Some Jesusland Public Art

I was in South Dakota last week and saw this next to the entrance to a large sporting goods/outdoors store, facing a statue of Thomas Jefferson reading something (probably the Bill of Rights). The store sold guns (but not exclusively–probably about 1/8 of the floorspace was the gun shop), and according to this blog, the quotes on most of the statues are wrong.  I also saw a few “embryos are babies, don’t abort them” billboards, as well as a lot of right-to-life bumperstickers.

Here’s the thing about the Jesusification of my home state–it has gotten more conservative, but it’s not all Republicans. The town where I saw this statue (Sioux Falls) probably went 55/45 or even 60/40 for Obama (it’s hard to find numbers that subtract the outlying rural areas). But the Democrats are underground, and the Republicans are all out proclaiming their freaky Gipper love with shit like this. Here’s an open thread.






59 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    I’ve never been a destructive sort of person, but there’s no doubt that, if I would come across a piece of shit statuary like this, I’d be defacing it.

  2. 2
    pragmatism says:

    WALL DRUG?

  3. 3
    Ash Can says:

    The first thing that came to my mind was different ways to creatively deface that statue.

  4. 4
    wvng says:

    Looks more like Roy Rogers to me. And I was wondering why MM would be posting a RR statue pic.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    That just screams “piss on me, deface me, abuse me!!”

  6. 6
    Violet says:

    That’s supposed to be Reagan?

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    Who is that?

  8. 8

    Thomas Jefferson reading something (probably the Bill of Rights Bible)

  9. 9
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    From your last sentence this is a statue of Reagan and not just some creepy pedophile.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    It doesn’t look like Ronald Reagan to me. And what’s worse, most people don’t know him dressed that way. Especially young people.

    ETA: In fact, if there isn’t a name plate, then I would have assumed it was just some local celeb or just a cowboy guy.

  12. 12
    MobiusKlein says:

    There are anti-abortion billboards in (well, near) downtown San Francisco. I don’t mind anti-abortion folks using their words to change people’s minds about abortion.
    Well, as long as they don’t lie about it.

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I thought it was supposed to be famous cowboy hero Dubya Bush.

  14. 14
    Satanicpanic says:

    Didn’t know it was Reagan. Also, don’t think of him as a cowboy, more like a Hollywood type. Shoulda put him in a tux instead of this costume.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    At first I took that to be a statchoo of John Wayne. He’s the Hollywood dude I associate with cowboy flicks.

  16. 16

    The teabagger modus operandi is to take any phrase you like — say, something Ayn Rand wrote — and ascribe it to Thomas Jefferson.

  17. 17

    @Cris (without an H): How big is the thing he’s reading? It’s probably not the whole Bill of Rights, just the Second Amendment.

  18. 18
    cathyx says:

    Judging from everyone’s comments, I think that the city should get its money back. None of us recognize RR in this sculpture.

  19. 19
    Mike Quinlivan says:

    Hello all. I saw those statues (they are a fairly recent addition, outside of a sporting goods store names Scheels). The store fucking sucks. I worked for a small shop close to it that sold comparable items (snowboards, skis, etc), and the people at Scheels don’t know jack shit about anything they are selling. Which, in a perverse sense, tells you all you need to know about why the statue is there. Management doesn’t know shit either, so it is only fitting.
    I can’t speak for Sioux Falls itself, but Minnehaha County did go for Obama by a few thousand votes; I can tell you with certainty this would not be the case anymore. SD Dems were killed in 2010, and are having to fight back tooth and nail. It will be a long fight.
    But yeah….Scheels sucks. In fact, the gun and fishing portion that you mention contain the only knowledgeable people in the whole store.

  20. 20
    rlrr says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Reagan was more of cowboy than W. Reagan wasn’t afraid of horses. The whole cowboy mythos is a bunch of bullshit, anyway (cowboys were often immigrants, native Americans, former slaves, etc.).

  21. 21

    @Amir Khalid: At first I took that to be a statchoo of John Wayne. He’s the Hollywood dude I associate with cowboy flicks.

