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Inverted Rhodes

invert the unwanted
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The recent toppling of the effigy of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol has once again brought into the focus the fact that some of the statues representing figures of former high public office have very dubious histories.

I believe there are more inventive solutions than mere destructive acts, and that there is an opportunity here to bring more attention to the reprehensible acts of these depicted in statue form.

My simple solution is to invert the statues, including their name inscriptions and leave them in situ on their plinths. This would be accompanied with a revised history of the individual, outlining why their statue was now placed in an inverted pose.

The first good opportunity to achieve this outcome is that of Cecil Rhodes, who's statue is located in Oxford. I'm in the process of proposing this solution to the University's vice-chancellor Louise Richardson, meanwhile you can view the anticipated results of such an inversion on the link.

xenzag, Jun 12 2020

Inverted Rhodes https://sodabred.tu...-halflbaked-idea-by
[xenzag, Jun 12 2020]

https://en.wikipedi...Wellington,_Glasgow [pocmloc, Jun 12 2020]

The only Nazi statue in the whole of Europe https://extra.ie/20...statue-sean-russell
Sinn Fein's Sean Russell [xenzag, Jun 12 2020]

[link]






       [+] For brilliant symbolism. But a careful reading of history would leave no stone unturned.
kdf, Jun 12 2020
  

       "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her", not that I believe in sin or stoning.
pocmloc, Jun 12 2020
  

       The only statue dedicated to a Nazi in the whole of Europe is in Dublin and it commemorates Sean Russell who actively collaborated with the Nazis to attack the UK during WW2. He travelled backwards and forwards between Ireland and Germany by U boat. Once a year, Sinn Fein, being a fascist party who greatly sympathised with the Nazis, especially their hatred of Jews, do a pathetic little dance around their hero. I would invert Sean Russell's statue in a flash, placing his head in a swill bucket to add to his much deserved desecration.
xenzag, Jun 12 2020
  

       I like the idea of inverting the plinths of all our monuments, so they become pits in the ground. The statues of everyone, good and evil alike can be interred in those pits, and glass placed over them. We can then go about our business, not looking up to these dead folks from the past, but literally walking with them underfoot to remind us of all the history on which our civilisation is built, good and bad. It happened, it got us to where we are today - let's not venerate it like some kind of idol-worshiping cultists, but equally, let's not forget it either.
zen_tom, Jun 12 2020
  

       So this has nothing to do with scholars or keyboards?
whatrock, Jun 12 2020
  

       [xenzag], you excel yourself. [+]
pertinax, Jun 13 2020
  

       Maybe a statue of Frederick Douglass thumbing his nose at them standing nearby?
RayfordSteele, Jun 13 2020
  

       [+] What if we found the slaver trader Colston to be exceptional and treat his slaves with humanity and care greater than that of the time, do we mount him horizontally?
wjt, Jun 14 2020
  

       //he who is without sin// The original Hebrew of that text about stoning reads: The hand of the witnesses shall be onto him at first.
pashute, Jun 14 2020
  

       We do really only want to look up to the best of humanity [pashute]   

       Or do we? Maybe there should be statues for derision .
wjt, Jun 14 2020
  

       Good luck finding anyone wealthy over 200 years ago who never had a slave. They might not have been imported from another country, or they might have been war chattel, or they might have been wage slaves, working for only food and board, or called "serf", or worked in company towns, or been called the houseboy, or "servant", or, or... but slavery was a fact of life throughout human history. And it's technology that let us stop doing it, not some new-found enlightenment. So if that's the standard we won't have many statues rightways up!
Voice, Jun 15 2020
  

       //So if that's the standard we won't have many statues rightways up!// which probably isn't such a bad thing - it's 2020 and old hangups like ancestor worship is probably best underlined as obsolete. People erect statues to glorify the living, but they rapidly go out of date. Maybe we should instead encourage statues to be made from wood (cake, frosting - anything with a shorter expected shelflife than bronze), that way they shouldn't last much longer than a single generation and automatically crumble before becoming an embarrassing reminder of past nastiness.
zen_tom, Jun 15 2020
  

       Who decides which to invert? The ones who whine the loudest? And if a decision should later be rescinded do we pony up the expense to righten the thing?   

