Thursday, October 02, 2008

Offended neighbors get Utah park statue moved

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

A Utah state park moved an American Indian-inspired statue of a humpbacked flute player Thursday after objections that it was offensive because the male figure is anatomically correct.

Officials at Edge of the Cedars State Park moved the sticklike figure from in front of its museum to a spot behind it so it can't been seen from the street, park manager Teri Paul said.

The park, in Blanding, is the site of an ancient Pueblo Indian ruin, as well as the modern-day museum.

The sculpture is a modern interpretation of a Hopi symbol of a flute player. Made by artist Joe Pachak, it has welcomed visitors to the park for 19 years.

It raised objections only recently from a group of Blanding's more conservative residents, who were concerned that the figure has male anatomy, Paul said.

At first park officials were going to ban the figure from the park altogether. But another group of citizens complained of censorship.

More here.

It's tempting to blast the crazy Mormons here, but you get this kind of bizarre parochialism all over the place, even in New York City from time to time. And this is bizarre. We're talking about a stick figure. With a stick pee pee. I mean, I'm all for obscene and pornographic art freaking people out on Main Street and all, but this doesn't even come close. It's a stick figure. With a stick pee pee. And this stick pee pee took nineteen years to finally offend someone.

It's very cool that the local anti-censorship group kept the statue from being banned outright - in addition to widespread American parochialism, it's wonderful to note that we also have widespread defense of free speech, even in Cow Town, USA - but the compromise, which simply moved the offensive stick pee pee out of sight, is nearly as much of an insult as banning it would have been. That is, moving it concedes that the anti stick pee pee people have a point worth considering, which they don't.

Why on earth must we continually rearrange society to accommodate primitive and superstitious morons?

See? It's a stick pee pee.
(AP Photo/Edge of Cedar State Park Museum, Teri Paul)