Tuesday, June 28, 2005

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We all had to know that I was going to go home and talk about this.

Cat, Erin and I were waiting by Lenin tonight for Caroline to join us for gelato. A man was standing nearby mumbling about the statue and so Cat, who talks to strangers even more than I do, mentioned Lenin to him. He informed us that he and his family had driven all the way from Denver to visit Lenin, and so when Cat noticed the camera in his hand she asked if they had taken pictures of it. He shortly informed us that no, he hadn't, because of all the decorations on it.
Then he walked away to cheer on his sons as they tore the decorations off.
We were appalled, and followed to take pictures. The man and his family were very angry about Lenin's solstice costume, and when Erin sensibly mentioned to him that he was in the artist neighborhood of Seattle and that it was public art, he growled, "I think it's pretty artistic just the way it is."
It was at this point that we started to get angry. He had come all the way here, to our town, to tear down our public art because it wasn't what he was expecting? Because he didn't bother to find out anything at all about the statue or its environs? We made furious hand gestures and stomped our feet but stopped, mouths open, when he congratulated his son on his destruction with a, "You've done your social justice for the day. Tear off his hat and let's go."
I'd ask how it's an act of social justice to go to someone else's home and put your hands on their culture...but thinking about our current political environment, I've got a pretty good idea why he thinks such behavior is ok. And they never did managed to remove Lenin's hat.

Update: Ok, ok, it was his Pride decorations that the kid ripped off. And you can read all about the Lenin statue here.

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