An ugly monument
To the editor:
Ayo, Mount Rushmore is trash.
There are a lot of things wrong with the national monument. It was made on sacred Lakota Sioux land after the U.S. government agreed not to disturb the area. It cost nearly $1 million to create and was funded through the Great Depression. It depicts historical figures who are already well known and memorialized in myriad ways. Artist Gutzon Borglum had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
I suggest you look more into the dark history of Mount Rushmore. But right now, I want to focus on its artistic value.
Mount Rushmore is ugly.
It’s big, gaudy and unnecessary. It’s the monster truck rally of national monuments. It’s the 7/11 Big Gulp of expression. It is stereotypical American art at its worst — proud, larger-than-life patriots looking over the land like they’re gods or something. This could’ve easily been a statue, a song, a painting, a book, a poem, a drawing, a museum exhibit. But instead, the decision was made to blow up a natural feature.
Now I know North Country folks love their mountains. We love seeing this part of nature virtually untouched by humans. We go crazy if too many people are walking on them or step off the trail — rightfully so, mind you. Mountains reach up toward the sky, and we have the uncontrollable urge to climb them. They’re good enough as mountains. They don’t need to be monuments. Imagine being alive in the early 1900s, the feds come in to blow up your land to create the goofiest looking monument. You’d say, “Hell, no.”
Nobody in their right mind today would look at Scarface Mountain and say, “You know what that needs? A giant head.” Even if it’s someone people generally admire — Dr. Trudeau, John Brown, Chubs the dog — Adirondackers wouldn’t stand for that type of destruction of natural resources for a ridiculous tourist trap.
I’ll admit, Mount Rushmore is a technically impressive piece. The level and scale of controlled explosions and carvings are an achievement. However, “The Lion King” remake was also technically impressive. Google Glass was technically impressive. The Nintendo Virtual Boy, Laserdisc, e-cigarettes and the last season of “Game of Thrones” are all technically impressive products we could’ve done without.