Friday, March 26, 2004

Giant Statues in the American Heartland 

Ok, way off topic here, but I had to let people know about this.

My hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma has been chosen as the site of a new, privately funded, enormous statue, potentially the largest free-standing bronze statue in the world, reports the Tulsa World:
"The American" would be a landmark for the heartland, symbolizing endurance and triumph over challenges that Americans have and continue to face... The 17-story bronze will have a four-story limestone-concrete base, bringing its total height to 21 stories. It will be built to withstand an F3 tornado...

The sculpture depicts a young American Indian warrior with his hair being blown across his face. His right arm is raised as a bald eagle, wings spread, lands on his shroud-covered forearm.

Visitors will be able to ride an elevator to a platform in the midsection, where plasma television screens will project a 360-degree view from outside. From there, visitors can ride to an observation area in the head.

Looking at some Photoshopped pictures intended to show the statue in context, one is awestruck.

"Wow!" one finds oneself saying, "that's, uh... well... it's very big." One also finds oneself thinking, "at least it's privately-funded."

But it turns out, as far as proposals for colossally-oversized statuary in the heartland is concerned, Tulsa is strictly bush-league. I call your attention to this proposal, endorsed by the civic leaders of Lincoln, Illinois, for a 305-foot fiberglass statue of Abraham Lincoln, complete with a "watermelon juice waterfall" and an observation deck inside Honest Abe's stovepipe hat. I beg you to watch the associated PowerPoint presentation (you can get the needed viewer here if you don't already have it, and you may have to use Internet Explorer instead of other browsers), which is without a doubt the best usage of this medium in its history. Just click your mouse to scroll through this inimitable masterpiece.

UPDATE: For those without the time or inclination to view the PowerPoint presentation, a mysterious, apparently Oklahoman-turned-New-Yorker blogger has posted the highlights here.

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