James Gill is absolutely correct that the hero selfie Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been taking of himself regarding monument removal will NOT end up as the subject of a U2 civil rights anthem.

As we move out of the bloviation phase and into a new year, we must think of the most inspired replacements for so-said monuments.

1. Lee Circle — This one offers perhaps the most straightforward replacement, now to honor musical heroes. Lee Dorsey is the obvious choice, but going with Allen Toussaint (see bronze of socks and sandals) might be even better, given the all-around admiration for him and the fact that Toussaint Circle fairly easily rolls off the tongue.

2. P.G.T. Beauregard. Skipping over the fact that the case for removal of this statue might be the shakiest, given the subject’s post-Civil War voting advocacy and contributions to the New Orleans streetcar system, if he MUST go, why punish the horse with the man? Folks are used to meeting horse and rider at the entrance to City Park, but the horse alone will offer some consolation.

3. Jefferson Davis. Here we replace loser for loser and offer a counterpoint to the city’s most famous victory statue, that of Steve Gleason blocking a punt on the Saints’ triumphant return to the Dome. Davis will then thusly be replaced by a statue of Russell Erxleben, the worst Saints player, bar none, in history. As a first-round draft pick and highest paid “dual threat” placekicker-punter, he went on to be demoted from each underperforming role in turn, ending with the ignominious “chest pass” (Google it) that lost the Saints an overtime contest against the Falcons 40-34. The utter fail of punter’s chest pass will be captured in copper, to balance out the Gleason victory monument. The “voice of the Saints” Jerry Romig will give the call on an endless loop echoing across, not Jeff Davis Parkway, but Russ Erx Parkway.

4. Liberty Place Monument. Who cares? Where is it again?

The sunny shadows of these new statues will at last cast a hopeful, forward-looking glow for the city Landrieu has dubbed “The City of the Future.”

And when viewing, try not to get shot or stabbed on the way home.

(Bonus round: Andrew Jackson is decapped for his Trail of Tears ré sumé to cast a headless horseman silhouette across the city’s burgeoning horror and Halloween industry — again leaving the horse unpunished.)

Brett Evans


New Orleans