Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Washington Monument

The recent earthquake has put cracks in that great American phallic symbol, the Washington Monument. While no one is claiming the monument is about to fall, if it were nobody would say so publicly.

Imagine the effect on President Obama if the full force of Hurricane Irene, due to pass Washington D.C. on Sunday at Category 2, were to topple the weakened structure. Forget double digit unemployment or a terrorist attack, nothing could destroy a presidency faster than watching the nation's towering symbol of virility collapse into flaccid rubble.
Under construction ca. 1860.
The design competition began in 1836. The winning architect, Robert Mills, specialized in obelisks. His design was expensive, it would cost $1 million is 1830's cash, and there was only $87,000 available for the project. But the people in charge decided, what the hell, let's start it and see what happens.

The work got bogged down in politics. Different groups wanted their own stones included in the build. A temperance society added a stone dedicated to opposing alcohol. Pope IX contributed a stone which outraged the Tea Party Know Nothings who stole the marble block and threw it into the Potomac River. They then took over the society constructing the monument so no more un-American building materials would be used. Instead they used the cheapest available bricks.

Funding dried up. Then there was a little Civil War. Construction didn't resume until 1879. After removing the shitty Tea Party Know Nothings masonry, and with full Congressional funding, building proceeded quickly and finished in just four years.

Few people liked the structure. The original architect had planned for a fancy colonnade at the base. Without it, he said, the monument would just look like a giant stalk of asparagus. It was so unpopular that just 800 people attended the dedication ceremony in 1885. 

Word of the Day: The feminine equivalent of phallus is yoni, the Sanskrit word for vagina.
Hoover Dam is the nation's biggest yonic symbol.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would, of course, be all Obama's fault since he is a communist, fascist, Nazi, Muslim, gay-lover, socialist, spendthrift.