaners, rock groups, no, not even a cigar bears the name of America's true discoverer. Because when Aijuk's foot became the very first to touch the now hallowed ground of the broad American continent, Aijuk didn't claim the land for any king, god, nation or manifest destiny; he held no ceremony, planted no flag, had no quoteworthy statement ready for the occasion, didn't name the place after his chief or even carve his own name on a rock. In fact, such thoughts never entered his head, because back then it was all one world. Aijuk simply scanned the horizon, gave up on the caribou and jumped back out of America. What's more, he never even knew he'd been there: such was the clarity of mind in those long-gone days.

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