and archaeologists know ancient empires by their monuments. Egypt had its
pyramids, Rome its Coliseum, the Moguls had their Taj Mahal, the Chinese
built their wall. What, then, will be the monuments of the New America as
scholars look back from the perspective of the 22nd Century?
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Deception. Located in the heart of the nation's capital, this cavernous, jury-rigged temple was built a century ago from balsa wood and gossamer threads. During the early days of the hundred year Iraq War and Occupation, its roof was suspended solely by the pressure created by dozens of hot air compressors located in the White House, the Pentagon, on Wall Street, at Fox Television, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Tourists of the 22nd Century will be amazed that the edifice did not instantly collapse due to its obvious defects in construction. They can buy a miniature souvenir of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Deception in little glass containers filled with petroleum. You shake it to agitate swirling snowflakes of depleted uranium. Inside the Cathedral there are numerous reliquaries containing small objects considered holy to the neo-conservative faithful: a lock of Ann Coulter's hair; a golden thimble that contains Henry Kissiner's heart; a hologram of Dick Cheney's sneer; a memory chip from one of the Florida computerized voting machines during the 2000 “election” of George Bush; Donald Rumsfeld's rose-colored, psychedelic glasses; a tiny 1/2” tall silver flask that contains the purported conscience of Colin Powell; a platinum cask lined with velvet on which lies the thumb Paul Bremer used to impress “democracy” on the Middle East.
The New American Century Corporate Reflecting Pond. Also in Washington, DC, this privately owned water feature and fountain occupies the entire Mall and encompasses all the previously public space of the capitol. The Corporate Reflecting Pond was built during the early 21st Century to commemorate the transnational corporations who founded America and who freed us all from unionized labor, Social Security, Medicare, environmentalists, women's rights activists, tort law, public education, Islam, Ralph Nader, Hugo Chavez, a free and independent media, and other communist conspiracies. Visitors to this monument are encouraged to make a wish for the longevity of America's CEOs? as they toss coins – every single one of their coins - into the polluted water.
The John Ashcroft Memorial Elementary School-Prison. The foundation for this modern educational facility was laid during the first of the five successive George Bush administrations. As part of the No Child's Behind Left Out of Jail program, this school was the model for a series of 21st Century schools that broke the cycle of crime that plagued so many inner city neighborhoods. Indeed, by graduating poorer families' children directly from elementary school to prison labor camps, the enlightened administrations of the last century permanently freed poor and minority youth from the revolving door of crime by keeping them permanently incarcerated.
The Tomb of Reagan. Like the tomb of Lenin that once was located in what is now the American territorial protectorate oilfields of Russia, the Tomb of Reagan contains the embalmed body of America's favorite Gipper. The tomb is a shrine to Trickledownism and Gun Boat Diplomacy, and many are the worshipful Republicans who stand in line for hours on end to kiss the mausoleum with their lips. Some claim that one with a pure capitalist heart who professes Faith at the Tomb of Reagan can be cured of senility or political forgetfulness. To this day there is a mystery about who actually lies in the Tomb of Reagan. During his 20th Century administration it was unclear whether it was really Reagan or a ventriloquist's dummy who occupied the White House.
Mount Bushmore. After President Arnold Schwarzenegger razed the tired old faces of Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson from South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, his administration caused a new granite monument to be erected with colossal stone carvings of the faces of one term President George H. Bush, five-term President George W. Bush and three term President Jeb Bush. The monument also now includes smaller faces, carved in pumice beneath the lordly Bush busts, of Tony Blair, Ariel Sharon, Silvio Berlusconi, Pervez Musharaf and Junichiro Koizumi.
The Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice Coliseum. Like the fabled Coliseum of Rome, the Karl and Condi Coliseum was built to entertain and distract the American masses with the spectacle of gladiators and public sacrifice. During the last century, many were the hapless, naive liberals who were fed alive to the conservative media lions. Many also were the renegade Republicans whose reputations were trashed at the Emperor's thumbs-down sign for the crime of lese majesty or for betraying the truth about the Bush Administration's lies and deceptions.
The Tomb of the Unknown Legislator. This monument was dedicated to all those senators and congressmen and congresswomen who were unknown and practically invisible during this country's greatest constitutional crisis. More concerned with holding onto their own sinecures and securing future campaign contributions, these unknown, unremembered, unheard from politicians ducked and ran for political cover when the unconstitutional Patriot Act, The Iraq War Powers Resolution and the Homeland Security Department were enacted. A dollar green lamp representing the lifeblood of politics burns perpetually here, but it is only visible when you look from the back of the building in the dark of night. The Tomb of the Unknown Legislator is guarded twenty-four hours a day by an honor guard of pin-stripe suited financiers, pharmaceutical company and military contractor executives, and capitol hill lobbyists.
