Showing posts with label iconoclasm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iconoclasm. Show all posts

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Bonfire of the Statuaries

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                                                     - Image by? -

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I'm not going to waste my time worrying about Confederate statues. That's wasted energy." -Charles Barkley 

"We have destroyed 80% of the statues. There is only a small amount left and we will destroy that soon." -Mullah Omar, Taliban Supreme Leader (deceased) 

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Some Random Randomnesses...

- The Bonfire of the Statuaries (HT: WSJ Potomac Watch Podcast) continues and the IUPPP&PVTTTOT stands firm. There will be no peace until there is justice.

[What's the IUPPP...]

The International Union of Perpetually Protesting Protestors and Perpetual Victims of This, That, and The Other Thing.

Unfortunately, as to what sort of justice, actually implementable, that will restore peace remains ill-defined. I confess that I sometimes wonder if this is tactical, a never-ending jobs program for members of the IUPPP...etc.

However, virtue flags are flying, politicians are pandering, businesses not destroyed (by brick, fire, or plague) are donating — and Congress has threatened to pass yet another law.

Unfortunately or fortunately (one never knows...), Congress being Congress, and this being an election year, it's not going well.

In other news...

The following Random Randomness should be read aloud with your best Columbia School of Broadcasting voice.

In other news that you should have heard about but likely didn't, Antonio Gwynn, an 18-year-old African-American gentleperson from Buffalo, New York, spent ten hours cleaning up the trash and broken glass on (George?) Baily Avenue in Buffalo left behind by people protesting police brutality.

Mr. Gwynn's 15 minutes, the result of a local TV news feature, landed him a car, a year's worth of car insurance, and a free ride at a local college courtesy of some other gentlepersons.

Clarence, could you please send Frank Capra down long enough to make one more movie?

- If you're killed by a heavy, rotted out tree branch that lands on your head while you're communing with nature via a stroll in a sylvan setting is that "death by natural causes"?

 "_______ departed this life for the rest and comfort of the next one on... "

Once the plague began ravaging the realm I became one of those people I used to sneer at, a compulsive obituary reader. I was surprised to find that most people die from natural causes or apparently just drop dead. 

For the record, being of more or less sound mind I declare and affirm that even if I die peacefully in my sleep it is my wish that my obituary states that the cause of my death is under investigation. If my loved ones love me when asked they will reply, "I'm not at liberty to say," look troubled, and change the subject. 

- As I've recently written, much to my surprise I, who thrived as a hippie with a job for 13 years, seem to be turning into some sort of conservative. In my ongoing attempt to define exactly what sort of conservative I am I discovered that I'm a fusionist.

[Say what?]

Well, Dana, according to Wikipedia, "...fusionism is the philosophical and political combination...of traditionalist and social conservatism with political and economic right-libertarianism."

[What's up with all the italicizing?]

In the Wikipedia entry, those words are all links to other entries. As you know it's my editorial policy to use as few links as possible, with an emphasis on self-serving links.


Yup. Links that bring up something from my website.


Anyways, the bad news is that according to the entry, the fusion has faltered and the formerly fraternal factions are now fighting fractious factions.

[Thus, the Donald. But why are you...]

Well, as you know, I'm running for king via a write-in campaign and it's occurred to me I need a name for my party. Branding and marketing, I'm told, are everything these days. So, I give you (insert fanfare, here):

The Live and Let Live party!   

BYOI (bring your own ideology) but let's start acting like adults trying to find a way to make their marriage work for the sake of everyone in the family.

- I hate my cable company.

Over the years I've shelled out a significant amount of money to  Roadrunner/Time Warner Cable/Charter Spectrum/Spectrum or whatever their name is this week.

If I owned a company that had a gummit granted monopoly on cable services in a given area where people paid to watch content that was one-third commercials,

and I charged extra for content that didn't,
and I could force people to pay for content they never watched,
and if I claimed my content was available on-demand, when it often wasn't,


If I were running a popular "premium" (costs extra) series and knew people had been waiting a week to see the latest episode and for some reason it wasn't available this week,

I'd post a simple e-note of explanation. I might even say sorry about that. I'd whistle all the way to the bank knowing I was rich and a nice guy/girl/they.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet.



