Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Importance of Art

A few years ago, Caltrans began a program of attaching cast concrete objects d'art on the sound walls alongside the freeway shoulders in urban areas. These squares were often colored depictions of flowers or sea life. At the time, a relatively small number of spending watchdogs questioned the expenditure in letters to editors, but Caltrans whipped out excuses 1 though 23 why the art was relatively inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. There was further blather about stress reduction for commuters, and even a redution of accidents caused by boredom.

Fact is, while dodging cell phone addicts and high speed map readers, not to mention newspaper readers, one hardly has time to notice the art plaques on the sound walls. I haven't cared enough to research what Caltrans pays for these useless subsidies for hack artists, but knowing the state of Califorina, they didn't get them from the WalMart sale bins.

Sunday past, Debbie and I were motoring up to "The Belly of the Beast," aka Los Angeles, in the Great White Whale and what did we see on the sound walls alongside the northbound San Gabriel Freeway but a long series of these relatively tasteless rectangles of deliberately generic-looking flowers. The continuing interest in the positive aesthetic effects of these representations of no kind of flowers on this earth or any other, is to be noted in the fact that they'd also planted very thick and clingy vines below these walls. The vines were well on the way to fully covering the concrete flowers.

O! Woe!

I'm gonna miss those flower plaques, and all the money deducted from my paycheck represented thereby.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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