Fremont Monument: Who was Joaquin Miller?
There are some contradictory facts about the Fremont monument, a square stone structure off the theater parking lot. It was built to mark the spot that an adventurer first saw a sunset over the bay, but it's now surrounded by trees on all sides, so the best view is really of a nearby picnic table. It was built by a meditative poet who guided the country's gaze inwards, but it's really one of the best places in Oakland for a new kind of self-reflection, the selfie. It was built by a white man who sympathized with native people, to honor a general who partook in their genocide. Huh? This is one of the core controversies about Joaquin Miller that Liam O’Donoghue explored in his well-researched and wonderfully listenable 100th episode of East Bay Yesterday, “Who Was Joaquin Miller?” There are many others, such as whether or not Miller deserves his acclaim (he does), whether or not he was a bad husband and parent (he was and wasn't), and whether or not he was a big f