Saturday, May 18, 2019


If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't, yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]


                                  Who the Hell is This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Dana -- A Gentlereader
Iggy -- A Sticky (GT*)
Marie-Louise -- My Muse (GT*)
"I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums." -Steven Wright 

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

In last week's letter, I mentioned that smartphones, theoretically, make it possible to act when someone throws the oft used phrase, you can look it up! at your psyche.

For the record, although late to the party, I admit to now owning one, a smartphone I mean. I also admit to the opinion that overall, they do more harm than good, particularly culturally speaking.

However, it's not the tool, it's how you use it, and...

[Hah! I call bullpoop, sir! You spend an inordinate amount of time online. Granted, most of your web surfing involves the pursuit of unspeakably dull content or listening to music that our culturally cutting edge social media "influencers" would find to be, well, also unspeakably dull. Still...]

I repeat, Dana, it's not the tool, it's how you use it. As I started to say -- there's a huge difference between taking selfies and/or sharing your fascinating life loudly enough with everyone else in the tiny, uncomfortably upholstered, over-heated or under-cooled waiting room -- and using your phone to access an ever-growing, electronic version of the Library of Alexandria. 

[The what?]



Heavy sigh. Anyways...

[It's not anyways, snob, it's anyway. Everyone knows that!]

It's a charming literary device I use all the time to honor the work of David Milch's classic, Deadwood. Now, just get the hell out of here, I've had enough!


My Dear Stickies and gentlereaders, please forgive the digression. My apologies. What I set out to do was point out that when I was out and about in the world recently I was asked if I found it interesting that iconoclasm (although that particular word was not actually used) has become a fad here in the home of the free and the land of the brave.

Knowing that my knowledge was somewhat limited concerning both the word and the phenomenon it describes, when I had a private moment I whipped out my trusty smartphone and discovered that according to Wikipedia iconoclasm is "the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons."


I confess that I'm cis-gendered and enthusiastically heterosexual -- a chubby, pasty-faced, melanin-challenged, old man culturally branded with a scarlet letter P due to my unwillingness to repent for, or even acknowledge the legitimacy of, what passes for original sin in certain circles these days, white privilege.

[You may remember that for a minute or two I thought I was an African-American lesbian woman (who looked remarkably like Halle Berry) named Coco trapped in the body of... etc. This went away when I overcame my addiction to mayonnaise sandwiches. Who knew?] 


As you would expect, I have trouble staying woke (in more ways than one) but I do my best.


I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for those who declare themselves to be traumatized by statues that most Americans were mostly oblivious to prior to the Church of Equity and Social Justice reviving the perennial struggle over freakin' INANIMATE OBJECTS! 

Sorry, I've gone off the rails again. Perhaps just a bite of a mayonnaise sandwich, just a taste to calm my nerves... No, I must be strong. Remember the nightmare that was rehab. Concentrate.

Anyways... when I unexpectedly encountered the word iconoclasm, not a word you encounter all that frequently (at least not yet), the phrase verbal iconoclasm, unbidden, popped into my head.

I think this is a good name for a disturbing phenomenon loose in the world that manifests as no-platforming, the banning of "hate" speech, microaggressions, political correctness, etceteraness -- particularly in America since free speech is enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

Statue smashing (or shrouding, or dismantling), like censorship and book burning, is a time-honored tradition with roots extending back literally thousands of years.

In fact, although my artistic knowledge is rated by The Journal of Fine Arts Majors as Philistine +, I'm endlessly fascinated/appalled by documentaries about the destruction of art in Catholic churches and the like by Protest-ants in the 16th century.

In certain circles, ISIS springs immediately to mind for some reason, iconoclasm is still quite popular. Recently, in Philadelphia, where the Bill of Rights was ratified, a bronze statue of singer and long-dead American icon Kate Smith (1907 - 1986) was covered on a Friday and removed by Sunday.

A highly placed, anonymous, often reliable source in the Philadelphia Flyers organization told me that it was then cut into pieces and buried in an unmarked grave; an exorcism was performed on the sight it had occupied since 1987.

The Flyers, who had been playing Ms. Smith's rendition of God Bless America during home games for as long as anyone can remember, discovered she had recorded songs that contained some racist lyrics -- in the 1930s. 

I was unable to discover if Ms. Smith's Presidential Medal of Freedom will have to be returned. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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©2019 Mark Mehlmauer As long as you agree to supply my name and URL (Creative Commons license at the top and bottom of my website) you may republish this anywhere that you please. You do NOT have to include any of the folderol before the greeting or after the closing except for the title.