July 15, 2011

The Seated Lynching Effigies of Madison, Wisconsin.

A couple days ago, we were talking about the way no one at the anti-Justice Prosser rally "seemed to be bothered by the symbolism of a large balloon representing Justice Prosser hanging in effigy with its neck tied to a lamppost." I linked to this comments thread — featuring our own Meade — over at the Isthmus.

Let's revisit that thread, where you can see that a man named Kenneth Burns is making a big deal out the fact that the Prosser dummy is in the seated position:
Ladies and gentlemen, the world's first seated hanging.
That brought in David Blaska (who is a regular blogger at the Isthmus):
Actually, not. Mary Suratt was given a chair to sit on and an umbrella held over her head before the trap was sprung and she was sent to eternity along with the male co-conspirators in Lincoln's assassination. A touching example of chivalry in a gentler age. But then, she and her co-conspirators did have a trial and were found guilty.
(Fascinating!) Burns returned:
I stand corrected! Nevertheless, seems to me a baseline requirement for a hanging in effigy is that it ought to look like a hanging, as opposed to a guy sitting and leaning against a post.
Hey! Fellow Madisonians! Is your memory so short that you don't remember the Great Spiderman Lynching Controversy of 1 month ago?
The sight of a life-size Spider-Man doll [known as Venom] hanged by its neck from a balcony of a Langdon Street home near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is prompting a stern response from school officials.

Students who live on Langdon Street said the doll that some believe represented a black man had been hanging for two or three days last week before it was taken down. But many said it never should have been put there at all.
You can see in the picture that the doll was seated.
"I see the visualization of imagery that looks powerfully, iconically of the imagery of a lynching," [said Damon Williams, vice provost for diversity]... "It's an incredibly serious and egregious thing that we do condemn at the highest levels, and we don't trivialize it"....
So does the seated position of an effigy eliminate the lynching symbolism? Apparently not! Let's get on the same page about what we can do with our giant blow-up dolls in public.



(Thanks to Chuck66 for connecting the Proszilla with the Venom.)

AND: Let's remember this lovely sign from a few months ago, originally featured in this post on February 16th:

P1060533 - Version 2

ADDED: Here's video of the Prosser effigy ("Proszilla") getting blown up and tied to the lamppost:



Also, based on discussion and links in the comments, I don't think Mary Suratt was sitting on the chair as the noose was tied around her neck and the trap door sprung. She seems to have been seated before she was called upon to rise and accept her grisly fate.

68 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

I stand corrected!

Pun intended?

chickenlittle said...

I studied those photos as a teen. I still don't think she was seated when the trapdoor fell. Here, judge for yourself: link

Lincolntf said...

Seated? Standing? Who cares? The minute they looped the rope over the Prosser effigy neck and tied it
to the monument they were simulating a lynching. All the violence and destruction that the WI Dems have engaged in means they don't get the benefit of the doubt. We know what kind of people they are, the worst of the worst.

edutcher said...

Not sure how many women were accorded the courtesy rendered Mrs Suratt. Going from memory, I remember a couple of occasions where women went standing up, and, at least in the case of the Mexican girl at Hangtown, quite gallantly.

But those were lynchings.

Triangle Man said...

I'm afraid I disagree with the notion that the Seated Prosser was lynching imagery. At the very least, it doesn't appear that it was intended to be a hanging in effigy. This article about the balloon and its creator Miles Kristan shows the balloon standing totally erect. It apparently lost steam and was secured to the post with a rope.

The descriptions I have read of the Surrat hanging lead me to think that she was seated during the preparations, but was standing for the hanging.

Titus said...

That picture is fascinating. So is chicky's linked video.

Morbid but very artsy.

I love the clothes.

MarkG said...

Giant puppets, costumes, posters, inflatable justices... Madison is like one big 3rd grade art class.

Titus said...

MarkG is that a Brittany?

I have a very rare clumber spaniel. Only 200 in the U.S.

How weird my word verification is saphic.

PaulV said...

Was the trial an illegal military trial where likely innocent was killed by angry military government?

Titus said...

Another vaginal mesh commercial on as I type.

There must be a demand for vaginal mesh.

PaulV said...

Democrats have long sad history of lynching innocent people.

MarkG said...

@Titus: Yes, that's my beloved Brittany as a pup. Although intolerable until she was about 3.

garage mahal said...

"Seated lynching effigy". LOLZ

Good one A-House.

Shouting Thomas said...

"It's an incredibly serious and egregious thing that we do condemn at the highest levels, and we don't trivialize it," Williams said....

I really would be interested in a full accounting of how much money the taxpayers of WI are throwing at the Diversity scammers.

Shouting Thomas said...

... vice provost for diversity...

That means you've also got a "provost for diversity."

How many other scammers are on the payroll? What's the total take for the scam?

