All across the country, protestors and activists are taking down statues of controversial historical figures like Christopher Columbus, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. The protestors argue that these men created, or fought to preserve, oppressive systems of immense cruelty like slavery, and we should not honor them with public monuments. But what the protestors don’t understand is that removing these statues destroys our history. That’s why I vehemently oppose the movement to take down my town’s monument to the 6th-century Saxon warlord Gothbag the Terrible, Scourge of Caledonia.
Gothbag the Terrible was a brave warrior, a visionary leader, and above all a peacemaker (there was no war in eastern Caledonia, or any human activity for that matter, for a generation after Gothbag’s conquest). If we tear down the statue of him standing athwart the crushed bodies of his foes and drinking their blood from a skull, how will we ever remember all the great things he did, like burning Londinium to the ground twice, or forcing the populace of Dal Riada to build the world’s first-ever castle made entirely from the bones of murdered peasants?
Look, I’m not claiming that Gothbag the Terrible was perfect. He was only human. He made some questionable decisions. I don’t think hunting every man, woman, and child for sport on the Isle of Skye was a good idea. But you have to remember it was a different time. Nobody back then knew murder was bad. I bet the people he killed were pretty understanding about the whole thing.
Of course, some people say that Gothbag the Terrible himself was something of an iconoclast. After all, didn’t he burn down St. Michael’s Monastery with all the monks inside, and then replace it with a bloody shrine where he personally carried out countless human sacrifices to the dread vampire-goddess Maggorthulax? Well, yes, he did. But that’s just it: he was a builder! Every single time Gothbag burned down a village, town, monastery, or school (and he burned down a lot of them), he built something arguably better in its place, whether it was a simple throne of skulls or a complex subterranean labyrinth where he performed the obscene rites of the Old Ones. That’s worth memorializing.
Protestors claim our town’s 60-foot tall golden statue of Gothbag the Terrible glorifies him, but that’s absurd. I don’t know how you can look at the towering, nude, Adonis-like sculpture of Gothbag, standing on the broken bodies of his hideous enemies, his rippling muscles, and enormous penis glimmering in the sunlight, and think the statue is anything but neutral.
Now, I know the local media have questioned what a giant golden statue of a 6th-century Saxon warlord is doing in a suburban Illinois town in the first place. As the leader of the “Remember Gothbag the Terrible” fundraising campaign that built the statue in 2016, and coincidentally a direct descendent of Gothbag, I can assure you it’s purely educational! How are our children supposed to learn about important historical events like the Scouring of Caledonia without a giant, golden, fully nude statue of the man who did it?
We can’t let these protestors destroy our history. They’re vandals, plain and simple, and not the cool kind of Vandals like Gothbag’s great-great-grandfather Gunscar the Cruel who personally destroyed two of the seven wonders of the ancient world. I bet the protestors want to tear down the 100-foot tall marble obelisk honoring Gunscar, too. Well, I won’t let them!
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. For instance, had the Picts of Caledonia learned anything from Gothbag’s brutal, merciless conquest of Cumbria the month before he invaded them, they might have stood a chance.