Norma Jeane and the Robot King
In the summer of 1978, I took some summer school classes and one day happened to be at the school library after class when two fellows I knew, Lester and Trey, brought in an odd-looking piece of equipment and took it to one of the library's audio-visual rooms, where they fooled around with the thing, connecting it to a television. It was an Apple II.
Whose machine it was or where they got the money for it, I don't know. I joined them for a while, but soon decided it wasn't my kind of hobby. A lot of other people felt differently and, eventually, I also came around to an admiration for Apple products. RIP, Mr. Jobs.
After poking around the Lurie Garden downtown on Sunday, we walked northward on Michigan Ave. until we reached the giant statue of Marilyn Monroe near the Tribune Tower. It's the work of J. Seward Johnson, the same fellow who did the play on "American Gothic" a couple of years ago. That statue, I liked. Johnson added a fillip to the icon, the suitcase with the travel stickers. By contrast, the 26-foot "Forever Marilyn" statue had no extra touches to make it interesting. It's a straightforward reproduction of the publicity images for The Seven Year Itch, and shows exactly zero imagination on the artist's part.
Marilyn Monroe needs to be left to rest in peace anyway. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly and James Dean; enough already. Next summer's going to be the 50th anniversary of her death, and I'm sure we'll hear all about it for days.
How about a giant statue of Jane Russell and a pistol, if the subject is to be a mid-20th-century sex symbol? But if the statute must be Marilyn Monroe, what about a giant figure based on this photo? A fetching brunette holding a propeller. Call it "Norma Jeane and the Propeller." Now that would be different. People might be shocked to see her brown hair.
At the southeast corner of Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr., we saw the "Robot King" doing some busking.
He did his robot dance. A nearby sign said that he's from Miami, but other than that, I haven't found out anything else about him. This little-watched video gives some idea of his act. I thought he was more interesting than the overblown pop icon not far away on Michigan Ave.