Humanity has a long history of leaving its mark on the world. Pharaohs erected pyramids, Soviets put Lenin statues everywhere, and we carved out name of our high school sweetheart into a tree.
Sadly, B left us a year later for a roadie at Woodstock ’94.
But for all the needless monuments rich people make for themselves, some truly remarkable monuments have been lost to neglect, douchebaggery, and the short-sighted pursuit of a dollar.
1. USA FLAGS ON THE MOON ARE BLANKED OUT
One of the signature moments of the twentieth century was when man walked on the Moon, leaving behind the American flag as a marker.
Buzz Aldrin, looking like he doesn’t know what to do with his hands.
However, thanks to a short-sighted NASA team, the flags are not longer the red, white and blue. Because of solar radiation, the flags have been bleached white, meaning any country can fly up there and paint their own color on.
Let’s hope the Mars penis gets more care and consideration.
2. GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS BROKEN UP FOR “PROGRESS”
The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest human construction projects. Built over 2,000 years by successive Chinese dynasties, it is a monument to China’s whole history. While it survived years of assault by barbarians and the occasional overrun, it still stands. But its future is threatened by Chinese economic growth.
You know, this would make a hell of a Mario Kart track.
Parts of the wall have been stolen by peasants for years to add soil to their fields or stones to build homes. Recently, parts have been blasted away to make room for a highway and factories. While China passed laws making it a criminal offense to harm the wall, they didn’t bother to actually enforce it. One 900 mile section is watched by three employees.
3. DORCHESTER HEIGHTS: TURNED INTO BACKFILL FOR THE BOSTON COAST
The US isn’t much better at preventing its history from becoming construction materials.
Consider the Fortification of Dorchester Heights, a decisive moment of the American Revolution. George Washington’s troops wrapped straw on the cannon wheels to boldly surround Boston. British General Howe was unable to counter the fortification due to a storm and Boston was abandoned by the British. The fortification would be used in the War of 1812 to defend the city from the British again.
George gold-plated his piece, because that’s how he rolls.
So Dorchester must have been made a pretty bitching monument to the brass balls of Washington, right?
Sadly, after the War of 1812 developers saw the hills as a cheap source of building material. They used the hills to fill in parts of Boston harbor and extend the size of the city. In 1898 the General Court of Massachusetts had the sense to save the last remaining hill and put in a monument.
Another phallic monument to George Washington.
4. TALIBAN DESTROYS BAMIYAN BUDDAS
Great monuments take time to build, and such was the case with the Bamiyan Buddhas. These statues were carved into the mountain in the sixth centuries, with one of the statues 55 meters tall. This was done without modern equipment by dedicated Buddhist craftsmen
We couldn’t even manage a Twinkie cake sculpture.
While most governments would look at it as a great monument and way to get tourism dollars from New Age Westerners, the Buddhas were located in Afghanistan. The ruling Taliban went on an anti-idolatry bender, destroying the Buddhas in 200. Attempts to rebuild have been hampered by costs and difficulty in restoring the original material.
5. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL USED AS PUBLIC TOILET AND HOOKUP BACKDROP
In 2005, the city of Berlin dedicated the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to commemorate the Holocaust. This memorial is a solemn place for all to consider. It consists of a maze-like collection of plain grey boxes.
Tourists have used the maze as a convenient place to use the bathroom between stops on their beer-garden crawls. Man, what next, people using the place as a discreet place to hook up… ah fuck, apparently users of the gay hookup app Grindr already thought of it.