Stonewall Jackson is DOWN & I Locate TV’s Bottom
Yesterday afternoon, during violent thunderstorms, a crew from Connecticut came and lifted from their pedestal Stonewall Jackson and his horse on Monument Avenue. They were trucked to a secret storage location as a crowd watched and cheered. (I think for a minute they were chanting “Fuck the statues.”)…
Never missing any chance to get the Civil War on the front page, the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial staff must have had a mass orgasm laying out today’s paper…
As of July 1, the Confederate statues became the property of the City of Richmond, and Mayor Levar Stoney immediately ordered them all taken down. I believe as I type this that they’re removing the statue of Matthew Fontaine Maury from Monument Avenue as well.
Robert E. Lee still belongs to the state, and a judge has temporarily blocked his removal, even though Governor Northam has said the thing has to go.
I still feel bad for the horses. They’re all noble and none deserve to be humiliated this way. They didn’t get to choose their riders or which side to fight on.
Once all the statues are gone, I wonder if they’ll go after the White House of the Confederacy downtown, which is now a museum, but was once Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ HQ. I’ve lived here 48 years and if I’ve ever passed this place, I didn’t know it. I think this is a view of the back. The front is nondescript…
Around 1977, when I’d been here only five years and was already fed up with Richmond’s Civil War fixation, I was dabbling in bad poetry and wrote a sarcastic poem called “Monument Ave.” In hindsight, I realize it was probably mistaken as a patriot’s ode to Dixie when it was published in the Piedmont Literary Review. You’re in luck! I still have it…
on green horses
churned the clay
red to cover
shall rise again.
Leafing through my old binder of poetic output I have mostly no recollection of writing, I’m surprised how much I got published, although it never earned a cent. You got paid in copies if you were lucky.
The other night I happened upon a show on PBS whose very title seems to constitute TV’s official bottom of the barrel. It was, Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees. I’m not kidding. This is a real thing…
Naturally, I DVRed it. And as I sat there later watching it and thinking how this lockdown has finally driven me completely off a cliff, it turned out quite fascinating and I learned a lot.
My father can tell you how protective I am about the many trees on my property. I’ve been known to throw absolute shit-fits (known these days as “going full Karen”) anytime someone prunes them without my permission or suggests cutting them down. I won’t bore you with the technical stuff I learned from Judi, but if you have any interest at all in trees and can catch this, it’s quite good.
BONUS: Melania Trump (a.k.a. actress Laura Benanti) recently visited Stephen Colbert. We haven’t seen her in ages…