Monday, December 13, 2004

Ceaselessly Into the Stupid 

After the exultation comes the holiday trip home.

Group says 'Peanuts' statues don't belong in Rice Park
Statues of Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" characters have become a St. Paul tradition, but one group thinks they don't belong in Rice Park.

The Ross Group is an 11-member organization that's been involved in city beautification efforts for the past dozen years. They say bronze statues of Peppermint Patty and Marcie don't fit with the historic character of the park in the middle of downtown St. Paul. In particular, they say the characters clash with the park's statue of St. Paul-born author F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The group says the "Peanuts" statues could jeopardize the park's possible designation as a historic site.

But St. Paul City Councilman Dave Thune says the statues won't get moved. He says Charles Schultz's characters offer a better image for the public to follow than Fitzgerald's notorious bohemian lifestyle.

The trend towards posthumous moral judgment among politicians is a frightening one. Also, does Thune honestly want the public emulating the gang from "Peanuts"? They were angst-ridden neurotics adrift in a meaningless world with both God and parents conspicuously absent! They were little kids who had The Nausea!

Thune perhaps meant "better" as in "more accurate". While the St. Paul bohemians are no longer the force they used to be, that fair city is today, like "Peanuts," notable mostly for poignant ennui and a late-period failure to do produce anything interesting.

(Thune, by the by, is the primary force behind St. Paul's periodically sabotaged attempts at stringently anti-Bohemian smoking restrictions. He is carrying on that glorious St. Paul tradition of strict anti-fun legislation. In doing so, he is more responsible for preserving St. Paul in its historic form than any bunch of park-advocating do-gooders could hope to be.)

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