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Losing our grip on reality 2.0

Regardless of where one stands on the current controversy about the “statue worthiness” of various historical figures, we can all agree on one thing. These people actually existed in real life. A low bar to be sure, but from a reality perspective not the lowest. That distinction would go to the plethora of statues around the country of actors as the fictional characters they played on TV or in the movies.

A statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stevens in “Bewitched” graces a park in Salem, Mass.; Jackie Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden from “The Honeymooners” stands proudly in front of the New York City Port Authority Bus Terminal; Andy Griffith and Ron Howard as Andy and Opie Taylor are in two locations, Raleigh and Mt Airy, N.C.; and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky is triumphant on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum — just to name a few.

Is this a problem or just an entertaining diversion to keep the tourists happy? OK, I admit it. I have jumped up and down with my arms raised next to Rocky, and that’s something I have to live with. But years from now, should we be concerned when someone confidently cites as fact the “real” accomplishments of these bronzed characters?

The statue in downtown Minneapolis of Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards throwing her hat in the air can be an inspiring image of female empowerment. However, if the story is told that Mary did in fact “make it after all,” our grip on reality, unlike Rocky, may be down for the count.