We can’t help but wonder what the eye of the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol would look like if Constantino Brumidi painted it today.
In 1865, at the end of the Civil War, he created “The Apotheosis of Washington” there, which is explained by The Architect of the Capitol (AOC): “In the central group of the fresco, Brumidi depicted George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. A rainbow arches at his feet, and thirteen maidens symbolizing the original states flank the three central figures.”
The AOC says the word “apotheosis” in the title means literally the raising of a person to the rank of a god, or the glorification of a person as an ideal; George Washington was honored as a national icon in the nineteenth century. So, how would Barak Obama be depicted in the fresco today; rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by figures representing liberty, victory, and fame, and with rainbow arches at his feet?
Barak Obama has definitely been honored as a national icon in this century, so if you replaced Washington with Obama in the fresco, would it be “The Apotheosis of Obama”– raising him to the rank of a god or like glorification?
How you choose to answer that, of course, depends on where you stand in the public buzz about the U.S. government, a sector in our society that is generally the subject of great wailing and discontent among the public, officials and the media.
You could safely add the education and healthcare sectors to that hot bed of contention, since these three sectors generate comments such as: “Our politicians are corrupt and incompetent,” and “Our schools systems are failing our children,” and “Healthcare is a bureaucratic mess,” (or of poor quality, or becoming extinct as we face growing Healthcare Professional Shortages Areas (HPSA) in America.)
You’ll commonly find big, bold headlines on popular media sites about how these sectors are devastating to our lives. As a matter of fact, back in the day, old-school journalists might have considered some of it walking the line of “sensationalism.”
There are irrefutable challenges in these sectors that so predominately affect our lives. SLN is not here to dismiss them. But we do aim to bring forward some balance by approaching these sectors from a different angle, a refreshing focus. That’s because we believe there’s much more happening there than what’s being painted, more than what meets the eye.