An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Ok, I have to admit to my being utterly oblivious to the fact that there has been a statue of Lenin publically displayed in Fremont and sanctioned by the government there for going on close to 10 years now! If this itself weren't enough, the city council of Fremont (now I of course realize that Fremont is not exactly a bastion of conservative political thought, but geez!)has decided that instead of lighting a Christmas tree they are going to light up Lenin: "The monument will be bedecked with garland and lights..."
Frankly I am floored by this. Lenin is himself directly responsible for the deaths of millions of people and furthermore he founded a government that would itself later be responsible for so many deaths so as to make Hitler look like a lousy amatuer in his efforts. I suspect, to many immigrants from former communist states they would likely look upon this statue much like a Jew may look upon one of Hitler.
The city of Fremont lamely and not unexpectedly attempts to call this a work of art that will inspire a range of "valid" emotions, saying that "From an artists standpoint, all points of view are valid and important." But I ask my readers to consider if the same could be said if it were a statue of Hitler? It strikes me as being hilarious that some wealthy (by world standards) American goes to my homeland in Slovakia and finds this statue sitting in a dump heap (Hmmmm...now why would they put that staute, that wonderful work of art, in the trash?) and he mortgages his house to bring that discarded statue back to America. (One man's garbage is another man's treasure.) So, a statue that is tossed into the garbage by the people of Slovakia who suffered under the atheistic regime that it represents is brought to the United States for pretentious art snobs to admire for its art and to inspire deep emotions...I am embarassed. Why didn't he mortgage his house and BUY something from the poor people of Slovakia instead of rummaging through their garbage? And then the city of Fremont (THE CITY...NOT A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL) agrees to take the statue and display it...I am even more ashamed.
Corky Merwin, a member of the Fremont City council is apparently scatterbrained in her attempts to explain the purpose of the statue. At one point in the interview linked above she says: "I don't think putting lights and garland on him is honoring him" but then prior to that statement she says in regards to the Christmas lighting: "I also think it's an interesting time to honor a controversial head of state."
So which is it? A joke at the expense of millions who suffered and died or just an all out honoring of a person and regime at the expense of millions who suffered and died. In my mind, this is further evidence to the moral bankruptcy of the extreme left...if not this, than it is evidence of their ignorance.
I was attending SPU, across the ship canal from Fremont, when the Lenin statue was first brought to the neighborhood. There was a bit of public debate about the appropriateness of its public display. Lenin resided in a couple different spots in Fremont before finding his current home. In one place, if I recall, the ground wasn’t especially level and he ended up sliding down a gravel bank and into a building. It’s embarassing to admit, but as a college kid, I thought the Lenin statue was great. I suspect that to a large degree the folks in Fremont have given the Lenin statue their own symbolic significance and are largely ignorant of the real history behind him. This is less of an excuse, however, and more of an indictment, in my opinion. But nothing surprises me in Seattle anymore. At least it’s not Stalin! Or Hitler! I think I recall Lenin being decorated for other occasions in the past. Perhaps most ironic (or most fitting?), I remember that he donned a Santa hat one season.
Note: Despite billing itsef as the “Center of the Universe” and despite the “City Council” terminology, Fremont is not its own city but simply an eccentric neighborhood of the city of Seattle.
There is a third possibility. There are various people in Fremont who want to attract attention to themselves. I certainly wouldn't know anything about Corky Merwin if they didn't have a statue of Lenin. This may make them morally bankrupt. On the other hand, we could ask a dark question about me. Why the heck am I posting if not to attract attention to myself. But of course, I can't possibly be morally bankrupt. Its them that have the problem!
I've felt that the best comment on Comrade Lenin would be to use him as a urinal at each possible chance. Such public displays make an interesting question: How would it be possible to vandalize it? Wouldn't any such activity be hailed as "art"? Recall, this is not all that distant from the "Gasworks Park", which enshrines the rusting toxic debris of the old gasworks (Anyone who grew up in Seattle called it an eyesore, it took the 70's to "preserve" it) as a display of art. It fits well; old obsolete industry next to the dustbin of history. But the Fremontians don't see it that way. Too much pot will eventually take it's toll. -- Bob Koch
Surely, Rick, you are not saying that we are not free to criticize the actions of others? Or that in so doing we neccesarily fail to see our own failings?
I'll be the first, or perhaps second (no really - you go first - LOL), to proclaim my many instances of moral bankruptcy...but the moral bankruptcy of a thought process or system of beliefs (such as might be the case in calling an offenisve statue art) is worthy of note, I think.
I like the third post... use it as a urinal and when you're arrested for public indecency, pull out a host of pics of other 'art' with urine (like the Cross in a jar or urine?) and have your defense be that you're an amature artist!
Communism is coming to America in more ways than one, I guess...
The idea of using the statue as a public urinal sounds like a great field trip for The League...
A couple other ideas come to mind, * Round up an 18 pounder and some old Czarists from one of the Russian churches to blow it to pieces (this one is a bit too whimsical to be practical, but the mental image is fun). * Hooking a cable to it and dragging it down the street with a big old pickup truck (we'd need to find a Confederate flag to hang from the rear window). * Sawing the head off ala Bart Simpson and the head of Jebediah Springfield and tossing it into a very deep part of Puget Sound.
BTW James I finally managed to figure out how to post my reply to the comments section of my own blog, so my reply to you waits there for your viewing. Sorry for the delay!