Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crime of the Century (Art for Art's Sake Division)

   Two males, both seventeen, were stopped by Parsippany, N.J. police Thursday at about 11:30pm EST on the front lawn of the Parsippany High School, where the young men, using their shoe soles, were outlining, in the snow, the image of a 25-foot penis. 
    (This photo does not show the young men's art piece. It shows an effort created by students at the the University of Cincinnati football stadium. It is included here for illustrative purposes, you see.)
   According to the New Jersey Local News Service, Officer Steven Miller (no relation to the aged rock musician or the beer) saw the teenagers creating the snowbound phallus and "caught them soon after they left the school in a vehicle." 
   The NJLNS further reports that one of the artists was made to "erase the imagery as Parsippany Police Officer Robert Appel stood by." 
   This, of course, is an outrage. In an era when funding for public art has all but dried up, these young men were performing a noble civic duty. 
   That authorities saw differently, however, is not altogether shocking. As a rule, police tend to lean toward the anti-snow-penis. 
   In 2005, police in New Windsor, New York (pop. roughly 23,000), used shovels to demolish a six-foot snow penis erected (sorry) by Jessica Sherer, nineteen, on the lawn of her boyfriend's house. 
   There is no recorded indication whether the statue was, indeed, of her boyfriend's penis. If so, and if it was to scale, he obviously received a gift from the gods, as evidenced here: 
   But, because the world is populated with boors, not everyone saw it that way. 
   "We got some calls that people thought it was offensive," New Windsor police Chief Michael Biasotti told the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record (a newspaper so nice they had to name it thrice). 
   Biasotti did not elaborate on what anyone could possibly find offensive about an artistic rendering of the male penis, the absolute perfection of which is the strongest possible argument for the existence of a God Almighty. 
   What is known is that police, finding no one home, took it upon themselves to shovel-pummel Sherer's snow penis senseless. (The first photo below shows the result.) Was this reaction reasonable or extreme? New Windsor Town Supervisor George Meyers sounded mixed. 
   "We probably weren't 100 percent correct in going on the property and knocking it down," he told the Hudson Valley newspaper of (times) record (herald). "But our intentions were pure. Some people were offended. There are school buses going by there every day."
   Perhaps Meyers was anticipating the possibility that, seeing the snow penis, a school bus driver might laugh so hard that he or she would inadvertently drive the vehicle into a tree. Or, alternately, that forty school kids spotting the snow penis might cause such a ruckus - laughing, screaming, throwing things, etc. - that the non-plussed driver would inadvertently drive the vehicle into a tree. Either way, at least they'd all die laughing, and their last visual on earth would be a snow penis. One is hard-pressed to think of a better final vision.
   For his part, Biasotti, the police chief, expressed concern that, snow-penis-wise, a copycat effect might manifest. 
   "Now we're going to get snow penises popping up all over town," he told the Hudson Valley newspaper. 
   One dasn't touch that one with a ten-inch pole. 
   Sherer, the snow artist, vowed to rebuild a day or so after the contretemps. Whether she did so or not is a mystery left to the ages; there is no followup in the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record-Trumpet-Chronicle-Post-Examiner-Daily-News

Above: The damage done by New Windsor, NY, police to Sherer's work.
Below: More snow penises. They suggest that snow-penis erection - apologies - has become a national past-time on a par with baseball, apple pie, and breast enhancement surgery. Would that we had known that before the Winter Olympics rolled around.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Sorry I'm late. I was thinking of giant penises on football fields just last night.