November 27, 2009

Human gargoyles of New York.

All a part of the New York Capitol:

DSC05824

DSC05825

DSC05812

DSC05800

We had some discussion about whether the last one is racist and whether there was any significance to the fact that someone once took the trouble to paint the lips red.

35 comments:

Elliott A said...

The details place onto and into older buildings is astounding, all the more reason to be sure as many are preserved as possible.

Adam said...

What's racist about a Jimmy Carter gargoyle?

Paul Zrimsek said...
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Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Adam beat me to it. Carter indeed.

Bob_R said...

My first reaction as well: Jimmy!

David said...

Yeah, Jimmy. My first reaction too.

Was Jimmy Carter out first African American president?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I saw Jimmy before reading the comments

chickenlittle said...

The only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle: Link

Dark Eden said...

That's funny, Jimmy Carter was my first thought too.

blake said...

This is a propos of nothing but...

I remember reading somewhere that there was a 25% chance of any random American having black ancestry. 40% in the South.

I've pointed out to some people that 10 generations back, you have 1,024 ancestors. In most cases that's probably not true, what with cousins marryin' and all, but what is true is that nobody knows who all of them were. Even if you mapped them all out, you're taking a lot for granted to presume that all the fathers were who they were supposed to be, and that adoptions were always reported.

Race is a slippery concept and purity an absurd one.

Yet, I've had people insist they know every one of them and none were black. Even when I pointed out that a generation back, they had a thousand more ancestors.

But they weren't racist.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yet, I've had people insist they know every one of them and none were black. Even when I pointed out that a generation back, they had a thousand more ancestors.


Unless they had Africans in Wales from 800 ad to 1850 I doubt it. We had a geneology done for my Father's side of the family. Although it isn't impossible given the Moorish influence in Spain and that we also have Basque in our geneology.

I do know we have a Hopi ancestor on my Mother's side of the family. But not in a direct line to myself. But who knows.

I've always thought that Carter probably has some African ancestry, but really.....who cares. The only reason we have "races" is due to population isolation and mutations that are/were advantageous for the climate and geography. In a few more generations, thanks to the extremely mobile society we have today, we will all be greatly mixed from all parts of the world. This is a "good thing" IMHO.

blake said...

I'm pro-mutt, too, DBQ, being one myself.

But black people weren't unknown to England in Shakespeare's time. Say Othello and Desdemona have a kid; the grandkids are just about as pasty as all the other Anglos, and on of them runs off to Wales (presumably to escape death).

Then, of course, they say we all came from Africa ultimately. So, you know, it all devolves very quickly into silliness.

Elliott A said...

To quote mr. Spock, "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations"

blake said...

Elliot,

You do know that the whole IDIC thing was a scam by Roddenberry to make some extra cash off of "Star Trek", right?

m00se said...

Why oh why is Jimmy Carter on the side of that building?

Sara (Pal2Pal) said...

I see my first reaction mirrors the other comments, sure looks like Jimmah Carter to me.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I thought Jimmy Carter, too.

But before that, I thought the middle one looks like MeatLoaf.

michaele said...

Yep, add me to the chorus of Carter coming instantly to mind when I viewed the last one. And, in fact, the hint of red on the lips only reinforced the Carter impression 'cause he has always had that creepy old man moist thing going on (no matter what his age).

jimspice said...

I found wheat and hammers. Glenn Beck would have a field day.

Roux said...

Definitely Jimmy Carter...

Roux said...

Definitely Jimmy Carter...

Kirk Parker said...

"What's racist about a Jimmy Carter gargoyle?"

They're making fun of the "white" race? Though in Jimmeh's case, I suppose it's justified.

amba said...

Well, everybody here beat me to it.

(Coincidentally, I've long thought Jimmy Carter and his mother looked as if they had a few African genes in there somewhere. Could he, not Bill Clinton, have been the first black president??)

JohnAnnArbor said...

Just recently learned that, technically, only carvings that help route water off a roof or away from a building are "officially" gargoyles.

Lawgiver said...

Jimmy hears the rabbit paddling furiously towards him. As the distance closes between the two, Jimmy gazes in wide-mouthed wonder and raises his paddle.........

Paul said...

Has anyone else noticed how much elderly Jimmy Carter has come to resemble elderly Eleanor Roosevelt?

jeff said...

another vote who saw Jimmy before reading the comments.

danielhjackson said...

Ditto with Jimmy.

Shawn Levasseur said...

Yep. Jimmy Peanuts. The lips are a frequent part of Carter caricatures.

Skookum John said...

"I remember reading somewhere that there was a 25% chance of any random American having black ancestry. 40% in the South."

Don't know if it's that high, but it turned out to be true in my case. My 5th great grandfather was listed as "colored" on a census in 1770-something. He came from a family of slave traders and was likely an illegitimate son of one of the young masters and a slave girl.

The Crack Emcee said...

I think it's funny that I, a black man, would never have considered the possible racial implications of that gargoyle - Hell, I wouldn't have even cared - while two white folks are all concerned and ready to point the finger at,...who? What? History? Spare me.

I, too, am joining everyone else in voting for Jimmy Carter - not because I actually saw him, but because I live in the here and now, and not somebody else's past.

Give it a try.

Paco Wové said...

The amount of time you Madisonites spend trying to winkle out the faintest traces of ... racism!! is indeed remarkable.

Meade said...

"I think it's funny that I, a black man, would never have considered the possible racial implications of that gargoyle - Hell, I wouldn't have even cared - while two white folks are all concerned and ready to point the finger at,...who? What? History? Spare me."

I long ago stopped calling myself a "white" man.

And I wouldn't call you a "black" man.

NY said...

I will say that Jimmy Carter was part black, David. I mean he looks black. And black people have tradionally sided with the Palestinians, which Carter did.