Monumental Folly

THE Atlantic FOUNDED IN 1857

by Donald Barthelme and Edward Sorel

As the Bicentennial observation, after some hard sledding, finally mushrooms into high gear, it occurs to us that there is one thing America has a sad paucity of: Monuments. Every tacky little fourth-rate déclassé European country has monuments all over the place and one cannot turn a corner without banging into an eighteenfoot bronze of Lebrouche Tickling the Chambermaids At Vache While Planning the Battle of Bledsoe, or some such. Whereas Americans tend to pile up a few green cannon balls next to a broke-down mortar and forget about it. The Bicentennial, then, demands tons and tons of new monumentation—a terrific way of polishing up the country, and work for our hard-pressed foundrymen, too. Herewith, some suggestions.