Saturday, May 21, 2011
Yeah, yeah. I know it was money that could only be used for art and not for museum funds. I still think it's ironic that the amounts were precisely the same...
Here's my KMUW commentary on the Waterwalk sculpture or read it below.
Man, talk about irony… there’s been enough irony in the air lately here in Wichita that they should be running crawls across the bottom of our TV screens: “Warning! Heavy irony in Wichita area atmosphere. Please wear protective head gear especially when in the vicinity of the Wichita City Hall.”
By now, everyone knows about the Wichita City Council’s recent approval of $350,000 to have an abstract sculpture by renowned New York artist Albert Paley erected at WaterWalk. The 38-foot-tall piece is supposed to be a tribute to—among other things—Wichita’s aviation heritage. Yeah. That’s what they said. Our aviation heritage.
This comes less than a year after our Kansas Aviation Museum asked the city for financial help with their desperately needed capital improvement project. The city turned them down. The cost of the Museum’s project: $350,000. The exact amount which the city council is willing to spend on the sculpture which is a tribute to our aviation heritage. That, my friends, is what you call irony.
Why is the Council more interested in symbolism than substance? This sculpture is a symbol of our aviation heritage. The Kansas Aviation Museum is a substantial upholder and steward of that heritage. Our city’s tepid support of this important institution is, as a recent letter writer in the Wichita Eagle pointed out, embarrassing.
The Kansas Aviation Museum cannot even afford to heat and cool most of its building. And our city leaders are paying $350,000 for a sculptural tribute to our aviation heritage? Breathtakingly ironic. They should just embrace its irony and erect a giant iron butterfly. Or, better yet, a led zeppelin. Or… no! I’ve got it! How about a lead balloon?
Friday, May 13, 2011
Friend Dan Rouser forwarded this article to me and I thought it blog-worthy:
The Eleven Craziest Things Newt Gingrich Has Ever Said
By George Zornick (from The Nation)
May 11, 2011
Today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will announce a run for the presidency. Over his long and checkered career, Newt has said some wild and crazy things—most are deeply offensive, while some are outright bizarre. Here’s the most unhinged Newt-isms, 1989-present.
(1) “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time [my grandchildren are] my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” [Address to Cornerstone Church in Texas, March 2011]
(2) “The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.” [To Mother Jones magazine, October 1989]
(3) “All I would say is, why did it take so long? The whole thing is strange.” [Speaking to TPM about the recent release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, April 2011]
(4) “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” [To the National Review, September 2010]
(5) “It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.” – [Newt’s explanation for why his multiple affairs won’t damage his political fortunes, as told to his jilted wife.]
(6) “The secular socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” [In his book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, May 2010.]
(7) “This is one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration. The more successful they’ve been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we’re in danger…. It’s almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us.” [At a book talk in Huntington, NY, April 2008]
(8) "A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about.” [At the Republican National Convention, August 1996]
(9) “I want to say to the elite of this country—the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton… of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.” [Speaking about the Columbine shootings, May 1999]
(10) “How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane.” [Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 2007]
(11) “I’m running for President.” [5/11/2011]
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Last year I was commissioned to draw up a cartoon map of the City of Wichita which showed all of the nonprofit arts organizations in our fair city. Poster-size prints of the map are available from any of them. It's a fundraiser for Wichita's arts community. If you can get one of them and run me down, I'll happily sign it for you.
It turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I expected, including both Prairie Pines and the Center for the Arts in one image...so the perspective is a bit skewed, as it were. (But some say my perspective is always skewed so that's fitting!)
Local marketing firm Marketing Resouces worked with me on the project. Mike Katzenmeier of that company has hired me for many years to produce art work for his clients. The entire thing was underwritten by the Trust Company of Kansas. This local company has been a strong supporter of our arts community for many years and deserves our thanks for continuing its tradition of believing in the value of the arts to Kansas' citizenry. In a state where politicians seem to think the arts are of questionable value to our community, such companies as TCK and Marketing Resources are especially heroic.