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207359 Duke Of Wellington Statue With Cone

The Limitations of Statues

No.

Don’t pin your ‘-isms’ on me.

The only ‘-ism’ I would acknowledge, right now, is that of ‘pessim-‘.

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Don’t assign me to one of your ‘wings’, either, thank-you-very-much.

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You see, I grew wings of my own and they lift me enough to make observations for myself and see these petty, divisive games for what they are.

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So, go ahead without me and leave me out of the grand puppet show.

Go play your game of who is more offended/triggered/outraged by whom.

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Your claim to be fighting for peace only makes me wonder what you would do for the cause of chastity?

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Now, we’re battling to silence the opponents of free speech, are we?

Well, I like my free-speech opponents right out in the open where I can hear them and recognise them, if you don’t mind.

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Let me get this straight – opinions that you find execrable, expressed by people you have no time for, are a reason enough to stir yourself to violence?

Murder, even…?

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The only opinions that should have any value to you are those of the people whose opinions you value. The rest is fart.” (Mr Williams, my old art teacher).

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So, when was the last time you were accused of being a mindless thug?

Did beating the crap out of your accuser lead them to revise their opinion of you?

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I wonder if cogent argument or, better still, an observed, better example, was ever, historically, more effective in changing the opinions and behaviour of others than, say, a baseball bat to the ribs?

I wonder…

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I’ll let you in on a secret.

I don’t find chunks of sculpted bronze offensive at all.

They are merely representations.

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Just like violence at protests is a ‘representation’ of a win-win scenario for those who orchestrate, encourage and fund both sides to keep that oh-so-expedient hate and division going.

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Maybe, if you bothered to look up from that bleeding father/brother/husband/fellow-human-being-with-a-different-outlook you were stomping into the pavement, you might stand a better chance of seeing how you’re being played like a total patsy by those who reap huge political mileage out of your acts of reptile-brained machismo.

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But, go ahead if it makes you feel like a ‘Hero of the People’.

Those people you are ‘heroing’ for will, I don’t doubt, be lining up to thank you for the next wedge of freedom your puppeteers will be removing, (for everyone’s safety, of course), as a result of your actions.

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But, I digress.

I was explaining why I don’t hate or fear statues, wasn’t I?

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You see, how these representations/installations/artworks are labelled or interpreted might well be untruthful or duplicitous – but lies and misrepresentations are addressed by exposing the truth – not by removing them from sight or hiding them from being examined by future generations and explained with a complete understanding.

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Otherwise, what’s the next step?

Burning all books referencing the object of your objections?

Is this where we’re heading, now?

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Smashing a symbol doesn’t change what it means. More often than not, it reinforces the drive of those who stand under it to rally to its defence all the more fervently.

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Exposing the falsehood behind a symbol is what truly renders it impotent.

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If you think a publicly displayed artwork or symbol is ‘wrong’, make it right; Explain why it is wrong. Publicly expose the truth behind it. List the facts.

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To be honest, I would be perfectly content to see a statue of any proven, mass-murdering despot you can think of smack-dab in the middle of my town’s market square.

My sole proviso would be that it was labelled as such, so that future generations can learn the sobering lessons that his horrific reign taught us.

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Indeed, make it as eye-catching as possible so that it becomes a constant reminder.

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So, finally, if you really, REALLY feel you have to ‘do something’, perhaps a more effective method (than hitting people who seek to protect their beloved symbol until they stop loving it), would be to carve your own plaque listing indisputable facts and stick it on the base.

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e.g.

Won Some Battles.

Lost the Last One.

Admired by his Followers.

Hated by his Slaves.

Invented Chips

Beat His Wife

Hated Statues.

A Product of his Time.

Good Job We’re Way Past All That Now.

…Right?

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