Michael said...

Titus: Surely there are more than 200 Clumbers in the US. There are three at my little gun club here in the middle of the deep south. Very slothful animals, highly regarded by the heavier hunters. Am told they are hell on antique furniture, table legs especially. Noble but profoundly plodding creatures.

MarkG said...

From the Triangle Man's link: "...the same people who hate unions also hate women, children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor and minorities."

That cracks me up. It pretty much sums up the depth of political understanding the Left has in Madison.

AlphaLiberal said...

I guess if you can't muster a coherent, rational, logical argument you will make up nonsense like this.

The thing was falling over so it was propped up against a lamppost. It's a homemade balloon thing, made with drop cloths and duck tape. It can spring a leak and, then, will not stand up.

Here is the Journal Sentinel story.

Prosser is not the victim, he is the perp. He is not being persecuted here.

Read a few minutes ago:
"If you argue with a fool, you’ve got two fools."

Good point. Buh bye.

Titus said...

I believe there are actually somewhere around 270 ish clumbers in the U.S.

At least that is what is says on all the clumber spaniel websites.

I live in Boston and have never seen one.

I have been in Madison and all over Wisconsin and have never seen one.

I didn't see one in India either, although in India they are all street dogs.

Are you sure they are purebred AKC registered Clumbers?

There are only like 8-9 Clumber Spaniel Breeders in the U.S.

I purchased mine by Providence Rhode Island. She had like 20 and she has written all the Clumber Spaniel books. Her husband was a chronic farter. I had to go to their house a couple of times during my "application and interview" process and the man constantly farted and no one said a thing about it. Not even an excuse me. I was mortified but I wanted a fucking clumber.

They can be incredibly lazy, which I love.

traditionalguy said...

Lynching is the ultimate choke hold.

But it is 1880's technology.

But if Madison must snuff out the breath of all union busters, then I say use it.

That's what Democracy looks like, Klu Klux Klan style.

I am glad that the South has left the 1880s behind.

Maybe some day Wisconsin will also put away vigilante justice.

Titus said...

Clumbers are notorious farters as well.

MarkG said...

Clumbers are notorious farters as well.

You don't feed them some sort of vegetarian diet do you? I bought some venison dog food once. Really gave my Brittanys the wind.

chickenlittle said...

All this fogblather over effigies on the part of Meadhouse...

When Sarah Palin was most publicly hung in effigy in West Hollywood, just before Halloween in 2008, where was Althouse's scorn?

Could someone please find me a link where she condemns this or even calls it out? (commenters did but she didn't that I recall).

I stand here, a humble foul, waiting to be hoisted. Otherwise I'm going to "go out on a limb" and suggest that she sympathized with those perps in Hollywood, and that's why she never said anything.

Michael said...

Titus: They are Clumbers, I can assure you. It is a breed I have known of and been able to identify for forty years, starting in the UK. There is nothing close, as you know, and it would be impossible to cross breed an animal that looked like one given the slothfulness of both female and male Clumbers. They actually love the field and will occasionally retrieve a pheasant if the mood suits. I think they are great and I suppose with so few around that I am able to see these dogs in "action" at our shoots. They are rare, I just didn't realize how rare.
They are noted for their unwillingness to obey, their constant desire for rest.

Ann Althouse said...

"The thing was falling over so it was propped up against a lamppost. It's a homemade balloon thing, made with drop cloths and duck tape. It can spring a leak and, then, will not stand up."

Continue. Harmonize your opinion with the Spiderman incident. Wasn't that doll hung just as a makeshift way to hold it up? And yet it was called "an incredibly serious and egregious thing that we do condemn at the highest levels, and we don't trivialize it."

I'm only asking for consistency within the lefty domain of Madison, Wisconsin.

How hard can that be?

t-man said...

Speaking of racial politics, check out Drudge's pickpocket image of Obama's hand.

EDH said...

The garrote, a specific form of execution, is often performed seated.

Ann Althouse said...

"The thing was falling over so it was propped up against a lamppost. It's a homemade balloon thing, made with drop cloths and duck tape. It can spring a leak and, then, will not stand up.""

It was not just "propped up against a lamppost." It was tied around the neck to the lamppost. As the comments over at Isthmus say, it was an electrical cord (kind of like something a murderer would use in a strangling).

Michael said...

I am all for hangings in effigy. But I think we ought to be able to hang both lefties and righties not to mention people of all races. I don't think that is what our freedom loving lefties have in mind, however.

Carol_Herman said...

I don't think Mary Suratt was actually guilty! I think John Wilkes Booth ... with his broken ankle. And, trapped in a corner of a barn, was KILLED by government agents ... who didn't want to arrest him. Because he knew too much.

Ditto happened to Oswald.

