First let me say, tearing down statues is stupid and boring. I much prefer roasting sacred cows. I like to see those grill marks and watch the sauce caramelize.
However, while we wait for those grill marks, there are a couple of statues we should probably put on our list. Under the bridge here there is this huge cement troll. That guy has inspired an entire movement, minions who do nothing but troll the internet, hoping to sow chaos and destruction everywhere they go. Personally I’d like to see their leader torn down and demolished with a sledge hammer.
Seattle has a statue of Vlad Lenin that just makes no sense, or perhaps it does if you happen to worship the goddess of green. She too is popular here, I suspect in part because she is one of the few substances that brings sudden clarity to what is totally incoherent to the rest of us. Lenin should probably go on account of the fact that most people who actually lived with him, had the good sense to dismantle him long ago. Only in Seattle do we get really stoned and decide it would be a good idea to salvage those icons of communism and erect them in the name of “whimsy.”
Margaret Sanger is an interesting character. I sometimes call her Nurse Ratchet. While some of her intentions may have been good, her eugenics left a whole lot to be desired. She wanted to rid the human race of all it’s undesirables and once said, “There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.” This is a biology blog, I am rather fond of procreation, and assorted activities thereof. I’m also often labeled an undesirable myself, so the idea of Margaret Sanger declaring me unfit to reproduce, just doesn’t fly. Tear her down!
Somewhat amusing, we already have an old, bronze statue that has been civilized, replaced and upgraded. It was once a topless goddess, surrounded by little cherubs, playfully urinating all over the place. Victorian art can be very strange, but never mind all that. This statue was not shamed and torn down by the religious right, oh no, not at all. It actually stood there proudly and graphically, affirming biological truth and perpetuating gender binary stereotypes. Indeed it did, quite shamefully too, so it had to go.
It does me absolutely no good to say this, but “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” I jest about demolishing art, because in truth I want no statues torn down, ever, not even Vladimir Lenin’s. As unpleasant as communism was, while many people are proudly roaming about in their Che Guevara shirts, still other do take the time to sneak over and dip Lenin’s hands in blood. I find that somewhat reassuring.
Call me cynical, but the only proper way to actually perceive iconic public art, is as punishment for perpetual human stupidity. Sadly, destroying the art itself does nothing to fix the stupidity.