American Elephants


Statues Cannot Defend Themselves, Perhaps That’s the Attraction by The Elephant's Child

All this attacking our history by removing any evidence of past heroes on the wrong side of the Civil War, led me to some imaginary conversations, which were interesting. I tried to imagine a conversation with someone who was attempting to destroy or damage a statue of George Washington. Naturally, I asked “why?” The interesting part was trying to imagine what their answer could be.

Probing the depths of their lack of information or misguided information, or general unfamiliarity with American history. That sort of thing. The statue attackers gradually moved on from Confederate statues to anybody statues. I thought attacking the elk in Portland was the epitome, but apparently the Virgin Mary has also been attacked and damaged.

We know that a great many people who can read perfectly well, just don’t want to read anything long. Long may be defined as anything over 2 paragraphs, if they’re short. There are even some websites that attach a brief reading time to their posts. I was an English major, partly because I have always been a reader, and was not troubled by the massive reading requirements.

But I know there are lots of people out there who are reluctant readers. But what do they do with an exciting thriller? Or have they just never read one anyway? Reading is not something they do for pleasure? One takes pleasure in a movie, but not in reading? It remains a chore, rather than a pleasure?

It seems to me that if the schools were successfully teaching reading, they should be offering the young people versions of thrillers — page turners–where you really wanted to find out what happens next.  Instead they are still working on the same old classics, Mark Twain, etc. that we all had. How do we manage to turn out so many reluctant readers? That’s just not right. History can be pretty interesting reading, if you know enough to understand why it is important.

At the present moment, to be called a racist is the very worst thing possible, and the term is being used far and wide. The fear of being labelled as a racist is huge, for that can effect your career, your income and your prospects for the future. Strange times indeed. George Washington did have some slaves, one that traveled with him throughout the war, if I remember correctly. Do they know that he had a few other accomplishments like winning our independence from the British? Do try an imaginary conversation. It can clarify your own mind.


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