As to Justice Prosser ... what can ya do? Basically lots of people think he is a MENCH.

And, I gather his case (or complaint) to the Wisconsin Judiciary has not been disposed of, as yet.

The future holds many interesting things.

As to VIOLENCE ... instead of "civility" ... It's like the way the word "fag" wemt from being a cigarette ... to being another substitute for someone "not like the other" ... who was. And, is. GAY.

FREE COUNTRY. Means you need to know everything will be said.

Less outrage is better for your blood pressure.

Carol_Herman said...

"Seated" works for those schmucks.

So would wearing a toilet seat as a necklace, I'd suppose?

Does it really matter?

The balloon didn't produce much of a crowd. Someone had to remove the valve ... and stomp on the balloon ... so that it would release its air.

If the balloon was in the sun all day, would that mean its contents were full of hot air?

Carol_Herman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The Professor is tongue in cheek arguing for equal protection for Effigy hangers.

That is funny. Three stooges funny.

The Three Stooges. That is what Democracy looks like.

Somebody alert Garrison Keillor. Madison is where the funny stuff is now.

chickenlittle said...

The goalposts on wheels at Camp Randall.

Phil 3:14 said...

Wasn't James Byrd seated? (kind of)

Old Dad said...

That's got to be one of the worst effigies ever made. It deserves to be hung, and its makers horse whipped. Doesn't Madison have antilittering laws?

chickenlittle said...

The goalposts on wheels at Camp Randall.

That would actually make a great animated video, using an aerial photo.

Michael said...

traditionalguy: I would contribute to NPR if Garrison Keillor was not on every time I tuned in. He is loathsome and very unfunny.

Carol_Herman said...

Taking the "symbolism" back to the Prosser balloon ... I say this:

Next time they bring a balloon ... bring an air gun. No one would even see the dart flying ... if you got close enough.

You could also stop and ask, "Does the bottom part represent his penis?"

It sure didn't represent legs to me.

Franklin said...

#4 - Make the enemy live up to his own book of rules. You can kill them with this.

Lincolntf said...

Carol, contemporaneous documents show the opposite of your supposition to be true. When Boston Corbett (a weirdo in his own right) shot Booth through a gap in the barn it was in direct contravention of his orders. The belief was that there was a far larger conspiracy involved which could re-ignite the Civil War. Seward specifically and adamantly wanted Booth alive for questioning to determione if that was true.

themightypuck said...

Anyone remember D'Angelo Barksdale from The Wire?

Fred4Pres said...

Meanwhile in nearby Illinois, the Komisars are coming for you.

Message to people: Do not question our authority!

Not exactly a seated lynching, more of a bureaucratic nostril rape.

MadisonMan said...

Apparently it was good art because no one can agree what it shows.

Curious George said...

"AA: I'm only asking for consistency within the lefty domain of Madison, Wisconsin.

How hard can that be?"

Hello, you must be new in town. Well, welcome to Madison, WI. Please enjoy your stay...what....really?

traditionalguy said...

Michael...Yes Garrison Keillor is loathsome. When he came to Georgia to do a live show he said that he hated the crowd and that he would never return.

We might be a redneck if we hate Keillor. We are Jeff Foxworthy's home.

But Keillor's show is still funny and very creative.

Calypso Facto said...

You can even be lynched while lying down. Remember the awful story of James Byrd Jr.?

rcocean said...

So Spiderman represents Black people? When did that happen?

Reminds me of the old Cheers joke:

Crowd -Let's hang him in effigy!!
Coach -To Hell with that, lets hang him right here in Boston.

A. Shmendrik said...

Who caught the chair?

garage mahal said...

I'm only asking for consistency within the lefty domain of Madison, Wisconsin.

Of course. Only the lefty domain. We got it.

chickenlittle said...

A. Shmendrik said...
Who caught the chair?

Watch the video I linked at 12:29.

MarkG said...

"So Spiderman represents Black people? When did that happen?"

The quote Ann gave came from the UW "vice-provost for diversity and climate."

No self-respecting Madison lefty is going to argue with the University administration's token black guy.

Palladian said...

Mary Surratt was not seated when the actual execution occurred. From a first-hand account by Judge R.A. Watts:

The four were assisted to ascend the steps leading up to the gallows platform and seated in chairs. Major General Hartranft and staff, in full dress uniform, passed up onto the platform, and the General at once in a low quiet tone read the sentences. While reading, the general's hat was removed and, the sun being excessively hot, the writer of this narrative held an umbrella over him.

The ropes, fastened to a cross beam above, dangled in front of each. The noose was quickly adjusted upon each by a secret service officer and they were required to rise and step forward upon the traps, Mrs. Surratt and Payne upon one, Herold and Atzerodt upon the other. The traps were held in position by heavy braces beneath. Capt. Rath gave a signal, the two braces were knocked from under by a heavy beam swung by two soldiers, and the four simultaneously, dropped to death and eternity.

