There are now happle tea buttons and high quality prints available in the store! How exciting!

Blog Post Proper

The Spanish were so horrified by the religiously inspired human sacrifices of the Aztecs that they sought to stamp it out for all time…by slaughtering as many Aztecs as they could.

A brilliant strategy, 100% free of any irony.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little bit, but the weird mental disconnect it takes to be horrified by human sacrifice on the one hand, and pro murdering people with swords for political reasons is absolutely real. The Spanish certainly didn’t come to the Americas with the sole intent of liberating the Aztec people from the threat of human sacrifice. There were clear political motivations and the desire to grab as much land for the empire, even if there were people already living there. Their reactions to the practice, however, match the comic pretty accurately. There are reports of Cortes and the religious men he brought with him (missionaries and soldiers) being disgusted by what they saw as barbarism on display during their initial forays in the country. Cortes himself banned the practice after seizing power in the country then almost immediately started murdering people in the sacred city of Cholula.

There are accounts that tell us that after seeing just how many corpses Cortes himself was willing to make, some of the Aztec leaders were more than ready to meet whatever demands he wanted.

It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to be disgusted by human sacrifice and then almost immediately put people to the sword for having different beliefs than yourself, but I guess that’s always been the way of the world. Most nations vilify murder and glorify the act of war.

Wasting human life seems stupid, no matter the purpose, from where I’m standing, but hey, that’s me.

Say what you want about human sacrifice, but at least the Aztec worldview made sense. They never had a commandment that said “thou shalt not kill” and then went around murdering people. I guess what I’m getting at here is that if you’re going to be pro killing people, at least have a little consistency.

Kill all the people, all the time.

I kid, obviously.

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry much about human sacrifice today. We know that whether the crops get enough rain or not is up to the random and faceless forces of nature (or the continued maintenance of our irrigation systems), rather than how much blood we sacrifice to angry deities. We know that there are no 52 year cycles that just might end with our complete annihilation if we don’t take lives for our imaginary friends.

No, nowadays we just kill each other for resources, for having slightly different political beliefs, for being born with different skin tones, for not liking each others’ religions, and for not wearing the right colors on a particular side of town.

That’s progress, baby!

As the late great Bob Marley once said, “Every little thing’s gonna be alright.