How Fickle Fate Can Be

5 Nov

We’re not building as many statues as we used to. Even without tearing them down, we’re no longer a monument-building people. Yet we haven’t stopped commemorating the past – we just have different intent.

To paraphrase James Burke (whose no longer stalking me), “you only build Roman columns on your buildings if you believe your empire will last as long as the Romans did.” You build statues because the American Republic of a hundred years ago believed in that. They needed to have monuments and columns to emulate the Romans, who after all, were the first republic. They didn’t build Greek columns in Cincinnati because they were the fashion – they were trying to make a pork producing town look important. They called Cincinnati “the city on Seven Hills” because Rome had seven hills. Guess what – Cincy has more than seven.

Jayne : I don’t know why that eats at me so.

Mal : It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. Ain’t about you, Jayne. It’s about what they need.

Firefly, Jaynestown

However, they DO occasionally build new statues. Why? Take the Greene statue in Greensboro, NC. They didn’t build it because they thought his Fabian tactics in the Revolutionary War were brilliant (which they were), or that he was a Quaker who abandoned pacifism to save his country, but because the town was named after him. One of the major battles of that war, Guilford Court House, was fought there. They wanted to remind visitors to their city that there’s was an important place, and when that’s the history you’ve got, that’s the history you run with.

Besides, the other big thing that happened in Greensboro was the Woolworth Sit-Ins of 1960. They commemorate that, too, and the old Woolworth’s is now a Civil Rights Museum, but it doesn’t scream class and importance, does it? It screams, “Look what racist #($*@ we used to be!”

Same with this statue of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the namesake of Cincinnati. It was built 10 years ago, not so much because the people wanted to honor their namesake, but because the @(##$ $*@($ 9@)&*($@ representative, Jean Schmidt, wanted to show her constituents that she was “providing the goods,” so she got a three million dollar grant to build this bronze statue. She got her (@#$*)@ $*(@$& booted out of office four years later, thank God.

SIDE NOTE: I ran against Schmidt in the 2010 election, so I got to know her particular politico schtick very well. Personal grudge, I beg your pardon.

Nowadays, though, we tend to make more documentaries than statues, because those that want to learn about Cincinnatus would be more likely to catch it on the History Channel than walking behind the highway downtown. Cincinnatus was twice elected dictator of Rome, whom after the emergency had passed, gave up power willingly and returned to his farm. He is considered the epitome of the soldier-citizen. That’s why they renamed the town of Losantiville after the ideal of what they wanted the new America to be – a new Rome.

Do you know of new statues being raised? Has there always been an ulterior motive to such monuments? Let me know in the comments below!

6 Responses to “How Fickle Fate Can Be”

  1. Silk Cords November 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm #

    Nope, no more statues being built. It’s land that developers can put to commercial use now, AND (on the Far Left side of things), the past has to be destroyed to make way for revisionist history. Kind of like your Woolworth there.

  2. iFlyMSP November 28, 2020 at 10:18 am #

    I found the Woolworth in Greensboro to be far more interesting than the statues around the area. A true historical spot. It’s just shameful that many people still hold the same attitudes in 2020 as in the 1960s.

  3. Hamish December 1, 2020 at 11:54 am #

    From a purely historical standpoint – learning about the past and why things were done in particular ways – this is really interesting. I hope attitudes are changing, away from commemorating figures that don’t need it, to spending money on helping those in need now, especially in the year that has been 2020.

    Thank you for sharing this.


  1. How Fickle Fate Can Be | James' World 2 - November 5, 2020

    […] How Fickle Fate Can Be […]

  2. How Fickle Fate Can Be – The Jedi Mind Trick - December 9, 2020

    […] How Fickle Fate Can Be […]

  3. Lest We Forget | Albigensia Press - March 21, 2021

    […] brat, I honor those who served. However, not everyone thinks the same way as I do. We make a lot less statues these days. So when you find a memorial, it’s usually much […]

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