Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2008

     Monuments are supposed to say things--big, important things.  The Vietnam Wall speaks to use by showing us the names of the 58,000 Americans who died in what many thought was an unnecessary, foolish war.
     The State of Liberty speaks to the hopes of the millions of "huddled masses"  who came from Europe to seek a brighter future here.  "I lift my lamp," the inscription reads, "beside the golden door."
     And now a new one.  A huge sculpture of a shoe, CNN reports, has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit orphanage complex in Iraq.  It represents, of course, the shoes thrown at then-president George W. Bush during his last visit to Iraq by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi.
    It's a stroke of genius.  The story doesn't say whether they're charging admission but if they are, I'll bet they make a fortune.  Would visiting American GIs get a discount rate, or be charged extra? 
    An estimated 5.1 million Iraqis have been displaced by the war.  Will they love the shoe, or rather have real ones?    Should there be a motto with it?  Take the rest of your stuff and get out?  Beat feet?  Whatever.  Will they sell life-size replicas suitable for throwing at American tourists?
    I don't know but you have to admire the Iraqis.  It's in idea the late P. T. Barnum, an American owner of circuses, would have just purely loved.     

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