Scandal at the Royal Academy of Arts!!!!

Baconby James A. Bacon

So, the Bacon family visited the Royal Academy of Arts today to pay respects to a statue of Sir Francis Bacon, the brilliant philosopher who first articulated the scientific method and laid the foundation for all human progress ever since. With the possible exception of a certain charismatic, 1st-century Jewish holy man who wound up hanging on a cross, no one in the broad sweep of history has done more to propel mankind from the depths of superstition to enlightment than Bacon. Without Bacon, the vast majority of us would be mired in filth, poverty and depravity.

So, you imagine the tremulous excitement the Bacon family from Richmond, Virginia, felt upon approaching the Royal Academy of Arts, one of only two known locations in London to have statues commemorating the life of this great benefactor of mankind. Our enthusiasm was only slightly diminished when we entered the front court of the academy to encounter a statue dedicated to a certain Joshua Reynolds, whoever he was. When we inquired as to the whereabouts of the Bacon statue, the ignorant buffoons who greeted visitors had no knowledge of where it might be located. It was only when the lady at the information desk checked the Internet that we found that the statue of Bacon resided on the back side of the academy. We had to walk around the block to see it.

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Sir Francis Bacon

Breathless with anticipation, we pressed through the throng of pedestrians on Piccadilly to reach the rear of the building on some street no one has ever heard of. And there it was, the statue of Bacon along with renderings of five other great philosophers and scientists. We approached to pay our respects and give our obeisance. And to our horror, we perceived the head of the greatest philosopher since Aristotle to be covered in bird droppings. Yes! Bird droppings!!

Royal Academy of Arts, j’accuse! How long have you allowed this desecration to persist under your uncaring eye!

Now, I know that not everyone fully recognizes the monumental contributions that Bacon has made to mankind. But how about Adam Smith and John Locke, the progenitors of the American republic and the free-market system? How about Gottfried Leibnitz, one of the greatest mathematicians to live, second only to Isaac Newton, Georges Cuvier, the naturalist, and Carl Linnaeus, developer of the first taxonomy of species? All of them — all save Linnaeus — were covered in filth!

John Locke

John Locke

Here, look upon John Locke, arguably the most influential philosopher of the enlightenment, second only to Francis Bacon, who elaborated the social contract theory of governance, laying the groundwork for the American Revolution and, in case you’re a British reader, the primacy of Parliament over royalty. And there he stands with bird droppings running down his face like Indian war paint!

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Adam Smith

As if that were not blasphemous enough, the statue of Adam Smith stands in an equal state of defilement! The third greatest philosopher of all time, who not only made the economic case for free markets and limited government but the  moral case is likewise bedecked with bird poo. I dare say that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would not be treated with such disdain. (Speaking of Engels, has anyone ever noted how absurdly large his beard is? Click  on “more” to see what I’m talking about.)

To be fair, Leibnitz and Cuvier have been treated to the same cavalier disregard! They are worthy of high regard, but it’s not as if they were Englishmen. Leibnitz was German and Cuvier a Frenchman.

linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus

Then there is the indecipherable matter of Linnaeus. Look at his statue — as pristine as a baby’s behind. Not a speck of bird poo to be seen. I suppose we’re supposed to be impressed by the fact that he was the father of taxonomy. It’s not like he was Darwin — he got a whole lot of stuff wrong. (Just read this: “The Poverty of Linnaean Hierarchy: A Study of Biological Taxonomy.”) And it’s not as if he was even English — he was Swedish, educated in the Netherlands. Yet somehow, the Royal Academy of Arts sees fit to clean his statue of bird poo while leaving the others peppered by guano?

The Royal Academy of Arts needs to do some serious soul searching, oh, yes it does. Right-thinking people cannot allow this desecration to persist!

Engels2 Here is Friedrich Engels. Notice the opening between moustache and beard — it must be an inch or two from his lips. How did the dude eat without getting food all over his beard? When he spoke, did all that hair muffle his words? And doesn’t it look like his chin stretches way down below his neck? He looks deformed.

Incredibly, statues around Europe have been erected to this man (usually in the company of Karl Marx) — and not a one has bird poop. Google “Friedrich Engels” and see the photos for yourself!

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10 responses to “Scandal at the Royal Academy of Arts!!!!

  1. Marvelous account. But one can only endorse what my father instilled in me:
    “there is no justice.”

  2. Thanks for this!
    If you have time, you might want to check out burial site of Karl Marx at Highgate Cemetery…

  3. The only good bacon is strips of pig butt sizzling in a pan.

  4. geeze – even historical figures are being politicized! I’m shaking my head….

    who says that the critic(s) of Linnaeus have it right either?

    No science is without challenges from within the science field or even from outside, especially these days. That’s part of the way Science is validated. And no single scientist get it 100% correct on one try either. It’s a continuum – a body of knowledge – developed over time by peer reviewing and .. yes.. ultimately consensus but still is categorized as “theory” – as in “the theory of the speed of light or the theory of cigarettes causing cancer…etc..

    The great inventor Edison went around the country doing road shows where he electrocuted hapless critters including at least one Elephant to “prove” that AC, his competitors invention was more dangerous than his own invention – DC power.

    Linnaeus biggest contribution probably wasn’t how he classified – it was the more likely the innovation of starting the field of classification itself leaving plenty of room downstream for disagreements about how to classify…

    I’d say .. this is much poop about nothing… myself. 😉

  5. Jim,
    I had a very similar experience when I paid a pilgrimage to Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Adam Smith’s birthplace (about 15 years ago).
    So I go into the Kirkcaldy tourist office (they actually had one) and asked the two women working there: “Tell me everything you can about Adam Smith and his connection to Kirkcaldy.” There was dead silence. The women had never HEARD of Adam Smith. Turns out Kirkcaldy is famous for its linoleum.
    Anyway, I made my own investigations and from a guidebook learned that there was a bust of Smith in a public building. So I went in to the public building and there was the greeting desk. I asked for directions to the Adam Smith bust…. Again, they had never heard of him!
    So I wandered around, and finally a janitor told me of a bust in the back stairway…. And there was the hidden bust of Smith in his home town.
    “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown.”
    Glad you’ve having a great trip. LOOK RIGHT!

  6. Sacre bleu!!

    (that was for Bacon’s statue, who truly contributed to the improvement of mankind)

  7. The photos are too painful to view.

  8. Here is a statue of a New Orleans Saint blocking a punt …

    No bird droppings there either.

    The birds are making a statement Bacon.

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