(Stone Mountain is a good example of why you don’t entrust your history to Silver Dollar City or whomever it is this week – DD)
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(Ryan Zickgraf, Compact) – On April 29th, the popular laser-light show at Stone Mountain, Ga., illuminated the east Atlanta sky for the last time, after having done so every weekend for 40 years. It was the latest victim of a years-long process of awkwardly de-Confederate-izing the largest Confederate monument in the United States. No longer would park-goers see video projections that animated the 90-foot-tall carvings of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis, making them look like old-timey cartoon characters riding into battle along the mountain’s sheer granite face.
What would replace it? The answer came on Memorial Day weekend, the debut of the Music Across America Drone & Light Show. Thousands of park-goers sat on the lawn of Georgia’s top tourist attraction and gawked at a chorus line of brightly colored drones assembled to appear as ephemera from the past half-century of pop culture—from Elvis’ gyrating hips to the blips and bloops of Pac-Man, even inexplicably, defunct music delivery systems like the CD player and iPod.
There was no reference to the monumental stone horsemen throughout the 30-minute performance. No one in attendance seemed to notice. The message conveyed by the show was implicit: These days, neither General Lee nor Abraham Lincoln is any match for Taylor Swift.