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Embrace the twerk 

I've figured out the next monument for the city of San Luis Obispo. It's not an old white man with racist tendencies, which is a novel idea, I know, but keep your pants on.

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She's a woman of color who isn't afraid to speak her mind. She put on a show at the California Mid-State Fair where she didn't finish one single song! But she did shake that ass! Her 45-minute performance on July 20, although short, was longer than the 15-minute speech that President Theodore Roosevelt gave in San Luis Obispo in 1903.

And she's a liberal political pundit, to boot. What's not to like?

Yep, folks. I'm talking about Cardi Mutha-F'in B.

"Pop up! Guess who, bitch!"

Her comments on the federal workers who went without a paycheck earlier this year because of a really lame government shutdown that I'm going to go ahead and blame on our super awesome president were sweet.

"This shit is really fuckin' serious, bro," she said in an Instagram rant that may also have been longer than dear ol' Teddy's speech. "Our country is really in a hellhole right now ... I feel like we need to take some action. I don't know what kind of action, bitch, because that's not what I do."

Right? Cardi B is more of a motivator. And who doesn't need to be motivated?

Monument! Monument! Monument!

Oh wait. She used to drug her clients and rob them. So ... I guess she's out.

But is that better or worse than saying that "the only good Indians are the dead Indians"?

Seriously, though, who would you rather look at: Teddy or Cardi? Alas, big-ass, perfectly chiseled butt cheeks ensconced in marble are not to be in our fair city. Because the progressive (and I hate to use this term for real) liberal freedom-takers on the San Luis Obispo City Council have taken things a step too far.

The policy that Mayor Heidi Harmon and her fellow council members are hoping to craft would ban monuments to actual individuals. And it would, of course, include a "values statement," because that's what a good little progressive does.

"My strong feeling on this is that our policy reflect the true values and heart of this city," Harmon said during a recent meeting about the issue.

I'm picturing a monument to the hardworking NIMBY somewhere in our future.

O. M. G. You're making us normal liberals look bad. Stop it! And Carlyn Christianson agrees! Finally, someone sane. She criticized the proposed policy as reactionary and an overreach.

"I do not want to make a policy that basically eliminates entire genres of art. I don't believe in doing that," Christianson said. "I also think it's incredibly dangerous to formulate policy with a specific project in mind."

Yes, a monument to Dear ol' Teddy has proven to be a wee bit too controversial for the delicate sensitivities of some on the City Council. They seem to believe that ideas and ideals will be way less controversial and flawed than people when it comes to monuments on city property.

What? That doesn't even make sense.

Heidi won't even have a conversation with fellow egocentric resident Jon "I'm a Former City Council Member, Dammit" Ashbaugh—who's got an affinity for Teddy that I really don't understand—about that stupid monument. How the hell is she going to have a difficult conversation about ideals with someone who disagrees with her?

News flash: She won't.

And besides that, I distinctly remember Heidi waxing poetic about how the people of SLO make this community what it is when she was in the throes of her re-election campaign against Keith T. Gurnee.

Ideas are not people, people. Plus, they're not tangible. In order for ideas to become something more than just a concept, they need an actual human to take the lead. To make mistakes. To be an idiot. To move the needle of progress forward.

It's messy and imperfect. And we should never forget that.

To forget that all of that mess is how we got to where we are today is to prevent us from learning from our past and seeing how far we've come—together, as a society that's full of individuals who err, because they're human. We can't hide from it.

Conversations about controversial figures cause us to take a long hard look at ourselves, examine our history, and decide what we want to be. Who we honor, as a community, is how we want the world to see us. Do we want the world to see SLO as an idea? Or something more tangible?

And while Harmon seems to believe that a monument to a controversial figure will end in violence on these here city streets (holy hyperbole, batman), Ashbaugh seems to believe that if the Teddy hadn't spent 15 minutes in the city talking about conservation, Harmon wouldn't have been elected (Rude!).

"It's quite possible she would have never been elected herself," Ashbaugh said. "Roosevelt is part of a long continuum of community leaders and activists who brought us to the place we are today."

Well, Cardi B is part of a long continuum of rappers and artists who brought us to the place we are today. Come on. "Pop up! Guess who, bitch!" Δ

The Shredder just learned how to twerk on July 20. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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