Thursday, 04/23/09 Public Square

large50Maggi Hambling with her sculpture ‘A Conversation with Oscar Wilde’

Prairie P & P’s are interested in hearing from you, no matter what you’d like to say.  Here at the daily Public Square you choose the topic of conversation.



Filed under The Public Square

22 responses to “Thursday, 04/23/09 Public Square

  1. Maggi Hambling’s work is the only public monument to Oscar Wilde in Great Britain. In 1997, Maggi Hambling was commissioned to create a statue to commemorate Oscar Wilde. Situated in Adelaide Street, behind the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, it’s a perfect place for a person to sit, rest, ponder…

    If you want to learn about an interesting and talented, and eccentric woman, study Maggi Hambling.

  2. frigginloon

    Well, well,well, I didn’t know you were into public art, Fnord….wanna see my website on public art???? See the loon has many secrets up the sleeve 🙂

  3. Thanks for that link, Loon, I will be interested in studying it further.

    Here in our fair City of Wichita, Kansas, we actually have quite a lot of public art but it mostly goes unappreciated. One piece by sculptor James Rosati draws the most interest but most of what we hear is negative as those who feel it is the biggest waste of public funds are the most vocal. It was installed on the grounds of our downtown exhibition / convention center called Century II in 1972 and I guess you either appreciate it quietly or complain loudly. The Tripodal —

    Our City has several universities, including Wichita State University which is home to several wonderful pieces, and makes walking the campus a delight! Our botanical gardens house wonderful art. A price must be paid for admission to the gardens so that makes these art pieces less seen and appreciated.

    What would life be without art, music, books? Surely not as worthwhile!

  4. Here is a site I found with several pieces of Wichita’s public art. It’s not complete, even if you do all the clicks (they have art separated into alpha categories), and looking at pictures of sculptures vs being there, leaves something to be desired.

    Loon, I noticed on your site you only have two cities in the U.S. listed. hint, hint…

  5. frigginloon

    Hey thanks Fnord….if you send me some pics I will add to the site. I haven’t got to your neck of the woods yet. When I did Atlanta I emailed the person in charge of public art…he didn’t even know half the statues I had taken. I am usually inundated with sculptors and artists who are grateful I have included them on the site. They are always willing to add a few juicy tidbits…once a loon always a loon!I have been quite neglectful of late on the site…I have thousands of images yet to go up…I usually spend hours on end in libraries trying to get info. Public Art has more scandal, controversy and rumor than TMZ (I swear).

  6. iggydonnelly

    Showing my ignorance here, what is TMZ?

  7. lilacluvr

    TMZ is run by Harvey Levin isn’t it? Wasn’t he the lawyer on People’s Court outside with the people on the street asking their opinions?

  8. frigginloon

    Yes, that’s right lilacluvr….I have to get my TMZ fix everyday. TMZ stands for thirty mile zone…Hollywood’s nickname.

  9. lilacluvr

    I’ve watched it and I must admit, it can be addictive – especially when I was home recuperating from surgery.

    I had only learned what the TMZ meant a few months ago when one of the reporters had mentioned that the celebrity he was reporting on really did know what it meant and he was surprised.

  10. WMac

    oops. I got logged out again.

    Just wanted to let you all know we are still alive here – just busy busy with sick babies and 4 year olds and work… I’ll try to catch up again SOON

  11. Zippy

    Hate to piggyback on the Public Square this late in the day, but check it out: I’ve been waiting to see something like this, though I’m a little surprised at the battle lines coming out.

    This is a preview of what I like to call “the battle for the soul of Obama”:

    In Obama’s Inner Circle, Debate Over Memos’ Release Was Intense
    Some Feared That a Partisan Outcry Could Obstruct Larger Agenda

    One snippet:
    Five CIA directors — including Leon E. Panetta and his four immediate predecessors — and Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser had expressed firm opposition to the release of interrogation details in four “top secret” memos in which Bush administration lawyers sanctioned harsh tactics.

    On the other side of the issue were Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and White House counsel Gregory B. Craig, whose colleagues during the campaign recall him expressing enthusiasm for fixing U.S. detainee policy.

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had said he supported the disclosures because he saw the information’s release as inevitable and because the White House was willing to promise that CIA officers would not be prosecuted for any abuse. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen sided with Gates.

    Well, I’d say “Mr. Republican” Gates earned his place in the adminstration with this one! Thank you, Bob! Come back to Wichita for the Bluegrass Festival, and I’ll buy you a beer!

    But I digress. . .

    As I was noting earlier, I was suprised at the battle lines, since Holder’s Justice Department has been taking some chilling, indistinguishable-from-Bush positions in the appelate courts lately. I wondered at the time whether the entrenched career spook community was in effect pressuring Obama to keep the bodies (in some cases, literally) covered up, to avoid a serious political stink. Though I’m suprised at Leon Panetta’s position (I really thought he would have been friendlier to open disclosure), I get the problem.

    If Obama’s studied history (and he has), he probably knows about what happened when Stansfield Turner took over the agency in the Carter years, and starting firing every who got their hands dirty. The result: a cleaner agency, but also a huge loss of institutional knowledge, and a great deal of fear, mistrust and resentment from the spies who were left.

