The controversy surrounded who should and shouldn’t be on the $10 bill is silly. First off, having traveled a big chunk of this world* I hate to admit it but, US currency isn’t the most attractive out there. Romanians used a gorgeous currency for example. Japanese Yen is pretty in a bashful sort of way. Somewhere tucked away I have a Polish bill from their communist-era, given to me by a friend from Austria who had a front row seat when the Iron Curtain came down. in terms of Marxist-themed art it’s an interesting study. I also have something called a silver certificate** stashed somewhere. It looks a lot like regular US currency but it’s different too.
I don’t know that artsy currency makes a difference though. It’s not as though we go to our nearest currency exchanges and turn dollars into other things, then pay using prettier monies for fun stuff and $10 bills for grittier things like oil changes.
If we are to change the $10 bill why must we limit the selection process to a simple either or argument. Can we not put multiple people on our banknotes? Can we not print bills varying the image on it? Go to the store, buy a soda, and maybe each $1 bill given in change has a different face on it.There are lots of faces to choose from and they come from many walks of life. Edgar Allen Poe, General Patton, Martin Luther King Jr, Johnny Cash, President Rutherford B Hayes, the B-52 bomber, Central Park in New York, the Pacific Crest Trail, the words of American poetry and songcraft, Andy Warhol, Count Bassie, Duke Ellington, B B King, Jimi Hendrix, Norman Rockwell, Henry Ford, the other Washington Monument***, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Burdon, the giant redwoods, Beale Street, all and more come to mind. Anyone up for putting The Rolling Stones on our cash? Beach Boys? Ramones?
Surely we can do better than the usual binary tit for tat. It’s 2015 and this controversy pretends that mass printing was just invented recently.
* I have been to the following: Spain (before and after EU membership), Portugal, Algeria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Romania, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Japan, French Polynesia, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, and Panama.
** My silver certificate looks much like US currency. However, where a US dollar says “federal reserve note” on the face, my note says something to the effect that it’s a silver certificate. I believe it dates to the 1950s. Any information on this is welcome.
*** Baltimore also hosts a Washington Monument.