    @wvng: Looks more like Roy Rogers to me.

    Yippee-kay-ay, mother fucker.

  22. 22
    gbear says:

    The drive from Mpls/St. Paul to Duluth is infested with anti-choice billboards with pictures of cute babies and statements about how the fetus could perform basic mathmatics at four weeks. I’ve always wanted to buy some time on one of those billboards, put up a picture of an adorable baby, and have the message say ‘When I’m sixteen, I’ll realize that I’m gay. Will you still love me then?’ I’d just love to put that message somewhere on that drive into the cities.

  23. 23
    gogol's wife says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Me too. That’s who it actually looks like.

  24. 24
    Mark K says:

    When I see some phony like the fool in this statue wearing a cowboy hat I always like to ask loudly “Hey! What ranch do you work on?”

    George Carlin hated this, too. “Why are these assholes dressed up like a cowboy, a mythic figure? You don’t see me with an eyepatch dressed up like a pirate hobbling around town.”

  25. 25

    @gbear: the fetus could perform basic mathmatics at four weeks

    What exactly do these people mean by “mathematics?”

  26. 26
    gbear says:

    @Cris (without an H): I was snarking.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    David Koch says:

    that statue isn’t so bad.

    after all, pigeons need a place to shit.

  29. 29
    David Koch says:

    @wvng:

    Looks more like Roy Rogers to me.

    They stuffed Roy Rogers’ trusty sidekick Trigger, so maybe they’ll stuff Reagan’s trusty sidekick Nancy.

  30. 30
    Ash Can says:

    @David Koch: I am so going to burn in hell for laughing at that, although it was more the other way around, with Ronnie being Nancy’s sidekick.

  31. 31

    Reminds me of my pappy, a charter member of the Reagan Love Society. He had on one wall of his real estate brokers office, a huge pic of Ronnie sitting in the oval office. And huge like one entire wall about 20 feet wide. I used to raz him with “pops” ‘think that poster is big enough’/ He’d give me that sad that my son is communist look, and just say, ran outta wall.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    C-SPAN’s Washington had a call-in about the best President last week. Most of the calls went FDR and LBJ. Some went to President Carter, Kennedy and one or two mentioned Clinton.

    A couple mentioned Reagan.

    What struck me is no one mentioned Nixon, Ford, Bush, Sr. or Bush, Jr. as Republican Presidents they admire.

    That’s 20 years of the Presidency occupied by Republicans that was either forgettable, at best, or actually harmful to the country.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @David Koch:

    Sometimes, I just love you. This is one of those times.

  34. 34
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I looked into the statue’s eyes and saw The Abyss.

  35. 35
    Seanly says:

    I thought it was a statue of Dubya. He was just as an authentic cowboy as Raygun. I guess I should’ve known by the lack of cleared brush in his hands that it wasn’t…

    The pose reminds me of the MST3k were they make fun of the horrible blocking in one of the movies. Scene after scene had characters resting one arm on an elevated knee. Maybe Gila monster or something…

  36. 36
    LanceThruster says:

    Oh, to be a pigeon in Sioux Falls.

  37. 37
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    SD’s Dems include those on the reservations; the Goopers gave their “voter fraud” bullshit a trial run up there, because they don’t trust the injuns.

  38. 38
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I thought that was W. at first!

    Hm. I see Seanly beat me to it. So, generic Republican president, for the loss.

  39. 39

    @gogol’s wife:

    I think it is supposed to be W. There is even a “W” on the belt buckle.

  40. 40
    Kathy says:

    Another South Dakotan here. The urban areas lean dem but that’s not enough to offset the rural. I don’t think SD has ever gone to a Democratic presidential candidate. Maybe FDR.

  41. 41
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    I drove through the Boise area on I-84 once, and some of the billboards along there were, uh, interesting.

  42. 42

    Paintball! Right in the balls…

    (BTW, Jefferson should be reading the Declaration of Independence.)

