A statue of a nude, muscle-bound, leaf-festooned, sword-bearing man “standing atop two bare-chested mermaids” has stood at the corner of Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike for 90 years. It’s called “Triumph of Civic Virtue,” but people just hate it. They’ve hated it, like, forever! Back in the old days, it stood at Manhattan’s City Hall Park until Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia banished it to Queens so he didn’t have to look at the man’s butt anymore.
The problem, at least for the intellectuals among us, is that the mermaid ladies (see them in an unrecognizable heap?) represent “vice and corruption” while the man represents all that is good and civic. Which just isn’t true! The problem for the less intellectual among us is that the statue is ugly. What is up with that crazy face down at the bottom?
Anthony Weiner, who is clearly intellectual (he calls the statue sexist), wants to sell it on Craiglist (less intellectual) to raise money for the city, which would have sort of a circular poetry to it, really, naked, “sexist” things going for what they do on Craigslist. (We found a great Leonidas I statue for a mere $35!)
But beware the slippery slope. Isn’t all art from a certain time period sort of…well…sexist? As long as it’s not ugly. That we simply cannot abide by.