       Why not simply mount all statues on an axle at the midpoint so they can be spun at will.
whatrock, Jun 15 2020
  

       //Who decides which to invert?// I was thinking that it would be the depictions with the thickest and therefore strongest necks so that they are better able to perform as load bearing supports. Beyond that, I imagine there is universal agreement that Nazis don't make for good items of public sculpture. (apart from in Dublin where they remain quite popular - see Sinn Fein's Sean Russell.) It therefore becomes a matter of debate and consensus. I do not support mob rule (unless I'm in the mob of course! ha)
xenzag, Jun 15 2020
  

       Leave every flippin' statue unflipped, but mount a plaque on each explaining 1) Why it was originally erected, and 2) The current thinking about them.   

       You can't "fix" history by hiding it.
kdf, Jun 15 2020
  

       Every time I look at this I think of Rhode Island. Inverted. Wow.
blissmiss, Jun 15 2020
  

       [kdf] yes. "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it", or something...
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 15 2020
  

       "...or something..."
It was George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
  

       While those of us who can remember the past are condemned to watch others repeat it.
kdf, Jun 15 2020
  

       Mount statues on axles and put them in the middle of arenas. Let anyone try to turn them and anyone else try to stop them or turn them the other way. Charge admission.
Voice, Jun 16 2020
  

       //If anything class systems have been an equally oppressive systemic force.//   

       Agreed. I have benefited from both race privilege and class privilege, but if I had to give up one of those privileges, then I would much rather be a black man of my current class than a poor and uneducated white man.
pertinax, Jun 16 2020
  

       //Let anyone try to turn them// You could have a large crank handle on each side, and they could be geared together using a differential gearbox or something. So if someone else is cranking the other side the opposite way, you have to crank faster than them to get anywhere.
pocmloc, Jun 16 2020
  

       A pawl could be fastened such that the statue could only be spun in one direction, with multiple cranks to ensure fervent spinning according to the viewpoints and anger of persons involved. A generator attached could power a nearby brewpub to allow relaxing music and soothing suds for those choosing not to get involved in disagreements of trying to change history.
whatrock, Jun 16 2020
  

       [Voice]'s axles, [pocmloc]'s gears, [whatrock]'s generator--'battle' over geared-challenge spinning statues in a stadium, generate power, charge admission--brilliant! This is the kind of new(old) thinking we need to solve old(new) problems.   

       Elders say the Iroquois Confederacy (inventors of 'democracy') used lacrosse as a way to solve problems instead of throwing a resource-wasteful and time-consuming full-on war. The field varied in size, depending on terrain, usually about 2 to 3km long. Stones for balls (hur hur) and heavy hickory sticks meant people died. After a number of days' agreed upon game play, the winner of the game 'won' the solution to the problem*, eg: first dibs on the use a particular resource.   

       While the game was in play, Medicine people did prayers and incantations to affect the outcome, onlookers feasted and made merry (FoxNews-like bread and circuses) while diplomats sitting around the sacred fire (Office Managers, Accountants, early HalfBakers) quietly agreed on how it would actually work out.   

       Statue spinning, lacrosse... we're gonna need a bigger House of Commons/Senate!   

       *Of course, everyone agreed on the basic 'seven generations/all my relations' considerations for any resource use. A friendly-violent game of lacrosse solved local skirmishes, boundary lines, or property ownership with the understanding that present choices could not insult the ancestors or adversely affect future generations (not just humans, but also animals, plants, rocks, all the neighbourhoods of the whole of Mother Earth).
Sgt Teacup, Jun 16 2020
  
      
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