Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
They've put up a statue of Rush Limbaugh in the state Capitol in Missouri. This is the kind of weasel they admire in Missouri any more. Used to be Mark Twain, Harry Truman, Stan Musial, Walt Disney. But standards have slipped everywhere in Century 21. Even standards for free-range radio blowhards, this Limbaugh being a lame knockoff of Garner Ted Armstrong before the Devil got his talons into the late mellifluous host of The World Tomorrow.
Anyway, I've been thinking about this, and can't see why Arkansas should take a back seat to Missouri in putting up statues in our Capitol to obnoxious, offensive, hateful, bilious, ridiculous, crazy people. It's not like we have a shortage of such people. We have loons and knaves by the scad. By the boocoo. Past and present. Ours might not be as vile, as gross, as much a stench in the nostrils of all decency, but that doesn't make them less statue-worthy in their lunacy, their knavery, or their both.
I've been putting together a roster of those Arkies or Arkie-associateds who, in my opinion, have qualified by their misfeasance, malfeasance, general a-holery, exceptional meanness, low-downness, or dumnassedness to have earned a pedestaled place in our statehouse for likenesses of themselves. You might also qualify by being especially supercilious, or insufferably sanctimonious, or pie-in-the-face smug, or too-too unctuous, or outstandingly objectionable in some other statue-worthy way. Or just a punk, like Mitchell Johnson. Or an innocent bystander, in the wrong place at the wrong time, who happened to have statuesque notoriety thrust upon you — for example, I put Duford Lafoon, about whom I know nothing, in my pantheon just because I thought somebody with that name deserved the recognition.
Among the others, in no particular order:
I'd like to see a statue of Nap Murphy taking a leak in the White House Rose Garden while the assembled glitterati pretended not to see it during the first Clinton Inauguration reception.
In the same vein, or urinary tract, a good sculptor might also capture Gennifer Flowers relieving herself into a brass kitchen bowl while conducting a radio interview during that same epoch. Or Dick Morris sucking the painted big toe of a disembodied whore-foot. Something for visiting schoolchildren to ponder.
Thom Robb (sculptor will have to raise the hood so we can see who's under it.). Lu Hardin (shown pulling a slot handle). Imon Bruce (a personal thing). Jeff Davis (the governor, not the CSA president in the petticoats and crinoline). Robert Henderson. Roger Clinton (trying to sing, or whatever the hell it was he tried to do). Ron Mathieu. Early Hurt. Douglas MacArthur. Bobby Petrino and the hog he rode in on. Or out on.
Jerry Cox (with halo). Dog Boy. Fred Phelps. Gerald L.K. Smith. Harold Simmons. Arnold Murray (with Cain, "the first Jew," hunkering in the background). Velveeta Man with his hand out. W.O. Vaught (shown counseling Willard's "daddy" on when, from the biblical perspective, sex has occurred and when it hasn't). Tony Alamo.
The old seg now/seg forever crowd, perhaps in a grouping: Uncle Orv, Bruce Bennett, Justice Jim Johnson, Wesley Pruden, Amis Guthridge, Dale Alford, Jimmy Karam outfitting them all in new duds before leading them down Broadway and over to Central with their symbolic axe-handles and pitchforks shouldered and their spitters at the ready. George Douthit and John Robert Starr cheering them on.
Their auxiliary, the Mothers Against Pickininnies, not far behind.
Tommy Robinson. Wayne Dumond, with Dr. John Brinkley in the background hefting a pair of goat glands (possible replacements for those of Wayne's that wound up in the pickle jar).
King Crowley. Laughing Sally. Lonesome Rhodes. Owney Madden. Clifton Clowers. The ETs who made the first attempt to abduct young Whitley Streiber from a passing-through late-night passenger train in southwest Arkansas. Jill Republican Dabbs. Arch Campbell (purple bronze?). Thomas Coughlin. Debbie Pelley. Jay P. Greene. DonRey. Boo.
Jim Bruton, cranking up the Tucker telephone, which he called his "baby." Mose Harmon, chief strap wielder at Cummins prison for a long time — one scary son-of-a-bitch.
Paul Van Dalsem, whose prescription for uppity women was to keep them pregnant and barefooted and give them an extra cow to milk. Big Beulah (giving the umps hell at old Ray Winder). James MacKrell. Marlin Hawkins (tombstoning). Mutt Jones. Maw and Paw Teakettle, aka, the Mastersons. J.B. and Michelle Duggar and litter.
Mark Martin (the yahoo pol not the race-car driver), himself eminently statue-worthy, would, as chief Capitol custodian and rotunda display czar, have the final say.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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