Since Trump has made such a stink about memorializing historical losers in statue form, the Trump Statue Initiative has decided to take it upon themselves to bestow the same honor on the famously narcissistic 45th President of the United States. As they explain on their website:
The Trump Statue Initiative is a way for artists to share their point of view on our 45th President's most notoriously self-serving, narcissistic, and racist moments. And then memorialize his legacy in a way our President can truly relate: Realistic heroic statues. Yeah, unfortunately, statues and monuments are something the big guy is spending a lot of tax payers' dollars protecting right now, while we scramble to find funding to fight surging COVID-19 infections, historic unemployment, and daily racist attacks.
We encourage you to join our movement and create special statues of your own, or perhaps vote for one of our pieces you see today to be a permanent installation here in historic Washington DC.
Existing installations include "The Poser," located at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC:
As well as "The Bunker," conveniently positioned in front of the DC branch of the Trump Hotel:
Read the rest
As long as statues of historical figures (and what to do with them) is at the forefront of our cultural conversation, there's this from Smithsonian Magazine:
The busts are all that remains of Virginia’s Presidents Park, a now-defunct open-air museum where visitors could once walk among the presidential heads. Presidents Park first opened in nearby Williamsburg in 2004, the brainchild of local landowner Everette “Haley” Newman and Houston sculptor David Adickes, who was inspired to create the giant busts after driving past Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
But their presidential visions soon (literally) went bust. The park, which cost about $10 million to create, went belly-up due to a lack of visitors in 2010. Doomed in part by location—it was hidden behind a motel and slightly too far away from colonial Williamsburg’s tourist attractions, the park went into foreclosure.
But something had to happens to all those heads when the park closed down. And what follows is a fascinating look at preservation, in a cemetery-like field that's both sweetly patriotic and incredibly creepy.
How 43 Giant, Crumbling Presidential Heads Ended Up in a Virginia Field [Jennifer Billock / Smithsonian Magazine]
Image: Mobilius in Mobili / Flickr (CC 2.0) Read the rest
The United States government is doing more today to protect old statues honoring racists than it is to protect living human beings from coronavirus. Read the rest
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recently ordered a statue of noted American traitor Jefferson Davis to be removed from the state capitol. And as workers took the statue down, they discovered an empty bottle of Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and an old newspaper inside the base.
The newspaper was dated October 20, 1936, and the front page makes references to some violent actions at the hand of anti-fascists vigilantes in Spain. According to Fox News, October 20, 1936 was also the same day that the statue was erected, which is very probably true and also rather ridiculous considering that that was more than 70 years after Jefferson Davis led the Confederacy in betraying the United States.
The Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission has voted to move the statue to the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site — though I'm not sure why the leader of a traitorous secession force should continue to have a state park named in his unseemly honor, either.
Maybe if they raze the park, they'll find more bourbon?
In fact, we should probably search for more bourbon beneath every Confederate statue. Who knows what kind of liquid treasure we might find!
Artifacts found inside base of Jefferson Davis statue at state Capitol [Darby Beane / WDRB] Read the rest
Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday in Virginia, meant to honor Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as "defenders of causes." But the Virginia House voted to stop lionizing the slave-owning generals and instead establish an "Election Day" on the first Tuesday after the First Monday in November.
Not everyone is happy with the change, reports CNN:
Lee-Jackson Day, founded more than 100 years ago, is observed with Civil War-themed parades, wreath layings and reenactments hosted by Confederate memorial groups, though these celebrations are increasingly unpopular. Defenders of the holiday say it honors Virginia history.
"I think Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are some of the greatest men to have ever lived," a supporter named Carson Via told the Roanoke Times at last month's Lee-Jackson Day celebration in Lexington while dressed in a Civil War uniform. "Great men, and we're all getting washed away."
Virginia has struggled to confront its Confederate legacy in recent years. In April, a Virginia judge ruled that statues of Lee and Jackson in Charlottesville were "war monuments" that the city couldn't remove without permission from the state.
Image: CC0 Public Domain Read the rest