October 03, 2008

Anatomically correct statue moved

Offended neighbors get Utah park statue movedA 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.
A little too anatomically correct?

Fertility god Kokopelli moved from view in state park"This [Values Committee] group has let it be known that they are offended by it and would like it removed," said State Parks director Mary Tullius, adding that the group was "complaining that it has male anatomy so it is too phallic for some of the locals. Our intention is to be good partners in the community and we feel like this is a reasonable compromise."

Paul said a female member of the group also complained about datura plants in front of the museum because of their hallucinogenic properties, claiming park managers are encouraging its use. Paul said the native plant is common in the area and will not be removed.

This isn't the first time State Parks and Recreation has removed something from a museum after a complaint.

Shortly after the Rock Creek Nature Center opened at Jordanelle State Park, a state legislator complained about an exhibit that showed domestic livestock can damage riparian areas next to streams and rivers. The photo was removed and the display eliminated.
Comment:  Those kooky conservatives! They're always trying to censor something. Next they'll probably try to remove a copy of Michelangelo's David.

Oddly, the so-called Values Committee had nothing to say about John McCain's frequent lies and Sarah Palin's unwed and pregnant teenage daughter. Nor about the Bush administration's policies of torture, warrantless wiretapping, and preemptive invasions.

What this story tells us

Neither Renaissance artists nor Natives were afraid of the human body--of sex and scatology. But puritanical Americans are. They consider it a horror if someone utters a "dirty" word or flashes a breast on TV. And if someone loves another person of the same gender, it's the end of civilization as we know it.

Who's healthier: the people who produced the flute-player images or the people who cover up half-naked statues (e.g., John Ashcroft)? You be the judge.

For more misapprehensions about Kokopelli, see Kokopelli a Hindu God?

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