Domino Effect?

With statues of controversial figures disappearing from U.S. campuses and public squares faster than flat-screen TVs at a Walmart during a Black Friday sale, commentators are wondering whether this movement threatens to become a mania.  Three recent examples:

At the University of Alabama, a bas-relief of President Dwight D. Eisenhower was removed when it was discovered that he had been a carrier of seriously bad breath.  Recently unearthed correspondence authored by John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, claims that the President’s exhaled air “was vile enough, and strong enough, to melt the antlers of a moose.”  According to a University spokesperson, “We have a School of Dentistry here at Alabama.  What sort of message are we sending students if we continue to honor someone who failed to practice good oral hygiene?”

The Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine has taken down a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt from its rotunda.  This follows a raucous protest at Tufts by PETA members, who maintain that Mrs. Roosevelt hated kittens.  Their accusation is lent credence by the memoirs of Roosevelt’s close friend, journalist Lorena Hickock, who wrote, “I once observed Eleanor cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West when she tossed Mr. Snuffles, her daughter’s three-legged cat, into a swimming pool at the Roosevelt’s estate in Hyde Park.  Franklin had to use a net to save the drenched tabby.”  In a press release, Tufts asserted that “we cannot afford to have our distinguished Veterinary School associated with this type of behavior.  It would be an insult to both cats and amputees.”

Perhaps most surprising, the University of Miami, at the request of its Athletic Department, has closed its grotto and shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II.  Hurricanes baseball coach Theodore “Spunky” Wizmer explained: “Just last week we found out that the Pope was an early supporter of the Designated Hitter rule in major league baseball.  Well, the DH rule sucks!  It has ruined the American League!  Pitchers should have to bat, just like everybody else. Sorry, JP, you’ve got to go.  We plan to re-name the shrine in honor of Barry Bonds, a man who never took a designated swing in his career.”

Stay tuned.



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