Herktacular Herktacular!

The latest big thing in Iowa City is the "Herkys on Parade." The next biggest thing, apparently, is vandalizing them.

I guess it seems not surprising at all that this was about to happen. The collection of "acceptably creative" modifications to a local icon just seemed inevitable. I mean, Chicago started it, but once you have towns like Lawrence, KS littering their streets with Jayhawks, or Cedar Rapids sprouting a decorated series of "American Gothic" statues (okay, I liked this set), it was inevitable that Iowa City would have to do their own unispiring version.

And while the vandalism is a little depressing, I've never seen a variant of this project where the statues wear so much actual clothing, or carried props that look easily removable. The rapid-response theft of these items is just not surprising at all. I just wish the vandals had a sense of creativity themselves. Maybe the lack of pranksterism is inspired by the vapidity of so many of the statues.

There are a couple of really spiffy Herkys. I'm partial to the Gargoyle and Bigfoot Herkys, with their messed up eyes. Galactic Herky (aka Darth Herky) is kind of fun, though it reminds me of the pep band's overuse of the Death Star Theme from Star Wars at the basketball games. The American GotHawk is another amusing twist on the painting. On the downside, we have Herkules Herky, Realtor Herky, Uncle Sam Herky. And for sheer inevitability, we have two Jackson Pollock-inspired Herkys, one Marilyn MonHerky, an Elvis Herky. The Ben Franklin Herky makes me think more of a Patrick Henry thanks to his pose. "Give me an expensively renovated football stadium or give me death!"

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