The nation is currently debating which statues, if any, should be brought down. I’ve been tracking this issue for a while. My position boils down to recommending that we take down Confederate monuments but retain monuments to the American founders. Of course, not everyone agrees.
But there can be no debate about the propriety of keeping the following statues intact. There is only one side: they must be smashed. They are artistically offensive and if allowed to remain might lead to an international episode far more destructive than the Civil War ever was.
1. ‘Cristiano Ronaldo,’ by Emanuel Santos
I get that sculpting is hard. But this…is not a good statue. And doesn’t Cristiano Ronaldo deserve a good statue?
The sculptor, for his part, has offered a sensational defense of himself. “Neither did Jesus please everyone.” That is quite a statement. Why not, right?
Fashioning a statue that looks like it had a Sloth filter applied, with eyes at a steep downward slope hovering over a meth-addled smile, is not too dissimilar from a pre-existing deity executing an incarnation event to secure the salvation of human beings from eternal torment.
BRING DOWN THE MONUMENT pic.twitter.com/W3QlLLRjrZ
— Berny Belvedere (@bernybelvedere) August 17, 2017
2. ‘Oscar Wilde,’ by Maggi Hambling
Who among us hasn’t wondered what Oscar Wilde, the great Irish poet and literary provocateur, would look like after a facial merger with Medusa of Greek mythology fame? This is Dorian Gray in real life. Life imitating art. The art suffered the defacement in order for Wilde to live.
Morrissey once happily sang: “Keats and Yeats are on your side / While Wilde is on mine.” The truth is that this statue of Wilde, which is supposed to represent the Irish novelist emerging out of his sarcophagus to engage in conversation, would actually keep me from getting anywhere near the cemetery gates.
3. ‘Imperia,’ by Peter Lenk
Oh, to hold an unabashedly naked, miniaturized pope in the palm of my hand! And not one, but two!
I’m pretty sure even Pope Francis would condemn the entirety of humanity to eternal damnation if this were relocated to Vatican City. New encyclical: “Humanity Is F-cked.”
This statue immediately calls to mind “The Neverending Story.” Remember the golden oracles who could launch face-melting photon missiles from their eyes?
Any chance we can roll “Imperia” in between the two golden sphinxes?
4. ‘Man attacked by Genii,’ by Gustav Vigeland
I’m going to ignore the title, because we all know what this really is. This is a dad whose mastery of coitus interruptus is—oh, how shall we put it—questionable. As a result, he’s got a handful of kids and not a clue what to do with them.
“Away from me with these requests to visit Charles Entertainment Cheese!” Can’t you just hear #DadOfTheYear saying that?
Most of us are aware parenting is a Herculean task, but this guy takes that idea seriously by Zangiefing the h-ll out of his kids in a tremendous show of strength. The one at the bottom arguably has it the worst. That kid is going upper 90 into the nearest soccer net.
Also, was it important that he be naked? That was crucial, was it? That’s not the way most dads hang with their kids, but, hey, it’s Oslo!
5. ‘Obscene Figure,’ by Jose Luis Cuevas
If you’ve ever been camping — real camping, not the sanitized, innocuous version at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, or sleeping at a Best Buy parking lot to be the first to get the latest “Animal Crossing” installment — then you know there are times one must go deep into what Joseph Conrad called “the heart of darkness,” a.k.a. take a jungle dump.
But here’s a question that I don’t think is all that unreasonable to ask: Is this the kind of event that we’d like to capture in a massive monument to be prominently placed in a city area? Does it enrich the lives of tourists and townspeople to ponder the mystique of the primitive bowel movement?
Worse, the facial expression suggests we’ve intruded on this sacred bonding ritual between man and nature. The horror is ours, believe me.
Bonus: Statue of Lucille Ball by Dave Poulin
The reason this is a bonus and not on the list proper is because it was mercifully replaced by a statue that bears a greater resemblance to Ball.
If I would’ve been given 100 guesses, I could not have come up with “Lucille Ball” as the intended object of representation. My first thought was that Biff, from the “Back to the Future” series, had entered reality (using perhaps an almanac of some sort) and memorialized himself. Or it might have been an artistic project: “Richard Nixon as a Feminine Ideal.”
Replacement of the previous statue was crucial — now that it is gone, LaVar Ball can rightly take his place as the worst Ball in existence. Had the statue remained up, we’d probably all be wearing Big Baller brand crocs by now.