  43. 43

    @Kathy:

    Another South Dakotan here. The urban areas lean dem but that’s not enough to offset the rural. I don’t think SD has ever gone to a Democratic presidential candidate. Maybe FDR.

    Unfortunately, only for favorite son George McGovern in Senate elections, not in the 1972 Presidential…

  44. 44
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @The Other Bob: There’s another picture of it here, and it is accompanied by a plaque with quotes from Reagan.

    ETA: Reagan’s middle name was Wilson.

  45. 45
    Rome Again says:

    But the Democrats are underground, and the Republicans are all out proclaiming their freaky Gipper love with shit like this.

    You mean to tell me there are still places out there where this doesn’t happen? I’m surprised.

  46. 46
    LanceThruster says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Probably just a belt made by the jeans mfr “Wrangler.”

  47. 47
    maya says:

    As they say, South Dakota is where North Dakota vacations.

    Reagan chopped wood with an ax, Bush cut brush with an 8″ chainsaw. Wonder what the next repo president will have to do with wood? If it’s Romney, probably suck toothpicks with his finely capped teeth.

  48. 48
    daveX99 says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    “Yo, Taylor. I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”
    -THOMAS JEFFERSON

    Wow! It works!

  49. 49
    gVOR08 says:

    What, no six gun on the Gipper statue? Wusses.

  50. 50
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @gene108:

    C-SPAN’s Washington had a call-in about the best President last week. Most of the calls went FDR and LBJ. Some went to President Carter, Kennedy and one or two mentioned Clinton.

    A couple mentioned Reagan.

    What struck me is no one mentioned Nixon, Ford, Bush, Sr. or Bush, Jr. as Republican Presidents they admire.

    That’s 20 years of the Presidency occupied by Republicans that was either forgettable, at best, or actually harmful to the country.

    Reagan was the last, great racist president. Bush I and II used racism in the primary but didn’t go ga-ga for racism while in office. (Bush II, especially. Unless there’s such a thing as being racist against competence.) Reagan was racist in the primary AND in office. Imagine, a president who keeps his campaign promises! White people like my deceased OK grandmother bent over and spread ’em (granny lost SS benefits as a widow right when my uncle was in college) because blah people were getting raped worse.

    Before Rayguns I would have to say the most racist presidency was Woodrow Wilson.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if those people that called in “Reagan” also harbor great love for Tom Tancredo.

  51. 51
    Lee Hartmann says:

    I thought that was Will Rogers. Shows what I know.

  52. 52
    Bob Munck says:

    I’m from Hot Springs myself. The statues are bigger out in the Black Hills, but at least they’re of better people.

    There have been calls to put Reagan on Rushmore. Unfortunately, it turns out there isn’t enough solid granite available to do an accurate representation of his head. Possibly they could use the other end of the mountain Crazy Horse is being carved out of.

  53. 53
    lawyers says:

    I think this is the second year the Meso Foundation has spearheaded the Today Show awareness effort.

  54. 54
    Mike G says:

    @cathyx:

    I think that the city should get its money back. None of us recognize RR in this sculpture.

    Nobody who remembers Ronald Reagan’s presidency can recognize the hagiographic distorted caricature of him the wingnuts worship today, but that has never stopped them.

    Reagan excelled at providing a hollow image upon which wingnuts could project their fevered authoritarian-follower dreams.

  55. 55
    Bonedaddy says:

    This creep-hood out-Herods Herod

  56. 56
    Watusie says:

    I love South Dakota. No state or corporate income tax. A wingnut’s ideal state. But yet it ranks 45th in population. And probably just 48th or 49th in population density. Which goes to prove that few wingnuts are willing to move to their idea of paradise.

  57. 57
    Bill Murray says:

    @Bob Munck: There is a statue of Reagan in Rapid City’s downtown. It is at least recognizable as Reagan, although another cowboy Reagan. IIRC, the sculptor is a bit of a wingnut

  58. 58
    Bill Murray says:

    @Kathy: the urban areas east river maybe, but west river, outside the reservations, is heavily Republican

  59. 59
    Bill Murray says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: but they did lose that trial

Comments are closed.