Friday, January 02, 2009

Kill the Abomination

Not far from Atlanta Georgia is a placed called Stone Mountain. A classic pluton, it's one of the largest granite monoliths on Earth. It's a pretty impressive place, even for folk jaded by the fantastic array of rock walls around the planet. It rises to a height of almost 1700 feet above sea level from a base of around 800 feet above sea level on the broad Piedmont plateau on which most of the Atlanta area rests.

Because of the curse of urban sprawl in this part of Georgia, Stone Mountain "Park" is ringed in and choked by rampant development. Expanses of hardwood and pine forests long ago gave way to spreading masses of concrete parking lots, asphalt roads, and cancerous developments--industrial, commercial, and residential. The area is basically a pestilent rat-heap.

Stone Mountain is probably the very first "mountain" (yes, yes, I'm quite aware that it doesn't meet the official definition of a mountain) that I ever saw. We would have visited there shortly after moving from the low country of Georgia when I was seven. I do recall visiting the park and looking up at that vast granite face when I was very, very young. Even before my initial trip to the Appalachian highlands north of Atlanta. So, it must have been the first mountain I saw when I was a kid.

Now--while the mountain itself remains relatively impressive with its sheer walls, miles of exposed rock, and dramatic relief, it has more than its fair share of Man-caused problems.
There's the urban sprawl, of course. But there's a huge building on the summit with a restaurant and shops. There are towers on the peak--the folk of the South are spectacularly gifted at fucking up high points with towers. There's a skylift, too, for lardasses and shitholes too goddamned lazy to hike to the summit. Around the mountain are many roads, a railway (complete with cowboys and injuns battles!!!!!), lakes, hotels, a zoo, all kinds of fucked up shit. The place is a nightmare if you're into nature.

However, first and foremost, if you approach it from the east, you will see that the mountain's natural contours were blasted away to make space for a truly hideous relief
sculpture. This monstrous carving honors three Confederate war figures: Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E.-fucking-Lee. It's a creepy piece of shit.

Started by the racist bastard Gutzon Borglum, of the similarly hideous Mount Rushmore, it was intended by some southern asshole sacks of shit to be a Confederate memorial. However, the angry Dixie race-baiters soon chased Borglum out of Georgia as he fled to prevent himself from being lynched for some bizarre slight. So the mountain's defacing had to be left to other asshole sculptors. This freaking travesty was never actually completed when it was realized that forced perspective would cause the lower extremities of the horses to look hideously exaggerated. And so the so-called memorial was declared completed in its present form sometime around 1970. (Akin to declaring "victory" once your ass has been kicked and the guy who kicked it is out of sight.)

Even as a kid I figured the carving to be a stupid fucking mistake. There was always something about it that bothered me--I mean, besides the fact that it's a memorial to a bunch of racist, slave-owning sacks of vomit. And that it was instituted by a bunch of sore losers who were also a bunch of whining racist sacks of puke. I didn't quite realize what it was about the mountain that bugged me until I found a book about Stone Mountain and read it when I was around thirteen years old.

The book was packed with photographs of what the mountain looked like prior to the nasty wound on its proud face. There were even photographs of the mountainsides being blasted away by vast charges of dynamite, the granite reduced to gravel and powder by the filthy goddamned explosions.

If there were such a thing as Hell, the perpetrators of that sad act would now all be burning there.

So each time I look at Stone Mountain Georgia, I wonder if somehow that shitty carving could be expunged from the mountain. Could it be removed? Yes, given time and rain and gravity, it will cease to be an artificial construct. But it would be nice if, some way, Man could grind that dirty picture off of the side of that amazing bit of Nature. It would be great if the people and creatures could look upon Stone Mountain as it was before our sad excuse for a civilization started knocking off shards of it to make that stupid carving.

So if you have any ideas on how to eliminate that abomination against Mother Nature, pass them around. Maybe it can be done.

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