October 18, 2016

Gender equality: Naked statue division.

In August, we saw the naked Trump statue set up in Union Square in NYC, and today we get the naked Hillary statue at the Bowling Green subway entrance in downtown Manhattan.
Video... shows [Nancy, an employee at the nearby National Museum of the American Indian] struggling with the artist who erected the statue, who identified himself as 27-year-old Anthony Scioli, as he tried to prop the structure back up. At one point during the tussle, the woman sits down on the statue to prevent Scioli from picking it back up.
Free speech. It's got to work both ways. Either impromptu sidewalk statues are okay or they are not.

Here's what I said back in August:

"For most of the last year, we have seen endless hand-wringing in the news media about how crude Donald Trump is. But it seems obvious to me that it is Trump’s enemies, far more than Trump, who have gone into the gutter and, to a degree that may be unprecedented, coarsened our political life," writes John Hinderaker at Power Line, on the occasion of that naked Donald Trump statues that stood in 5 American cities yesterday. "When it comes to crude, beyond the pale attacks, Donald Trump is far more often the victim than the aggressor," Hinderaker concludes.

I agree that there is more crudeness in the attacks on Trump than coming from Trump himself. However:

1. Parallelism seems to demand that we compare what Trump himself says to what the another candidate says. If we want to look at what people other than candidates are saying about Trump, we should compare it not just to what Trump says, but to what his supporters say and to what everyone who hates Hillary says — including speech in the form of sculpture and drawings and paintings. There's some pretty crude stuff out there.

2. And shouldn't there be crude attacks on political candidates, in words and in graphic depictions? This is a grand tradition! I celebrate it. I'm thinking of Daumier's Gargantua...



Daumier went to prison for that. And I'm thinking of David Levine's Henry Kissinger:



3. The brutality is already there in politics, so we should have the words and pictures to express it. Here's Frank Zappa saying that on "Crossfire" in 1986:



"[Brutality] is already in politics. I think if you use the so-called strong words, you get your point across faster and you can save a lot of beating around the bush. Why are people afraid of words?" (And note that Donald Trump just yesterday was defending his style of speech as a way to save time: The important thing is to get to the truth and being too careful and polite "takes far too much time.")
And here's the inevitable Dylan quote, which I'm not quoting for the first time and not quoting just because Dylan won that prize. I'm quoting it for its enduring truth and pithy memorability:
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked
ADDED: Speaking of ugly statues at Bowling Green, here's an excerpt from Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton:
At Bowling Green, at the foot of Broadway, they mobbed a gilded equestrian statue of George III, portrayed in Roman garb, that had been erected to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. John Adams had once admired this “beautiful ellipsis of land, railed in with solid iron, in the center of which is a statue of his majesty on horseback, very large, of solid lead, gilded with gold, on a pedestal of marble, very high.” Now, for reasons both symbolic and practical, the crowd pulled George III down from his pedestal, decapitating him in the process. The four thousand pounds of gilded lead was rushed off to Litchfield, Connecticut, where it was melted down to make 42,088 musket bullets. One wit predicted that the king’s soldiers “will probably have melted majesty fired at them.”

58 comments:

Brando said...

Wonderful that everyone gets their free speech rights, but in the end it means we have to see some pretty ugly statues.

It also sort of misses the point. Let's imagine for a minute that Trump and Clinton were the exact same people, except physically they were a fit, handsome man and a fit, attractive woman. Should that change our minds about either of them?

But instead we're hearing about how one has tiny hands and a small penis, and the other is basically all cankles. It's not like we ran out of good reasons to criticize these people.

rhhardin said...

It's legal to go topless in NYC.

Balfegor said...

But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked


Dylan has a Nobel prize and I have not, because even just reading those words, I am sorely tempted to edit them down to:

But even the president of the United States
Must sometimes stand naked


Law has taken the music out of me, and left me fit only for treasons, stratagems and spoils.

SayAahh said...

Fighting in the streets about free speech is a harbinger of much worse to come.
These are, unfortunately, more than 'interesting times'.
Democracy is unraveling.

traditionalguy said...

No wonder Bill has sex elsewhere.

rhhardin said...

Hillary rays might be pretty distressing.

rhhardin said...

Was the woman who was against it a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter, is the question.

Achilles said...

"Democracy is unraveling."

No. Democracy is destroying the Republic.

Like this little female fascist women all over the country are thinking with their twats and voting for an end to the rule of law. Who will suffer most without the rule of law? Not smart.

damikesc said...

