A Note to the Iconoclastic Rioters

Before you pull down another monument to someone you despise, consider this story from the Soviet Union—

A village was surprised to find they had some surplus funds, so a meeting was called to determine what to spend them on. One group wanted to build a statue of Stalin. The other wanted to build a foot bridge over the creek so the village children would not have to ford the stream coming and going to school. The debate was heated, and the vote was equally divided, but one of the village elders had not participated. He was asked to break the tie.

“Grandfather,” they asked, “what shall we do?”

He replied, “Let’s build the statue and let the pigeons speak for us.”

Quote of the Day

Non è il mondan romore altro ch’un fiato
di vento, ch’or vien quinci e or vien quindi,
e muta nome perché muta lato.
Worldly renown is naught but a breath of wind, which now comes this way and now comes that, and changes name because it changes quarter.

—Dante Alighieri (tr., C. E. Norton)