The George W. Bush Library of Gooder Learning. Built on the site where once stood the Library of Congress, the GWB Library of Gooder Learning is the repository of millions of comics and children's coloring books. Instead of the antiquated, heretical, pornographic, perverted, and unscientific texts once held by the Library of Congress (and burned long ago in the last century), the GWB Library of Gooder Learning is an archive of creationist science, faith-based revelations and historically correct tracts on the capitalist betterment of society. The Library atrium boasts a world-class collection of fully clothed Greek nudes and numerous statues from the pantheon of conservative heroes including Dixiecrat Zell Miller, the height and thought-challenged Chicago School philosopher Leo Strauss, Haiti coup-conspirator Roger Noriega and Enron's Kenneth Lay. Due to global warming that was a liberal myth and, therefore, never happened, most of the Library lies under water and can only be reached by gondola during low tides.
Arlington National Cemetery. Once considered the hallowed final resting place of soldiers who died in the service of their country, Arlington National Cemetery ceased to be used for its intended purpose when, in the early years of the Iraq War, the Pentagon denied that any American servicemen had ever died anywhere, and began outsourcing all subsequent resource wars to 'private contractors'. In the 22nd Century, Arlington National Cemetery will have become a tourist destination where people can visit the graves of, and pay tribute to the memory of buried, long-forgotten archaic documents like the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Also believed to be buried at the National Cemetery is the last vestige of Democracy. In the early 21st Century, Democracy's exact grave site was classified as secret and subsequently forgotten. Occasionally, 'Democracy cultists' who still believe in such childish myths will visit the National Cemetery and strew flower petals on the ground for the memory of government by and for the the people.
The Alaska National Wax Wildlife Reserve. In the 22nd Century, naturalists will visit the historic ANWR re-created wildlife reserve which was developed after its petroleum deposits tapped out at the time of the “peak oil” crisis of the second decade of the 21st Century. So lifelike that they almost seem to breathe, the site's wax models of wolves, caribou and moose have been placed in naturalistic positions around the thousands of acres of Styrofoam-simulated tundra. Next to ANWR, campers and hikers can trek through miles and miles of natural-like plastic forests of pine, spruce, birch and aspen, complete with synthetic fallen leaves that crunch beneath their off-shore manufactured boots.
The Museum of Monetary Policy. This monumental two city block building in the shape of a one hundred story tall dollar sign was constructed wholly with underpaid, illegal immigrant labor from Asian and South American countries whose economies had been wrecked by the IMF and the World Bank. What particularly attracts visitors in the 22nd Century is the mystery of how this massive, soaring, concrete “steal”-and-glass edifice seems to float a few inches above the ground as though it has no foundation at all! Inside the museum, tourists and scholars can see Alan Greenspan's remarkable prototype Inflation Detection Device that systematically excluded all consumer price increases in energy, housing, bread, milk, meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, commodities, insurance, education, travel, clothing, communications, child care, health care and, indeed, the “volatile” price of anything that rose or fell, except the declining wages paid by large corporations during the last century. Tourists can also visit the museum's tiny shrine to the tiny mind of supply-side economist Milton Friedman and the roof-top glass bubble enclosed stock market speculation store where they can mortgage their life savings to buy souvenir stock certificates to sell at higher prices to tomorrow's tourists.
The Temple of Terrorism. During the second decade of the Perpetual War Against Terrorism, President for Life George W. Bush laid the cornerstone of this imposing granite monument to American capital's determination to wipe out terrorism at home and abroad. The Temple was never finished, as was the Perpetual War Against Terrorism. Although only a few very wealthy and powerful Republican campaign donors have ever seen the inside of the Temple, it is reported to house memorabilia of the terrorists and terrorist acts that gave the Bush administration its permanent hold on the White House: the passport of Mohammed Atta that floated down from one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center; Usama bin Laden's old CIA training manual; one of Saddam Hussein's mustache whiskers; a partly charred copy of Richard Clarke's book “Against All Enemies”; Dick Cheney's heart defibulator; and one of Bill Clinton's cigars. Of course, few members of the public have ever been allowed within two thousand yards of the perimeter of the Temple of Terrorism. Like the old communist Berlin Wall, the Temple is ringed by a sentry dogs and a twenty foot high concrete barrier topped with razor wire. Visitors are required to apply six months in advance, obtain a holographic and biometric visa, disclose their credit and medical history and betray the personal secrets of at least three close friends and family members.
The Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty used to be one of the most beloved of America's monuments. However, it was removed from its pedestal in New York Harbor at the beginning of the third administration of George W. Bush because it was a gift from the “French” people. The new statue retains the old name, but it looks very different. Now, in the 22nd Century, a black-uniformed, helmeted riot policeman wearing a gas mask, holding a baton, riot gun and pepper spray stands guard over the city and its port. The new poem carved in the statue's base reads “Are you tired? Poor? A socialist focus group yearning to live free? Well, bring 'em on – we're ready for ya!”
These are only a few of the monuments of the New America that we know will be included in the tour and history books of the 22nd Century. You may submit other monuments to the New American Century to: Zbig@ersarts.com, Attn: Monuments Dept. Indicate whether you want (dis)credit for your contribution (in parenthesis). Sorry – no scatology, excessively foul language, lawsuit bait or incitements to violence.
Zbignew Zingh can be reached at Zbig@ersarts.com. This Article is CopyLeft, and free to distribute, reprint, repost, sing at a recital, spray paint, scribble in a toilet stall, etc. to your heart’s content, with proper author citation. Find out more about Copyleft and read other great articles at www.ersarts.com.
Articles by Zbignew Zingh