    So, yeah I get it. But Obama needs to realize the big stink is coming–we can already smell it–and it will happen whether or not he tries to sweep it under the rug.

    At this point, he needs to decide whether he wants to be on the right side of history.

  12. “the battle for the soul of Obama”

    I know how you feel about the civil liberties that were trampled under the bush administration, but I’m not as sure about where you think it best for Obama to be on this tightrope.

    One of our bloggers here who I respect a great deal and is often intuitive said maybe the Obama administration released those memos knowing full well the fire storm they would cause — to deflect attention from the economy. What do you think of this possibility?

  13. Zippy

    One of our bloggers here who I respect a great deal and is often intuitive said maybe the Obama administration released those memos knowing full well the fire storm they would cause — to deflect attention from the economy. What do you think of this possibility?

    I don’t buy it. Everyone knows that the economic recovery is going to be a long, hard slog. The polls show this. I think a more likely scenario would be to deflect attention from the incessant bank bailouts and especially Geithner’s cash-for-trash plan (the more I look at it, the less I like it). That puppy has critics on all sides.

    But no matter what Obama’s motivations, he reached the right decision, for all the reasons the release-them camp gave. And I give him serious credit for it.

    Focusing on the economy in 2009 is a political winner for Obama no matter what happens, and also a political necessity (hence the understandable reluctance to get distracted with Bush-era scandals–or, for that matter, the unauthorized increase in last-minute sadism at Gitmo. . .).

    But as the man said, presidents have to do more than one thing at once. I recognize the irony of invoking that quote when the man has been juggling more plates than a three-ring circus. But I didn’t choose the challenges any more than he did. They simply are.

    And addressing full-on war criminality by the previous administration, while distracting from the current challenges, and infuriating to the Foxbots, is one of those things that simply is. We ignore what happened at our own peril.

  14. Zippy

    P.S. Looks like Obama’s got enough popularity to weather the coming storms.

  15. iggydonnelly

    Interesting points on the Obama struggle. It is difficult for me to see how he will be able to “walk the tightrope” between “these illegal things happened”, but “fugetaboutit” (think Tony Soprano for pronunciation help here). I am not seeing the “” part of Obama’s base being ready to “move on” any time soon.

    I don’t think he can give the left wing of his base a wink and a nod and reasonably expect that will be enough. I suspect that is what he’d like to do.

  16. lilacluvr

    I think Obama is trying not to be the political spark that brings Bush and Cheney down. That would just give the Republicans and the Foxbots more fuel for their sanctimonius fire.

    But Obama has left the door open for prosecution and he has placed that decision into AG Holder’s hands. And isn’t that the place for any prosecution to start – in the Justice Department?

    But in the larger picture, what would it bring Obama to push for prosecution of Bush and Cheney knowing this will tear the country apart? I think Obama is following Lincoln’s footsteps and trying like hell to keep our country in one piece – with or without the help of the Republicans.

    Personally, I would love to see Bush and Cheney get theirs – but at what cost to the rest of us?

  17. lilacluvr

    BTW – I am not saying to give Bush and Cheney a free pass. I am saying let’s bide our time, let Holder build his case and take it from there. Let the chips fall where they may. He will only get one shot at this, so let’s give the man ample time to build the best case possible.

    It sounds like alot of people are willing to come forward and spill their beans. Maybe Bush and Cheney burned alot of bridges during their 8 years of my way or the highway?

  18. Zippy

    lilacluvr, I certainly hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think we–or the Obama folks–have much of a choice.

    Prosecutors (whether domestic or international) have discretion, certainly, to choose what to pursue, and what to let side–to a degree. But torture and murder? Wholesale subversion of the US Constitution? I don’t think so.

    And with great respect to Iggy’s always-thoughtful perspective, I would be disgusted if only the “left” and Move On cared deeply about this. I know there are plenty of civil libertarians (and, no, they aren’t all liberals, contrary to popular belief–some are even self-professed conservatives) are livid about this. And those big L Libertarians who are actually true the first-principles they claim to love have been appalled too, and remain appalled.

    Then there’s the little issue of our international treaty obligations. Yeah, the US can get away with thumbing its nose at the world, for a while. After 8 years, the world is damned tired of it. And when it comes to war crimes, well, maybe that’s a silver lining: though the conservatives will go apeshit (as well as some of the parochial centrists), I suppose it’s possible for the offenders to get called before the World Court without US intervention.

    But what I believe our country must do is, simply, observe the rule of law. I’m not out for blood. As I’ve posted elsewhere, I want–and insist–that Cheney, Yoo et. al. be treated with the most scrupulous and exacting due process. This isn’t just reverence for the Bill or Rights, or just relishing the irony of affording such protections to those who denied all of it to others. It is essential to preserve what’s left of our constitutional system.

    Besides: Scrupulously fair proceedings means no valid grounds for appeal. 🙂

    P.S. As usual, minimal proofreading; your mileage may vary. Sorry. 😉

  19. Zippy

    P.S. I also get what you’re saying about biding his time (sorry if that didn’t sink in on my first post), but I think events may overtake him, and also–I suspect the shredders are working overtime. 😦