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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2007 / 5 Tishrei 5768

Does public art make sense?

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Like many members of the uncultured, Cheez-It-consuming public, I am not good at grasping modern art. I'm the type of person who will stand in front of a certified modern masterpiece painting that looks, to the layperson, like a big black square, and quietly think: "Maybe the actual painting is on the other side." I especially have a problem with modernistic sculptures, the kind where you, the layperson, cannot be sure whether you're looking at a work of art or a crashed alien spacecraft. My definition of a good sculpture is "a sculpture that looks at least vaguely like something."


I bring this topic up because of an interesting incident that occurred recently in Miami. When people ask me, "Dave, why do you choose voluntarily to live in Miami?" I answer, "Because interesting incidents are always occurring here." For example, just recently (digression alert) federal agents here arrested two men on charges of attempting to illegally sell weapons.


"Big deal!" you'are saying. "Federal agents in many cities regularly arrest people for illegally selling weapons!"


Right. But these were nuclear weapons. I swear I am not making this up. The two suspects are Lithuanian nationals; they were allegedly working on a deal to sell undercover agents some Russian-made tactical nuclear weapons.


Call me a Nervous Nellie, but I am concerned about the sale of nuclear arms in my general neighborhood. I say this because of the popular Miami tradition, which I am also not making up, of celebrating festive occasions by discharging weapons into the air. I am picturing a scenario wherein some Miami guy chugs one too many bottles of wine at his New Year's party, and when the clock strikes midnight, he staggers over to the closet where he keeps his tactical nuclear weapon-which he told his wife he was buying strictly for personal protection-and he says to himself, "I wonder how that baby would sound!"


But my point (end of digression alert) is that Miami tends to have these interesting incidents, and one of them occurred a little while ago when Dade County purchased an office building from the City of Miami. The problem was that, squatting in an area that the county wanted to convert into office space, there was a large ugly wad of metal, set into the concrete. So the county sent construction workers with heavy equipment to rip out the wad, which was then going to be destroyed.


But guess what? Correct! It turns out that this was not an ugly wad. It was art! Specifically, it was Public Art, defined as "art that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money." The money, of course, comes from the taxpayers, who are not allowed to spend this money themselves because 1) they probably wouldn't buy art, and 2) if they did, there is no way they would buy the crashed-spaceship style of art that the experts usually select for them.


The Miami wad is in fact a sculpture by the famous Italian sculptor Pomodoro. (Like most famous artists, he is not referred to by his first name, although I like to think it's "Bud.") This sculpture cost the taxpayers $80,000, which makes it an important work of art. In dollar terms, it is 3,200 times as important as a painting of dogs playing poker, and more than 5,000 times as important as a velveteen Elvis.


Fortunately, before the sculpture was destroyed, the error was discovered, and the Pomodoro was moved to another city office building, where it sits next to the parking garage, providing great pleasure to the many taxpayers who come to admire it.


I am kidding, of course. On the day I went to see it, the sculpture was, like so many pieces of modern taxpayer-purchased public art, being totally ignored by the actual taxpaying public, possibly because it looks-and I say this with all due artistic respect for Bud-like an abandoned air compressor.


So here's what I think: I think there should be a law requiring that all public art be marked with a large sign stating something like: "Notice! This is a piece of art! The public should enjoy it the tune of 80,000 clams!"


Also, if there happens to be an abandoned air compressor nearby, it should have a sign that says: "Notice! This is not art!" so the public does not waste time enjoying the wrong thing. The public should enjoy what the experts have decided the public should enjoy. That's the system we use in this country, and we're going to stick with it. At least until the public acquires missiles.

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Previously:

Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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