Thursday, January 15, 2015

Was This Too Much?

I wonder. Consider this paragraph from the last part of my latest series of clips from Grace Among the Dead (read from the beginning here):
Through a blue curtain of smoking rubber, I steer us back into the eastbound lanes, among a  crowd of death-shriveled faces and dry, blank eyes white with dust. The former citizens of Falcon, Colorado, stand frozen in their tracks, like some strange and ugly municipal art project. Only their heads move as their undead senses follow our progress. 
It’s a lovely, haunting image. But what bothers me is the line, “like some strange and ugly municipal art project.” Most municipal art is strange and ugly, piles of twisted metal, etc. Which would make “strange and ugly municipal art project” redundant. Part of me believes I should either call the scene straight-up strange and ugly, or just say they look like municipal art project.

I dunno. I’ll tell you something I found interesting, though—when I Googled “ugly municipal art” I got nothing but links to municipal art organizations. Googling “images of ugly municipal art yielded the same thing. Curiously, I was unable to find any examples of hideous “sculptures.”

Most sane and normal people despise public art for the hideous, uninspired messes they are. Hell, a mob of flesh-eating zombies standing stock-still and following you with their eyes would be an improvement. I’m convinced these search results are rigged.

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