Senator Roland Burris
Roland Burris, nominated to the U.S. Senate by corrupt governor Blagojevich, has lately been taking some flak from bloggers and news commentators for having a large monument at Oak Woods.
Burris’s monument – or mausoleum – is a grey granite structure featuring twin crypts, a small roof, and a wall with the state seal of Illinois and a list of Burris’s accomplishments and offices. By the standards of the beautiful and historic Oak Woods, it’s not particularly spectacular.
Nevertheless, the Senator presumptive has been mocked for it – blogger “Wonkette” calls it a “terrifying death chamber”. In the eyes of these people, Burris has committed a cardinal sin, violating the “less is more” wisdom received from Ludwig Mies. These people apparently think that no one should aspire to stand out from a crowd, to have a monument that displays character, accomplishment, vision and artistic flair; they seem to want everyone to lie under the standard-issue granite rectangles.
This author salutes Senator Burris for having the courage to express himself, and to give the gift of a unique monument to future generations. Though it lacks the beauty of the Victorian Gothic monuments that can also be seen at Oak Woods, it stands head and shoulders above the endless grid of anonymous grey rectangles that fill most modern cemeteries. Whatever one thinks of the Senate appointment, Burris is a man of significant accomplishments – Attorney General, Comptroller – and these deserve to be remembered.
Thank you, Senator Burris, for breaking free of the straightjacket of “less is more”, and for refusing to have merely an ordinary, unremarkable granite slab.
We are not all alike in life, why should we be alike in death?
update: Thanks to Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune for asking my opinion, and linking here from his column.
update ii: please note that this is a not a political web site – it’s a graveyard site. Please don’t post random political arguments here.