Is ANYBODY shocked that a Prog doesn't like critical free speech and will stifle it? Welcome to the next four years, America.

rhhardin said...

Serra's tilted arc didn't fare well either.

NY is a tough audience.

MadisonMan said...

Two comments

officers with the counterterrorism unit

What? How does the planting of a statue fall under their enforcement umbrella, I wonder.

“To put something up like this in front of my work place...I shouldn’t have to see this,” she later told the Daily News, fighting back tears as she gestured toward the crude figure.

Great Art Moves Woman to Tears was the headline that was rejected, I guess.

buwaya puti said...

Good line Balfegor.
Mashup of Shakespeare "treason, stratagems and spoils", Merchant of Venice.

mockturtle said...

Was the Trump statue also described as a "grotesque caricature"? Did its displayers have a permit?

Both statues are well done, IMO. The question, for me, is whether one has the legal right to use public squares to display his/her political art. After all, Nativity scenes are not allowed.

Darrell said...

Seeing Hillary naked brings Huma to tears, too. As a foreign spy, she has to suck it up, though.

Michael K said...

Where do I sign the petition to repeal the 19th Amendment ?

Darrell said...

A Hillary statue could pack enough C4 to take out an entire block of downtown. I can see why a counter-terrorism unit is involved.

Owen said...

Balfegor: nice!

buwaya puti said...

I have thought for years that there should be a place where angry people with a serious enough beef with each other can settle things with violence, such that any acts committed within its boundaries are not subject to prosecution.

A municipal Thunderdome.

Too much festers if not released.

That said, I've always also thought that every city needs its crocodile pit (or alligators, you must use the native animal I guess) for the disposition of political malefactors.

Sebastian said...

"Free speech. It's got to work both ways. Either impromptu sidewalk statues are okay or they are not." A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of unprogressive minds.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

It occurs to me that anyone who runs for public office from now on must certainly be crazy or they wouldn't put themselves and their loved ones through all this.

buwaya puti said...

If political art doesnt belong on a public square, where does it belong?
It seems to me that this is free speech in its most traditional sense, classical, archaic.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MadisonMan said...

What? How does the planting of a statue fall under their enforcement umbrella, I wonder.

1) A lot of people might find the sight of Hillary naked pretty terrifying.
2) We don't actually have a counternausium unit.

Big Mike said...

There's some pretty crude stuff out there.

Like what? Anything at the same level as sending thugs to attack people exercising their first amendment rights to peaceably assemble while the police stand by and do nothing?

MadisonMan said...

@Darrell, true enough. Did the Counter-terrorism Unit respond to the Donald statue?

Gusty Winds said...

...causing a heated fight between defenders of the profane piece of protest art and women trying to tear it down.

That statue is gross. Really gross. I need a safe space, and the good professor might have to start using trigger warnings. Some things you just can't un-see.

Darrell said...

Did the Counter-terrorism Unit respond to the Donald statue?

Sure. To make sure it stayed--unharmed.

Alexander said...

Free speech. It's got to work both ways.

This has not been the ruling opinion for quite some time.

And of course, progressives love to point out that free speech just means that you can't be suppressed by an official organ of government: if a woman sits on a statue, or some guys provoke a riot at a Chicago rally, or they burn your car, or get you fired, or threaten your wife, or have a national news organization humiliate a private citizen...

Well, that's just an appreciation that free speech isn't free of consequences.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

what is gender equality? The idea that men and women are equal or the idea that all genders as social constructs are equal and should overide our natural classification of men and women biologically as men and women.
Beucase gender equality USED to just mean, you can't discriminate against women.

n.n said...

Depictions of female chauvinists provokes a progressive response. Depictions of baby trials will call for an abortion of "free" speech.

Curious George said...

"Susan said...
It occurs to me that anyone who runs for public office from now on must certainly be crazy or they wouldn't put themselves and their loved ones through all this."

Hillary would kill her "loved ones" to be POTUS. Including Chelsea Jr.

Ann Althouse said...

"But even the president of the United States
Must sometimes stand naked"

That changed the meaning (and changed poetry to prose).

If you hear the line delivered in the song, it has a very powerful effect that's very different from the idea that of course everyone is naked sometimes, like when you are bathing. The point is that even the President will be forced to reveal himself.

It's a little rape-y.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Free speech. It's got to work both ways"

That's sweet. Bless your heart.

n.n said...

