Monumental Battle Brews Between Artist and Veterans
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Since: Dec 05
#1 Dec 19, 2005
I have been reading with great interest the controversy surrounding the Soldiers Monument and the proposed “Let Them Eat Cake” art project for the monument by a local resident. I wonder if there is anyone opponent of the project who can recall a time in the early 1980's when Caledonia-Mumford used to celebrate sectional high school football victories by placing a large "We’re #1" foam hand (created by Pardi-Foam) on top of the Soldier's Monument? I recall that the hand completely covered the statue of the Civil War veteran that stands on the top of the monument, and it prevented anyone from viewing the statue. That piece of foam remained on top of the monument for days and maybe weeks. At that time that display wasn’t an issue to anyone in the village, and no one thought to object to idea. But by today standards, the act of using the Soldiers Monument to incorporate it into an expression of art is a great source of outrage. It has become such an issue that:
· Village meetings are becoming disruptive and the local police need to be called in to restore peace
· There have been accusations of threats from members of the American Legion towards the artists
· The ACLU is being recruited by the artist, and solicited for their interpretation of the law
· The mayor of Caledonia not allowing those who wish to speak about the project address the village board
The “Let Them Eat Cake” project has been labeled "a desecration of Soldiers Monument", and an insult to veterans, and that the project is unpatriotic, and a dishonor to our fallen soldiers. I don’t necessarily agree with the project myself but I don’t know if the project should also be the source of so much discourse either.
I also can’t help but wonder why the same degree of outrage wasn’t present in the 1980’s when that "We’re #1" foam hand graced the top of the Soldiers Monument. Why was that project not seen as a desecration, an insult to veterans, and as an unpatriotic and dishonorable symbol? I think those with an interest in this project pro and con should consider the villages past actions before passing judgment on someone else.
Pavilion, New York
#2 Jan 14, 2006
I would think that a lot of the soldiers themselves played football and if they were still around would get excited about the no.1 proclamation as well. I can't picture them sitting around smiling at each other about that warm feeling they're getting looking at the cake or flowers or whatever else was strewn about the monument for the purpose of art that is "something that makes people think, or encourages discussion for the sake of discussion." That's what the soldiers would want.
The best part is getting the ACLU involved. Why are they? I'm guessing because they think they can make some money off a town whose going to have to pay their legal bills when they win. Like 300$ for a five minute phone call or whatever else they can think of to effectively rip us off and raise our taxes so we all can learn a lesson about how great a feeling were getting by talking about art.(That's right keep laughing about my run on sentences. Don't care.) I think the real problem of course is that this whole thing is in fact a way to desecrate the memory of the soldiers. Look at that in your face monument, we should see if we can't knock that thing down a peg. I know they'll never go for chiken dung or whatever, but maybe if I mixed a bunch of dog crap in with the cake batter I would still get the feeling that yeah I'm your daddy and that stupid town would be none the wiser.
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