Trooper York said...

Hey that hanging Black Spiderman wasn't the worst atrocity featuring a black spiderman.

The Crack Emcee should be ashamed of himself.

Triangle Man said...

Althouse, were you genuinely offended by the giant balloon man or are you applying the Alinsky principle of using the left's perceived rules about hanging imagery against it?

Big Mike said...

Palladian is quite right. A description of Mary Surratt's execution is here.

Synova said...

I don't think that it's probable (though I suppose it's possible) that the Prosser balloon was tied around the neck as a statement. Most likely it was tied around the neck because that's the smallest point nearest the top.

I also don't think it really matters too much. Yes, part of this is calling it by the other side's rules. And also part of it is that there is no purpose to a giant Prosser balloon apart from hostility. Arguing if the lynching symbolism is deliberate amounts to splitting hairs. At what point does someone argue that on account of the lynching symbolism being accidental, they were actually complimenting the guy? And does it have to be lynching? How about just choking? It IS interesting that no one (supposedly) noticed the "tied around the neck" and connected it to choking.

In any case, hostility was the purpose for creating the blow-up Prosser in the first place. (How that particularly works, I don't know, since I'm not on the side that is in love with displaying their enemies in effigy, hanged or otherwise.)

Writ Small said...

Althouse, were you genuinely offended by the giant balloon man or are you applying the Alinsky principle of using the left's perceived rules about hanging imagery against it?

She's simply asking the Madison left to be intellectually consistent. If people are going to hold others to a standard, why the hell shouldn't that standard be applied to them?

If you don't hold yourself to the same standard you hold others, you are the definition of a hypocrite.

If you try to weasel out of it on some technicality, then you have to ask yourself why you are so petty and small as to never extend the benefit of the doubt to those you oppose.

It's useful to expose the holier-than-thou, sanctimonious types.

Pat said...

For what it's worth, Venom is not Spider-Man. He is a villain with similar powers, who has often clashed with Spider-Man in the past.

Seerak said...

She's simply asking the Madison left to be intellectually consistent.

They *are* intellectually consistent. They just appear inconsistent to those who insist on ascribing to the Left certain viewpoints which are actually incompatible with it... such as anti-racism.

Try it. View the Left on the assumption that their goal is government power for its own sake, and everything they do and have done for over a hundred years stands starkly revealed as remarkably consistent.

sarge said...

sarge here sarge calls bullshit-ronald mcdonald wuz hung sittin down too-http://www.snopes.com/photos/odd/ronald.asp

CableGuy said...

Whether it was meant to symbolize a hanging/lynching or not, generally speaking, making an effigy of someone doesn't indicate positive feelings.

More terrifying is that, on the flimsiest of evidence, these protestors have already condemned a (presumed) innocent man. Does anyone know how the 2 investigations into that alleged assault are going?

There have been no negative leaks against Prosser, so I assume that they are not finding anything criminal, but does anyone know specifics?

Triangle Man said...

If you don't hold yourself to the same standard you hold others, you are the definition of a hypocrite.

Yes, this is true for individuals, but it makes little sense to apply this standard to ill-defined groups of people linked by their supposed position on the political spectrum. The same holds true for attempts to apply standards of individual behavior to "the right". Now, if you catch a particular person in a brazen act of hypocrisy, then string 'em up (metaphorically speaking).

ken in sc said...

Keillor is actually on PRI, Public Radio International, not NPR. Its international because it also airs in Canada.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think that it's probable (though I suppose it's possible) that the Prosser balloon was tied around the neck as a statement. Most likely it was tied around the neck because that's the smallest point nearest the top."

Sure, but the same was true of the Spiderman/Venom thing. The point in that incident was that regardless of what the doll-displayers thought they were doing, the perception of the viewers counted, and it was "incredibly serious and egregious" for them not to realize that. The Spiderman doll-owners were powerfullly shamed *just last month.*

The anti-Prosser ralliers were even talking about *choking,* so they were neck-focused... and yet they still did not see.

Ben G. said...

General Hartranft was the Military Governor of DC just after the Civil War. As such, he was responsible for the execution. He also was a souvenir hound, and kept a foot long section of each rope used for the hangings, with the appropriate name on each, written on one of his business cards, tied with a red silk ribbon. He also kept the signed order issued for carrying out the sentences. I mounted these for an exhibit years ago, they are still held by his descendants. Plus, Garrison Keillor, a humourless punk, was my college commencement speaker.

McGehee said...

The thing that makes lynching imagery lynching imagery isn't the posture of the effigy.

It's the noose.

Ask anyone who's ever been made uncomfortable at the sight of an empty noose displayed in a public place -- especially in, say, the South.

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