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We made a quick stop at Gutzon Borglum‘s “Shrine of Democracy” yesterday — or “Shrine of Hypocrisy,” depending on who you ask. (It looks different than I remember as a kid 🤓)

We also caught a glimpse of the unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial on Thunderhead Mountain. This is an interesting 1977 60 Minutes interview with the originally commissioned sculpture, Korczak Ziolkowski. And Brooke Jarvis’s 2019 piece in The New Yorker, “Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?,” is an excellent review of the history of the monument.

So much of the American story—as it actually happened, but also as it is told, and altered, and forgotten, and, eventually, repeated—feels squeezed into the vast contradiction that is the modern Black Hills. Here, sites of theft and genocide have become monuments to patriotism, a symbol of resistance has become a source of revenue, and old stories of broken promises and appropriation recur. A complicated history becomes a cheery tourist attraction.