Looming mournfully over the mismatched medieval roofs of Prague is a red metronome. Some think of the metronome as the slow tick of growing democracy in the Czech Republic, as it was erected in 1991 after the fall of communism over the ruins of a giant monument of Stalin. Ironically, the metronome often lies still, as if the weight of Prague’s history has given it too much baggage to continue the heartbeat. This is a source of constant amusement to the pessimistic Czechs. The story of the red metronome in Prague is the building of a new future that can’t possibly escape the old.