Monday, June 9, 2014

Facepalm

Every once in awhile something happens that makes you roll your eyes or do a facepalm. There is a park and community centre downtown here in Ottawa named after Jack Purcell. He was a local man who was well known for collecting broken hockey sticks, repairing them, and donating them for children to use. His family would have thought the naming of the park and the community centre was honour enough. A city design consultant, however, commissioned an artist to add onto that list of honours at the park. By googling the name and finding a different Jack Purcell, a resident of Guelph, Ontario. That Jack Purcell played badminton. These sculptures in the park are the result.


Oops.

It has been suggested by some that they look like a Quidditch pitch, the game from the Harry Potter books.  A city manager has tried to put the best spin on the story by saying the design was modified and it's meant to evoke an "urban forest". I wonder how he said that with a straight face.


A local resident quoted in the media did say it's a little embarrassing to be honouring the wrong Jack Purcell. 


That would be an understatement.


To which I can only add these two items in closing.




38 comments:

  1. Nice series of photos, and I love the clouds!!!

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  2. Oh My Goodness !
    What no one checks up on these things ?

    cheers, parsnip

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  3. I heard about this -- so funny, so not funny. Hopefully they will replace the giant question marks with artwork honoring the right Jack Purcell!

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  4. That's a great one, William. Really enjoyed that! You couldn't make it up, could you?

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  5. That is literally unbelievable...

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  6. We have a facepalm sculpture here, too. The winos use it as a urinal.

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  7. OK, here's what they do. Install a water supply around the inside perimeter of the rings. Then mix some soap suds into the water, and when the wind blows they'll blow gigantic bubbles.

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  8. @Linda: thank you!

    @Parsnip: much too late for it!

    @Tamera: whoever made that decision, if they still have a job, requires close supervision for the remainder of their career.

    @Mike: it is too ridiculous to be fake!

    @Ciel: I find myself wondering what the artist thinks of all this.

    @Norma: these may be too slender for that!

    @Revrunner: thanks!

    @stuart: well that could work!

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  9. What a funny story!! You would hope that the powers-that-be knew what they were doing, but noooooooo! Actually, looking at these things I get the feeling that the whole business is nothing more than a racket!

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  10. oh, too funny! but also, not! :) urban forest - perfect! :)

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  11. Now what about if some sculptures depicting hockey sticks were added in between these?

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  12. i love Harry Potter ... that was my 1st thought. so different & neat. ( :

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  13. What a hilarious story. I'm surprised the city decided to keep the art work. I might have been tempted to ask the artist for a re-do!

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  14. One must always retain a sense of humor, right?

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  15. Let's say the story is funny, but sadly it is also quite serious and even embarrassing...

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  16. The photos are wonderful, specially because of the great sky behind the sculptures. But what a story, you would expect some of all those expensive civil servants would check something now and then ...

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  17. @Lowell: I'm sure City Hall is hearing quite a racket out of this one.

    @Tex: oh well, at least unlike down in Toronto, we don't have a crack smoking mayor.

    @Beatrice: I suspect the damage has been done!

    @Luis: it makes me shake my head in dismay...

    @Beth: they really look the part!

    @Sharon: If I was the artist, I might leave this set of sculptures out of my official portfolio.

    @Judy: oh, most certainly!

    @VP: it's a little of everything.

    @Jan: if that bureaucrat in question is still working for the city, they're not getting a year end bonus this year for such a bone headed move.

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  18. Strange story, William.
    Like the photos.

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  19. That's hilarious...but how sad for the Jack Purcell who's supposed to be honored!!! Did the city get their money back???

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  20. There was a big article in our paper about it! Hard to believe that no one caught this at the drawing stage.

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  21. What city official was not paying attention? I really liked the bubble idea.

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  22. @Karl: very strange!

    @Chieftess: apparently not... the artist did the job on good faith, it's really on the design staffer for this one.

    @RedPat: they'll be living this one down for a long time.

    @Halcyon: what were they thinking?

    @Mari: it's a better use for the things!

    @Jane and Chris: most definitely.

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  23. Them thar things look more like tennis rackets without their netting.

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  24. Wait...do I take it that no one reviewed the artist's plans and noticed there was something wrong?? Or perhaps if the dollar cost is high enough there's an automatic rubber stamp? I like the humor you've applied to it but it's still pretty mind-boggling.

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  25. Hilarious! They look like a modern art concept of lollipops to me!

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  26. Funny commentary. However, I do love the playful nature. They make me want to toss a rubber ball through them. They also remind me of the wands children dip in soap to make bubbles! LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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  27. Horrible. Simply horrible. Will heads roll?

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  28. Heh heh! I actually like the urban forest and someday no one will care about the flub.

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  29. I really like the products of human imagination. I like street art. But the hooks of the hangers do not understand.

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  30. Unbelievable!!! But we carry on don't we. Poor Jack. Love the rolling eyes and face palms---LOL!! MB

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  31. Seriously?? Why wasn't the artist required to correct it???

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  32. OMG William in a weird Harry Potter :) kind of way this is hilarious :)

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  33. That is a classic fail. One of the best I've heard (or seen) in quite a while.
    Even if they had the correct guy, it is about as far away from artistic as possible.

    Great post William!

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