Cinna, the poet: I am not Cinna the conspirator.
Fourth Citizen: It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
From William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
Well, now he's being proved right. Salon editor and Baltimore professor, D. Watkins claims statues of Washington and Jefferson "actually" make his "skin crawl." At CNN, Angela Rye is angry that purging the two presidents isn't universally accepted. A BBC commentator says the presidential downfall is "exactly what is needed." NBC News describes the issue as "complicated."
This mob stupidity, because that's what it is, reminded me of Cinna the poet, as rendered in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Awaiting Caesar's funeral, a crowd of his supporters confuses Cinna the poet for another Cinna they hold responsible for the dictator's killing. Cinna convinces the crowd that he is not the conspirator, but they murder him regardless. Shakespeare's point: individual rationality is quite easily subsumed by the self-replicating irrationality of the mob.
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