Is it art, or glorified hardware? | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 6/17/21

Again with the short items:

— Where should the city spend some of its $3.15 million relief money? One idea might be to move that ridiculous giant silver sculpture nut at Pope Marine Park up …

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Is it art, or glorified hardware? | Mann Overboard


Again with the short items:

— Where should the city spend some of its $3.15 million relief money? One idea might be to move that ridiculous giant silver sculpture nut at Pope Marine Park up to the local hardware store, where it would fit in. Right now it’s basically a glorified playground climbing structure, hardly art.

What’s next — a giant Allen wrench? It calls to mind a classic headline after a mental patient escaped and rendezvoused with his inamorata: “Nut Bolts and Screws.”

— I doubt, though, that any newspaper headline can ever top the New York Post classic: “Head Found in Topless Bar.” The Onion’s “Balsamic Terrorists Bomb Hidden Valley Ranch” is a close second.

— Speaking of hardware, a new ad for PA general store Swain’s features “Cliff Swain’s Famous Quotes.” Among them: “Everything From Soup to Nuts”; “If You Don’t Buy It From Swain’s You Don’t Save Money and We Don’t Make Money”; and “Prices Are Born Here and Raised Elsewhere.” I remember when Swain’s left PT and the Merc replaced it. BTW, thanks to the Mercantile clerk who booted a guy recently who refused to wear a mask. Radio’s funny Stephanie Miller refers to these sad clowns as “Covidiots” and “Maskholes.”

— Still stranded aground: I share your pain, fellow dryland swimmers. The local pool’s been closed for three very long weeks but, hopefully, it will be open again when this appears. Equipment failure. Argh.  Water, water everywhere but...

— This former sports writer isn’t prone to watching sports on TV now, but I do make an exception for hockey’s Stanley Cup playoffs. My beloved Montreal Canadiens are in the semifinals in pro sports’ longest and most grueling event this week. (Can you imagine NFL teams playing three games a week?). Fortunately, I have PT’s John Hayes, a longtime San Jose Sharks fan and possibly this area’s most knowledgeable hockey fan, to watch with. As a young Montreal sportswriter, I once got to live a Canadian dream — covering, and riding in — a Stanley Cup parade. Vas-y, Les Habs!

— Classic, mordant line in the Toronto Star after the city’s Maple Leafs, favored to win, lost in the Stanley Cup playoffs to Montreal: “Invite the Leafs to your funeral so they can let you down one last time.”

— Please join us and donate to our local Humane Society. A fine felicitous facility (how’s THAT for alliteration?) and staff. When our 25-year-old kitty Rascal (possibly PT’S oldest feline) died recently, we found an amazing, charming replacement there soon after. The Dude (I named him) is no longer a stray.

— Further openings: Costco is again giving out samples! More of those prepackaged mini tacos! I also like the ingenious hot dog kiosk (sounds almost Parisian) in the front of Sequim’s impulse-buy emporium. I like their dogs, too. PJ O’Rourke, in his funny book “Holidays From Hell,” has an interesting take. After listing the cringe-worthy and unmentionable body parts that go into many U.S. hot dogs, O’Rourke, writing about Warsaw, says, “The difference in Polish hot dogs and ours is that in Poland, you can actually taste these things.”  Ee-yew. I do miss Costco’s Americanized, discontinued Polish dogs, however.

— You want dark skies like those proposed here? Good idea. Check out Tucson, which has had this regulation for years. Nice place, but ... oh, the oppressive temps. (Arizona’s license plates, the joke goes, say “But It’s a Dry Heat.”) Quite a climatic transition for Susan Hargleroad and John Earl, who moved to Tucson from PT a while back. It was 102 there a few days last week. There is no shortage of people in PT (me among them) who complain when it gets above 70.

— Quite a big story in The New York Times (with photos by a Pulitzer Prize-winner) last week about Protection Island’s sole resident, Marty Bluewater. Alas, this will doubtless call unwelcome attention to the bird refuge.

— The Washington Post runs an annual contest asking readers for clever new definitions of words. One winning entry involved “oysters.” New meaning: “A group of Jewish women.”

(PT humorist Bill Mann is a schnorrer when it comes to gags.


5 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Ed S.

Thanks for spotlighting those classic headlines, Bill. Back in the days of Linotype machines, composing rooms would have fun by injecting purposely misspelled words into a story. The printers would always blame it on accidental typos. My favorite appeared in a New York Daily News article on a divorce, referring to a man’s “common lay wife.”

Thursday, June 17
Louise Mehlman

Sadly you don't seem to possess the dignity with which to show any sort of respect for art or artists in your presence. For our city to have purchased a piece by Gerard Tsutakawa is one of the few things we actually deserve any accolades for.

Perhaps you should look into his work, and his years as an apprentice with his father. Learn a thing or two about his father. I don't know why this newspaper continues to print your willfully ignorant drivel.

Friday, June 18
Marjorie B.


Sorry but I agree with Bill. That "sculture nut" art piece is just embarassing. No imagination or creativity was put into that boring hunk of metal.

I'm just not from the school of we must revere some guy because he has supposedly built up a name as an "artist." Sometimes the Emporer has no clothes and everyone is just afraid to say it-well, not everyone.- IT'S DUMB.

Why should I care about the guy's father? He might have an interesting story, but he didnt spit out this thing.

Thursday, June 24
Brian McLoughlin

Ya, stupid sculptor! And he is not alone; just look a the stuff Henry Moore did; just big blobs of bronze! And don't get me started on Picasso; his stuff didn't even look like people. Now dogs playing poker, or velvet Elvis, that's art I can relate to.

Friday, June 25
Juana Bjurnen-Hale

Just have to add a comment on the art topic about the piece at the shrunken Visitor's Center that commemorates the tragic 1895 explosion at the Port Townsend Bicycle Sprocket Factory.

Oh, I'm sorry, that never happened? Sure is what it looks like. Also noteworthy is that the way it was chosen to be displayed causes drivers to have their head cranked at 90 degrees to see the full effect.

The primary achievement of this art placement is, besides a driving distraction, is to reduce available parking there, which were rare pull-thru spaces essential to RVs and trailer-pulling vehicles. Now a huge amount of perfectly useless weed-trimmed hardscape has been added there for some reason, and all for only $600,000 dollars! A series of bad decisions heralding the entry to town.

The art piece would make a great rack for drying the homeless populations' sleeping bags. Perfect since Kah Tai Park seems to be the new camping destination for fairgrounds refugees.

I am aware that the art piece has a very moving backstory, like they all do, but because of the crazy decision made on how to display it, there is no way for drivers and passengers cruising by at 30 or 40 MPH to know that backstory at all. In fact, even on foot there is no info about it. Missed opportunity.

Monday, July 5