Friday, January 14, 2005

Down the street are two forbidding-looking Chinese warrior statues. They've achieved local fame because it's become a common sight to see at least one of them headless. Apparently someone, probably under cover of darkness, is bashing them off and making off with the mock-terra cotta remains. This has been going on for months, and as far as I'm aware no one's been implicated.

I find the statues' plight kind of funny, actually. What's disturbing is that when a maimed statue can't be immediately outfitted with a new head because of weather conditions, whoever's in charge of Plaza outdoor sculpture wraps the "corpse" in a tight protective shroud.

Why "disturbing"? Because there's a pronounced and eerie similarity to that iconic Abu Ghraib prison photo showing the hooded guy hooked up to electrical wires. The statues even stand on little concrete boxes not unlike the crate featured in the photo.

As I write, both of the statues -- once belligerent and defiant -- are wrapped, mummy-like, in rain-resistant shrouds. And they look miserable. Walking past them, it's not too hard to imagine they're real humans waiting out some hideous punishment imposed by grinning bad-ass Marines. They make me feel inexplicably guilty.

On a more positive note, they provide the perfect location to have my picture taken doing a "Lynndie." (If you don't know what a Lynndie is, you might find this site edifying.) What's more, I found a mini digital camera -- complete with USB cable -- going for a mere $30 at a drug-store this morning, so hopefully I can commence photo-blogging sooner than expected.

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