First came man. Then came woman. Together they were equal and complementary.

The narrative ends here with a role reversal. Man was first to fall, followed by woman tumbling after.

Sean Gleeson said...

The Trump and Hillary statue incidents are similar, but there are notable differences. As I recall, the Naked Trump statues (I remember there were several of them in multiple cities, is that right?) were illegally affixed to the sidewalks, and had to be removed by city workers. The artists glued them down overnight as an act of vandalism. This Topless Hillary (she is not fully naked) statue seems to be on some kind of wheeled hand-cart, and the artist is right there with it. I don't see how he committed any infraction at all.

buwaya puti said...

Controversial statues erected in a city's public square.

This has such a fifth-century B.C. feel to it.
Its as if it were something out of ancient Athens, in something by Aristophanes maybe. A classical allusion to be, on the subject of free speech.

Darrell said...

The Trump statues stayed around until people noticed that it wasn't causing Trump to lose popularity. The Hillary statue was down in minutes. I saw a pic of the Trump statue with cops around it stopping people from harming it. That might have been some place where they got a permit, though.

Sebastian said...

@Balfegor and AA: "But even the president of the United States/ Sometimes must have to stand naked

Dylan has a Nobel prize and I have not, because even just reading those words, I am sorely tempted to edit them down to: . . .

sometimes must stand naked //

That changed the meaning (and changed poetry to prose).

If you hear the line delivered in the song, it has a very powerful effect that's very different from the idea that of course everyone is naked sometimes, like when you are bathing. The point is that even the President will be forced to reveal himself."

Changing "must have to" to "must" changes poetry to prose? Depends on what the meaning of poetry is. Maybe poetry as enjoyed by people who don't like poetry.

"If you hear the line delivered in the song, it has a very powerful effect" De gustibus etc. But the delivery in the version I found on YouTube was flat, nasal, and quite monotone. Of course, that has an effect in its own right, but "powerful" is not the word that comes to mind.

If "must have to" is essential in the line quoted why does a simple "must" suffice in a later line: "For them that think death's honesty/Won't fall upon them naturally/Life sometimes must get lonely"?

Other lines in the song also puzzle me. "But I mean no harm nor put fault/On anyone living in a vault" More poetry?

But I got Christopher Ricks on my reading list. Maybe he can explain it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It's a little rape-y.

Did that word formerly have some meaning? I can't remember.

tcrosse said...

If you set out to piss off the squares, then you shouldn't be too shocked if the squares are, indeed, pissed off. Épater la bourgeoisie and all that.

EMD said...

"It occurs to me that anyone who runs for public office from now on must certainly be crazy or they wouldn't put themselves and their loved ones through all this."

They're called sociopaths.

Ann Althouse said...

"Changing "must have to" to "must" changes poetry to prose?"

Yes, because meter matters.

JWH said...

It's hard enough to look at her fully dressed.

rhhardin said...

The woman is just acting out Hillary feeling dizzy.

Robert Cook said...

I love both statues! Let the people see the grotesque reality of the persons they deify: both swollen, coarse, amoral, mendacious, avaricious leeches!

Titus said...

I love the Trump and Clinton statute. Can we get a combined statute where the Donald statute is fucking the Clinton statute? That would be hot, in a gross way.

Grab em by the pussy.

mtrobertslaw said...

This could have been great art if only the artist had made his statute more abstract. As it is, it is too realistic. It's almost as if Hillary is standing right there in the flesh.

ALP said...

A line from the Monty Python movie is running through my head: "NOW we see the violence inherent in the system...."

Achilles said...

Blogger Titus said...
"I love the Trump and Clinton statute. Can we get a combined statute where the Donald statute is fucking the Clinton statute? That would be hot, in a gross way."

Who's on top? Now that is a debate they need to have on the stern show.

EDH said...

I thought American Indians were supposed to cry when stuff is just thrown in the street, not do it themselves?

chickelit said...

Nudity for he but not for she. Got it.

Titus said...

I think they would both bottom and top-vers is what it is called.

It would be cool if the statutes had fluids coming out of their holes...the sex would seem more real, IMO.

campy said...

Is ANYBODY shocked that a Prog doesn't like critical free speech and will stifle it? Welcome to the next four years rest of your life, America.

