However much we may claim to be self-deprecating, it seems that we humans don’t want to be portrayed in anything other than our best form. But somewhere in California, a group of officials neglected to attend to this basic fact of the human personality when they allocated money for a sculpture. The group in a town called, Cardiff by the Sea, aimed to honor the surfing passions of its locals by erecting an interpretive sculpture of a surfer. They commissioned an artist and possibly behind closed doors, approved the piece. But soon after the sculpture materialized, there arose a massive hue and cry from the townsfolk who felt they should have been consulted.
The artistic license resulted in a piece depicting a child learning to surf. But such limpness of wrists, such awfulness of form, such lack of a powerful wave being ridden, was soundly ridiculed. While many among the surfers may actually perform in this very inexpert pose, they did not wish to be publicized as such. They would have preferred a sculpted figure showing off top form, next to a powerful wave that was more in line with the stuff of their dreams rather than their reality.
And complaining was not enough. To date the innocent, inanimate sculpture continues to suffer much abuse at the hands of the town’s “artists.” They named it “The Kook,” much to the dismay of the artist who had named it, “Magic Carpet Ride.” They dressed it in clown’s clothing. Someone stuck a pumpkin atop its head. And possibly most insulting, someone created a paper mache whale that appears to be swallowing the sculpture. There are bumper sticker and e-mail campaigns to get rid of “The Kook.” No one knows where this will end but chances are the next sculptor, if there is one, won’t take quite so much artistic license.
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