Monthly Archives: February 2012

Have you heard the one about a shrink-wrapped boulder?

English: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Image via Wikipedia

Ludicrous, as defined by the World English Dictionary, means “absurd or incongruous to the point of provoking ridicule or laughter.” I can understand why that word comes to my mind so frequently. I will refrain from overt political commentary, but much of what I observe on the national stage is, in my eyes anyway, ludicrous!

Now preposterous is another very fine word! Dictionary.com offers, “completely contrary to nature, reason or common sense; absurd; senseless; utterly foolish.” Synonyms included, “unreasonable, excessive, and ridiculous!”

These two words have been playing on my mind today.

Perhaps you were among the respondents to a national poll ranking the popularity of each state in the country. I do hope you weren’t in the majority rating California the most disliked state in the nation! Preposterous! Or maybe ludicrous! Who is behind the Public Policy Polling? I’d like to see what questions were asked. Maybe this wasn’t even a legitimate poll, but it has had its day in the press! No worries. I keep thinking that we are certainly overcrowded for a place no one appreciates!

But then I heard something on the news this morning that supplied me with a possible glimpse, probably a good clue, as to why WE in the Golden State are apparently viewed as a little odd.

Here’s today’s headline! “Rock is one day closer to LACMA.” Yep! As I sleep tonight a 340-ton boulder will continue along its journey from Riverside, California to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This boulder, a 22-foot-rock, will travel 105 miles to end up, as one article put it, “to sit on the lawn” behind LACMA.

I am now following this momentous journey via museum tweets, not because my interest in the details is all that high, but because I find so much humor attached to the way it is being reported. One news reporter commented that this “may be” the largest boulder moved since the ancient Egyptians–I think that claim may be preposterous, or is THIS ludicrous!

However, today’s LA Observed gave me the best chuckle: “A crowd of several hundred cheered and shivered as the behemoth began its epic journey. Covered in white shrink-wrap to ward off taggers, it rode on a massive red transporter and looked, under the bright lights like a well-lit iceberg…” I can’t stop laughing!

I know many of you live in more civilized parts of the country and world (aka less hated), so you may not be familiar with tagging. That would be defacing…here in Los Angeles taggers are often euphemistically referred to as “graffiti artists.”  Isn’t that special! The transport must be very slow if the concern is that the boulder will be attacked by opportunists jumping out along the highway with spray paint in hand! You just can’t make this stuff up!

As a LACMA member, I’m not yet critical of the museum’s decision to go forward with the project–It is privately funded.  But I only wish the museum had been brave enough to go forward with it sans justifications.  “From the construction teams on site who have been digging the 456-foot-long slot and preparing to install the megalith, to the transport company, to the permitting fees paid to twenty-two cities in four different counties for the transport, a great deal of the privately raised funds for ‘Levitated Mass’ has gone directly into the local economy.” Oh please!

I’m waiting to formulate a final opinion of the art-to-be, but I do admit to finding it just a wee bit preposterous that our already highly complex highway transportation system is going to absorb the impact of this mammoth project, even if it is moving in the middle of the night! And I’m wondering if it is ludicrous for me to think that the cheering crowds lining the streets to see this “shrink-wrapped boulder on a truck” will be similarly enthusiastic and inclined to pay the museum fee to visit the exhibit once it is installed and referred to as art? Oh I do hope I’m proven wrong!

And that’s the way we do things in California.

You’re welcome…Debra