Popsucks Thirteen said...

this sculpture seems far more complex than the trump statue yet it's been given far less regard. we dont know much about the base it is standing on. if you look closer it's as tho she's standing on a google map as tho she was a massive godzilla like monster. and the point depicted by the google map arrow is dripping with blood. where is it representing? somewhere along a coast by the looks of it.

i think that the sculpture was given much less regard because her supporters are her supporter for reasons of much less regard. for them it seems like everything is just a challenge to their capasity for intransigence. no amount of reason or logic can change their minds and they'll prove it to you if it's the last thing they do.

i dissagree tho. i think their intransigence can surely be hacked with truth logic and reason even if they're the worst kind of hillary supporter, the heroin addict.

Popsucks Thirteen said...

no way in no hell is a child rapist heroin cartel getting into the whitehouse for a third term

Talking about something and actually doing it are two different things. Everything that Trump may have said, hillbillary has actually done. Why would something trump said over a decade ago be more probative than something hillary actualy did and then lied about? News flash, no one on this earth is an angel. but at least you have the opertunity not to vote for people who're happy to be known as the worlds most famous sinners. hillbillary covering up for pederast heroin dealers makes her a child-rapist human-trafficker and world wide heroin distribution cartel. You're fools. This pederasty motivated heroin cultivation is plain as day for all to see who will but look -

•obama wont legalize weed(Illegal weed is a basic mainstay in any drug dealers tool box. It grows everywhere, You can always find it and you can sell it anywhere to almost anyone. Whenever a dealer is out of anything else, they can always sell some weed. Dealers are who keep it illegal.)
•obama wont guard the border.
•obama arms mexican drug cartels(fast and furious debacle)
•obama threatens our greatest ww2 pacific allies for cleaning up their heroin syndicate problems(philippines)
•We're still in afghanistan and this article is as much as you've ever been told about bacha bazis or his 'free to go' poppy farming.
nytimes.com
•Left wing extremists keep us in afghanistan for the heroin and honey trapped bacha bazi videos. The timetable to leave expired ages ago. ever heard everyone who made the music you listen to was really high? the whole media is heroin addict.(more disgusting than a bowl of maggots)
•Those sleazy uncle fkers have the gall to call us deplorable? tell them to just Stop their projection.
washingtonsblog.com

This afghan pederast stuff is high velocity political ammo just waiting on a shelf. It's a real life horror story coming for everyone's soul who neglects to oppose and decry dixiecrat honey trapping pederasty. They and their hillbillary campaign, are done for.

hillbillary supporters are a damned child-rapist heroin-cartel.
nytimes.com
toysoldier.wordpress.com "in-plain-sight-the-rape-of-afghans-boys"
washingtonsblog.com
cnn.com

Popsucks Thirteen said...


Our foreign policy cannot be seen supporting the practise or those who abide/participate-in: honey-trapping and castrating bacha-bazi rape slaves, or bacha-bazi connected heroin production/distribution.

Vote for trump because he's competent enough not to appoint a Secretary of State who can't even fathom how to use a desktop computer. Where as hillary.....

Why vote for an incompetent who either 'is' or routinely 'plays' stupid? Because of the soft bigotry of low expectations for her because she's a woman? hillary supporters are bigots.

Who would deprive their own daughters of the chance to be the first woman president by voting for a
honey trap hillbillary?


She can't even manage to use a desktop computer and she thinks she's qualified to be president. This is the definition of Dunning-Kruger effect.

Team hillbillary keeps trying to take our civil rights as hostages. Politicians like that need to have their careers removed and burned.

hillbillary has never taken responsibility for anything in her life. She'll say one thing about her e-mail scandal to the debate moderator and then something completely different to her competitor still using the same breath. Yeah like were not going to notice she's so used to lying and never being caught that she couldn't even help herself long enough to make it to the next sentence without lying. Pathetic. What makes you think she'll be responsible to any of you as your president?

Why does the same thing keep happening?

vietnam had frank lucas
Frank_Lucas_(drug_dealer)
afghanistan has obama
obama-gives-green-light-heroin-epidemic

google "who made vietnam take so damn long"
google "frank lucas shipping dope to sell to bob weir"

google "who made us stay in afghanistan so long"
google "hillbillary shipping dope to sell to bob weir"

google "how long till isis figures out they need to hit bob weir"
Breaking News - "isis is looking for bob weir in orlando night clubs."

Field of Dreams, said it best

btw, i'm a lifelong atheist. any religious statements are present just for lack of equivalent secular condemnation phraseology.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Achilles said: Democracy is destroying the Republic.

yes. well said.