Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Saw the Lincoln Memorial by moonlight

I haven't actually been doing a lot of sightseeing in D.C. yet, probably because I really like to save these experiences for when I'm with my family, but I had to take the opportunity to see the Lincoln Memorial at night.

Like the first time I saw the Parthenon, it lived up to expectations.

It's a straight shot down a grassy mall from the Capitol, through the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial to the Lincoln.

The building itself is... not so hot. It's a square classical box, but square is not the classical proportions. It's the statue that's impressive.

You walk in at night, to your left is the Gettysburg Address, to your right the Second Inaugural Address, and in front of you is the giant seated Lincoln.

What impresses are features like the huge knobby workingman's hands and the spectacularly ugly/beautiful face set in a look of unbearable sadness.

By now you've probably guessed that I have little patience for Lincoln-Civil War revisionism. Many friends and people whose opinions I respect on other issues have fallen for this bull$#@^ but sorry, it's just too silly for words.

I can't recall any piece of statuary quite this moving, though perhaps 'The Dying Gaul' comes close. This may be the finest piece of public sculpture our country has produced.


  • At 6:54 AM, Blogger Nikos said…

    I agree with what you say and I admired the way you described the power of this memorial sculpture.

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger James said…

    I agree. This other Okie has a lot more admiration for Thomas Jefferson than Abe. But the statue and the building are better for the Lincoln Monument.
    You need to make another foray after dark and look back the other way on the mall. The Capitol is beautiful when lighted at night, but you need to be beyond the new Indian museum.

  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Hey, I've got an apartment with a view of the Capitol - just about 2 blocks away.

    However, my room in that cheap hotel ($18) on Omonia Square in Athens had a view of the Parthenon out the window!

    It's a coin toss though, the next time I rented a room in the same hotel, I got a view of the air shaft. (However, my company at the time made it worthwhile.)

  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Joshua Zader said…

    Can you say more sometime about the revisionism in question?

  • At 7:53 PM, Blogger Galt-In-Da-Box said…

    For the benefit of Joshua Zader:
    Mr. Browne could possibly be making reference to the recent ASSertions of certain secular leftists posing as "civil" libertarians who have gone so far as to publish books accusing Lincoln of being a sodomite, or the continual drunken rants of what I like to call "Johnny-Rebs", who transient mid-western and east-coast states in search of unsuspecting Americans to bait, sue and otherwise screw in petty revenge for alleged injustices in the American Civil War.
    Just why certain white (quite possibly inbred) "Southrons" should waste their lives on such futile foolishness is complex and complicated;
    error often is!

  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    No, actually I was referring to the Civil War revisionism that the war, "wasn't really about slavery." I'll publish my article on the subject by-and-by.


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