The New York Times's Lede blog had a posting about the new dollar coin, which will feature four American Presidents each year, from Washington thru Nixon, until 2016! There was quite a response to that posting, over 250 comments - many denouncing the anachronistic penny, many saying Americans would never let the bill go because coins are a "hassle". I'm sure my comment was lost at the bottom somewhere:
It's sad they're honoring so many dead white politicians, many of them corrupt or Machiavellian. What about great American authors, or even American composers? When have we ever had artists or thinkers on our currency? Britain has Darwin & Edward Elgar on their bills. We have a lot to be proud of too, not just William Henry Harrison.
Also, in England, you can buy a pint of beer with coins in your pocket. Coins are not more of a hassle! Opening your wallet stuffed full of identical bills for every single purchase, including coffee or a newspaper, is far more obnoxious.
As for pennies, it would be sad to see them go. But I've been harboring a suspicion that the treasury makes money [sic] off of how many are lost or ignored. (In a more devious way even than how they've made money off of people collecting the state quarters.) They've just been so worthless for so long, & the nickel & dime aren't far behind. Parking meters & vending machines won't even take pennies, & many merchants just bypass them. Stop making them!
I guess I shouldn't waste my time dreaming of a John Cage coin.