Shaboozy and I'm back. The most darling of mornings fair ladies and gentle-bugs. It is I, Darryl P Skeeby once again fillin' your eyeholes with something beyond the sad, dark sink basin full of Spaghetti-O's and three-quarter eaten chicken pot-pies at midnight when your chipped cutlery can no longer bring the mayonnaise and bread sandwich to your mouth. Yes, I know, I do. The past few days you've been quite emotional seeing your childhood hero get enshrined in the Pooperstown Baseball Hall of Lame, a ceremony I already have spoken out against. Well, quit your blabberin' and get to learnin' something about the history and the past and how about the history is a pretty important part of the past.
You see, folks, very little eludes me. Sure, there was the cotton-tail on top of Hootenhoot Hill back when I was just an ankle-high and a dollar short, the catfish in Ol' Gus' pond, and my first, second, and third loves, but beyond that, I've got the goods. Included in this package of all-seeing is an astute sense of art, decor, interior decoration, and on occasion, a great eye for an outhouse tile-scheme. I also know many names of trees, not to mention where to find the best Magikarp south of Kelso. So, when a fella with a keen eye and a typical sense of direction gets his mits (eyes) on a good, ol' fashioned bust, he tends to feel the level of excitement you'd expect. It's a lot of excitement. As a part of the farce that is the Hall of Blame Ceremony, Kennels Griffith Junior the Third had a handy dandy piece of artwork commissioned in his likeness. For those of you who have yet to see it, here's a non-moving picture:
Close up of the plaque pic.twitter.com/Oy264v57oI— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 25, 2016
Something to really let the eyes chew on, ain't she. Now, folks, Ol' Darryl may not be the International Man of Mystery like a Jean-Claude Van Damme or that rat from Ratatouille, but I know a thing or six about art and the finer things in life. A sherry here, an Irish creme there, mix them up I'm on my derrier and thinking about beautiful images and sculptures of the past. Let me quickly take you on a journey through the History of Humanity before addressing the image above. This shouldn't take too long, so stick with me and wake up. We're going from Perocles onto the 2016's. We begin with the beginning:
The indigenous language groups of Australia and the Torres Straight Islanders are known, thanks to science, to likely be the very oldest "society" on Earth. Spanning what may be seventy-thousand years of human history, these folk know how to make art because they also know how to live in what appears to be a continent made for the sole purpose of human destruction. Sure, there's snakes and spiders and octopuses with little blue rings that can all kill you, but what nobody knows is it's the kangaroos and koalas that are really gonna take a chunk out of your buttocks so you can bleed out somewhere 200 kilometers north east of Alice Springs. The above artwork represents a depiction of a meeting place, the half circles are people, and the concentric circles may represent a table or a fire. I prefer the idea of a fire because of my propensity for grilled meats and these folks know how to cook a lizard real nice. Anyway, notice the amazing use of colors that makes you want to go to this meeting. How many meetings can you say that about? Onto the next.
This is a famous statue of a boy. I won't comment on the explicit nature of the piece, the notoriously forgiving nature of the medium (seriously, marble? What are we playing fiddlesticks in the back woods here?), or the fact that this piece more than likely sunk Rome, but I will say this. That man-baby has one hell of a nose. Moving on.
Now, folks, here is the pinnacle of our form. Note the bold use of colors, the shapes and swirls that make no sense but also all of the sense in the world. The bounty and beauty of the Human Spirit is here, as well as the word "mellow". It's the sort of paintin' that makes me want to play a french horn for pleasure, not for pain. This is the sort of standard any modern artist worth their salt should be held to, and we all know that Art is not about Emotion and Expression, but is really about Winners and Losers. Either you are good at Art or you are bad at Art and there is really no middle ground. Which takes us to the subject at hand:
Notice the smiling man at the bottom of the pile, one Kenwright Grifyndor JuneBug. An affable man, to be sure. What's more is he was famous, not only for being from Pennsylvania, but for having a smile nearly as bright as the Mona Lisa herself. In fact, Ken smiled so often, and so brightly, that is was often said of him that he knew Mona Lisa's secret, the reason for her great smirk. While that may not be true, he surely at least knew Victoria's secret and that appears to be worth actual billions. So, this is no million-dollar smile, it is, in fact, a billion dollar one. Surely, one of the most iconic players, with an iconic smile, and gorgeous mug, who was dubbed "The Kid", would be given a plaque to fit the stylings and stature of his icon. I ask you to return to the very first image, the bronze baby.
The folks at Cooperstown made some long introduction about induction into their Hall (a space in a building where a designer essentially gave up because they were bored or hungry or both) and how all the images are made with the meeting of clay and bronze, an ancient art form to be sure. What I thought, though, was that the actual ancient thing is what is depicted in the image of "The Kid". Sure, let's take one of the most iconic players call him a "five-tool" and have his lasting image be a combination between a prairie dog and the guy from Cheers. Frasier, that's his name. No, no folks and I hear ya. What other times have we immortalized great feats with the wrong times. Everyone remembers the story of Hercules and his breakfast cereal. We all can picture the image of Willie Mays grabbing his morning paper at the age of sixty-four. Who could forget Georgia O'Keeffe's famous images of a lily in mid-January?
It's plain wrong is what I'm trying to say. We do not immortalize folks for the mundane things they do, except for Tom Cruise because that guy is hilarious. Ken Griffey Junior deserves a plaque that shows the playful side of him, the youthful side of him. And while he doesn't need to be fully nude, like some artists insist when sculpting "The Kid" (see above if your eyes are able) he deserves a lot more than a plaque that misses the entire point of being The Kid.