Last Sunday, I was hanging out at the summit of Cowles Mountain, and I came up with a great idea that I'm really excited to share with you: Let's build a huge war memorial up there.
Cowles Mountain is the highest peak within the city of San Diego at 1,591 feet, kicking Mount Soledad's 822-foot-tall ass. If you haven't been up there, you really should go. The hiking trail is vigorous but fun, and the 360-degree panoramic view of San Diego is awesome, especially on a clear day. And because it's in Mission Trails Regional Park, it doesn't have a bunch of houses and cars spoiling it. (Will the real Mount "Solitude" please stand up, please stand up?)
The only advantage Soledad has over Cowles is a better monument, and by "better" I mean bigger, because when it comes to landmark pissing contests, size matters. Cowles' monument is a little cement thing stuck in some rocks with a plaque on it. I think it says something about George Cowles (correctly pronounced "coals" but most people use the bovine pronunciation), an early San Diego ranching pioneer for whom the mountain (really a big hill) was named, or maybe it just mentions that Cowles is the highest point in San Diego-I can't remember. What I do know is that the tradition of touching the monument to affirm one's ascension to the summit has left the thing filthy with decades of hiker smudge, and compared to Mount Soledad's giant crucifix, the Cowles Mountain monument looks like a caveman grave marker. Time to kick it up a notch.
The cross monument on Mount Soledad was built in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War, but more than 34,000 U.S. soldiers died over there, so how about another monument for them? Hell, haven't we got enough hills around San Diego County to get a few dozen more Korean War memorials up? If you think one Korean War memorial is enough, you should take a cold, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why you don't support our troops.
Here's my proposed design for the "Cowles Mountain National War Memorial to Honor Korean War Veterans." It'll be a massive, six-pointed star, like two triangles performing the 69 sex position-a shape that some are bound to call a "Star of David" or "Jewish star," even though the Cowles Mountain Star will be a historical war memorial rather than a primarily religious symbol. It will be historical like the Mount Soledad cross is historical because history is what happened in the past, and once the giant star is erected, it will have been erected in the past.
This time, though, we'll give the veterans of the Korean War a monument that really kicks ass. Unlike the 29-foot-short Soledad cross, which is composed of rows of hollow concrete segments on a steel frame and looks kind of like those cheap cinder blocks you get at Home Depot to make bookshelves with, the 150-foot-tall Cowles Star will be formed from giant, hollow, rectangular, walled boxes constructed out of recycled content steel and engineered lumber, with skylights and observation windows throughout. A central, spiral staircase will rise from a platform seated atop a quiet, solar-powered motor that rotates the entire structure slowly, providing constantly changing views in all directions.
That's not all. Hiking to the summit of Cowles can work up a heck of an appetite, but hikers sometimes forget to bring water and trail mix. The kosher snack bar/deli inside the memorial will offer all your favorite traditional trail fare, as well as an array of noshes, like rugalach, macaroons and the best damn bagels this side of Manhattan. There's a pretty sizable population of Jews in the Cowles Mountain/San Carlos/Del Cerro area who'll surely be delighted. And even the goyim love a great deli. The Soledad memorial doesn't even have a condom vending machine for all the barely legals who drive up there to do their thing.
The Cowles Mountain Korean War Memorial is gonna be so dope it'll make the Mount Soledad Korean War Memorial look utterly whack!
And in the same way the giant cross inspires Christians to hold Easter services at the Soledad memorial, the giant Star of David will encourage Jews to establish an annual Cowles Mountain Passover seder. Don't forget the bitter herbs and a flashlight. Isn't it high time the average Joe Taxpayer kicked in a little gelt toward the maintenance of an al fresco synagogue?
But let's not forget the real purpose of a war memorial. The Mount Soledad war memorial honors U.S. veterans-and not just veterans of the Korean War, just primarily veterans of the Korean War-primarily Christian veterans of the Korean War. And, so, my proposed Cowles Mountain memorial will honor primarily Jewish Korean War veterans.
Cross fetishists are too stubborn to seriously consider the perspective of, say, Private Arnold Solomon, a Jewish Korean War casualty psychically conjured in Edwin Decker's "Sordid Tales" column last month, who took issue with being "honored" by a symbolic condemnation to burn in Hell for all eternity. And because these cement worshippers can't understand why it's un-American to have a giant symbol of the crucifixion on public property, they will probably find a way to keep it there, in spite of its court-ordered removal.
And that's why we need to put a big Star of David on Cowles Mountain, just down the street from Madras Hill in Del Cerro, which the self-proclaimed "Allied Gardens Nazis" at my high school used to affectionately call "Jew Hill."
Remember the Allied Gardens Nazis? I do. I grew up Jewish and under anti-Semitic siege in the late 1970s, in the neighborhood right between Cowles Mountain and "Jew Hill." Now they'll both be called Jew Hill.
And why would a star of David war memorial on top of Cowles Mountain guarantee it the name "Jew Hill" when nobody calls Mount Soledad "Christian Hill?" Prejudice? Tyranny? The deli, of course.
Now, which hill are we going to give to the Zoroastrians?
E-mail dakolodenko[at]gmail[dot]com and editor[at]SDcitybeat[dot]com.