I had a heartfelt conversation with Loren Martell this morning before setting off to go door to door. He pleaded with me to remove this card from the pack. He was insistent.
I didn’t plumb the depths of his thinking so that left a lot of room for me to imagine his fears. First, he may have thought the spanking man’s actions were so violent or suggestive of violence that it would harm people’s perceptions of me. Loren’s wife was an art teacher and a he himself is a sensitive soul. I doubt that Loren has ever had much contact with such brutality……..except when the Duluth School Board had a Duluth policeman handcuff him after he stood dumbstruck at the microphone for community comment after the Chairman turned his microphone off.
Well, I got spanked a couple times in my life; once with a hairbrush. I had just burned the lawn down. But this was not a common feature of my household. For the first ten years I was a teacher, in the 1970’s and early 80’s, the issue of corporal punishment in schools kept being revisited in the State Legislature until finally it was pretty much outlawed. I think this was for the good but I’m not one who believes spanking should never be employed. I did burn down our lawn! On the rare occasions when it is employed there is one particularly important caveat – it must never be used in anger. If put to use it should be with regret, restraint and it should be brief.
In the case of this sculpture it is strictly metaphorical. My snowman is rendering it on the bottom of the imagined, but never caught, miscreant who pushed (felled) my “dancing bears” (trading card 21 of 50) down our hill. The DNT thought it humorous enough to put on the front page of their newspaper. I think its worthy of the trading cards.
Want the whole pack? You can get them online for a donation here.
NOTE: One of the bear heads survived the tumble and I placed it under the hand of the miscreant. Its in the lower right corner sticking its tongue out at him.