Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Yes, Even Our National Monuments are Made in China
So, Bottle brought this story to our attention yesterday, while the rest of PTU were busy blabbering on about the latest happenings in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad. Apparently, there's a bit of a controversy surrounding this MLK memorial statue, chiefly due to the fact that the sculptor is a Chinaman and he has previously created huge, imposing statues of Mao. I think this is all much ado about nothing, but I suppose I could understand some people's beef with this.
I haven't heard Fox News company line on this, but I assume that a number of their personalities have taken issue with it; it seems like a certain brand of conservative's worst nightmare, the socialist black president that erects a giant, scary statue built by a Chinese communist. Coupled with the already existing anxiety over Chinese domination of our country and he might as well have added some paper mache raped white women at his feet. I don't share this criticism, though, since I think an artist's past shouldn't really have anything to do with what he does in the present. Even if this guy is a Commie, big deal. Aside from a murderer or child molester, I don't really care what the background is of the artist who creates national monuments. Aesthetically, though, I'm not too sure about the statue. Lei Yixin has, in the past, built immense, scary communist statues, and this MLK comes off as a little scary and communisty for sure. MLK is a symbol of peace and racial harmony yet his facial expression and folded arms make him look more like a humorless dictator. Or Tatsu from Ninja Turtles (Ninja, vanish!). Either way, frightening.
Still, despite the creepy look of the statue, and the somewhat questionable background of the sculptor, I don't have an issue with this. It's great that they're building a monument to MLK and how it gets there is besides the point. As Hater J pointed out, there's a big statue in New York that's kind of a symbol of America and all that which was built by a Frenchman. Imagine that. A stinking croissant eating frog built lady liberty. Besides, your sneakers, tv, even the computer or phone you're reading this on was probably made in Asia, so if you have a problem with the Chinese making our national monuments, get over it and be a little tolerant for once. Dr. King would have wanted it that way. But he might have asked for a touch up on his lips.