… such as they are, in these distressing days. It’s come to be a standout exception in the last half-century when a piece of public art is actually attractive, engaging, relatable to the place and the audience, and exhibits moderate to advanced skills and aesthetic sense on the part of the artist. Noted in Tom Wolfe’s book-long evisceration of modern architecture, altogether too many post-WWII public buildings got finished off with installing a barren plaza in front, a plaza featuring a water feature with an enormous concrete turd dropped into it. There are exceptions to this bleak and ugly trend, of course – but the monumental MLK/Coretta Scott King statue unveiled last weekend in Boston is, alas, not one of them.
It’s just passably OK from the front aspect, but looking at it from the other side … oh, gosh – some bodiless arms holding up an engorged colon, a huge male member, or an enormous turd? Or something even ruder, as was suggested by Leslie Jones. Perhaps the main purpose, after all, was to burn $10 million dollars. And, no – I don’t think the people of Boston will come to love “The Embrace”, as the French eventually embraced the Eiffel Tower, or Christ the Redeemer came to be reverenced by Brazilians. A further note to Ms. Jones – I certainly will criticize that expensive bronze atrocity. You suppose that for another 10 million, the artist could have included the heads?
In the meantime, it seems that Sheila Jackson Lee, the wicked witch of Houston, the most abusive boss on Capitol Hill, and the long-time bane of airline staff on Washington to Houston flights has put forward a bill which basically enables criminal charges against anyone who posts anything on the internet which can be connected to the commission of an actual hate crime. Leaving aside the concept of a ‘hate crime’ being somehow worse than an ordinary, non-hate crime, this bill – in the event that everyone in the House and Senate loses what is left of their damned minds and decides that the First Amendment is merely a polite suggestion – could in theory mean that if someone vandalized the above-noted MLK monument, that I could be charged with contributing to or encouraging a hate crime. In past times, I would have expected that Queen Sheila’s flight of legislative fancy would be laughed out of consideration in about two minutes … but these mad days, I really can’t be sure … Discuss as you wish, and while we still can.
PS – I see in the news that Jacinda Ardern has resigned as Prime Minister of New Zealand. Jumped before she was pushed? Is there some kind of scandal brewing down under, or just the potential humiliation of losing reelection in a landslide. Locking down all of the country for fear of Covid AKA the Commie Crud can’t have done all that much for her popularity, as the very model of a modern Major AWFL. Anyone have insight into local politics in New Zealand?