Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Of Ice Sculptures and Office Staff

Back in Cambridge now, and I'm still steaming about New Year's Eve — the judges at First Night Boston disqualified my ice sculpture entry, when they got word that I had not hand-chiseled it, but had rather poured water into a prefabricated mold and frozen it overnight.

The requirement of hand-chiseling is nowhere mentioned in the contest rules, and I would never have guessed that my methodology was "unethical" or "problematic." Sure, it takes painstaking effort and precision to whittle away a block of ice into the shape of a dolphin. But my approach was no picnic, either — stripped naked and covered in a skintight heat-resistant body suit, I had to stand stock-still and breathe through a bent cocktail straw for forty-five minutes, until the molten plastic congealed around me to form the mold. And then another twenty minutes passed while PePe and the intern — I'll tell you about her later, Brother/Sister — cut the mold in two so I could be lifted out of it.

So it was that First Night officials took a blowtorch to my life-sized Ice Phutatorius, perfectly posed to display every bulging muscle, every taut sinew and engorged organ — and I was given the explanation that my use of a mold violated the spirit of the rules. Like that would ever stand up in court.

Here's the thing, B/S: this wasn't about Your Beloved Internet Personality cheating in an ice-sculpture contest. This was about censorship. The city wants to sell First Night as a "family" event, which in today's Puritan consciousness means that displays of virility — however tasteful, and whatever their artistic merit — are simply non grata in Copley Square. And PePe tells me he overheard one of the judges decrying what she thought was a "joint" sticking out of my mouth. So I had the anti-cannabis lobby working against me, too, based on their complete mistaking of a cocktail straw for a marijuana cigarette. Honestly.

When I'm the World Hegemon, Brother/Sister, gigantic, anatomically-exaggerated statues of me, cut from marble, will adorn all of America's major cities — not as monuments to my vanity (I know how you think, B/S) but as reminders that my benevolent and progressive-minded regime simply will not tolerate this kind of prudishness.

In the meantime, though, I'm out the $2500 first-prize award I was counting on winning. Which means the intern remains unpaid, despite her considerable skills and qualities, of which I intend to make extensive use in the coming weeks.

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