Football–that’s the American kind, with the pointy balls–season is here. It’s a little hard to miss, around here. It’s a little hard to miss from outer space, too. On game days, the football stadium turns into the third largest city in our state, and overflow crowds spill out into the streets of the second largest city.
I’m not a fan. Not of the sport, itself, anyway.
Memorial Stadium and the surrounding area in Lincoln are considered to be an absolute classic of flow-system design. (This information, courtesy of dates with engineers, BTW.) The whole thing–completely full–can be emptied in a matter of twenty minutes. What’s a flow-system, you ask? Well, basically anything that moves things from point a to point b. The science-y version of a kinetic sculpture with marbles. Subways moving people, trains moving coal… toilets, sewers, football stadiums.
A giant well-designed toilet? Well, you said it. I didn’t.
There are, in fact, giant urinals on campus, and a couple of times a year, the restrooms they happen to be in are closed down for “art exhibits.” There’s an actual sign: RESTROOM CLOSED FOR ART EXHIBIT.
The other restroom that gets closed for art exhibits has a giant, three panel-ed mural showing post-war optimism and the future of womanhood.
When I was a kid, my favorite piece was a painting of a white cupcake in a white wrapper on a white background.
Now, it’s hard to top the irony of the larger-than life canvas of Cliff Hillegass that overlooks the main study room in the library. He’s standing there, looking for all the world like Peter Boyle, with a shelf full of Cliff’s Notes behind him. Yup. That Cliff Hillegass.
We are, of course, reminded that the carillon should be referred to as “the carillon”, and not as “Mueller’s Last Erection.”
And we will also refer to that other large-scale sculpture nearby as “A Significant and Meaningful Exploration of Negative Space” and not—
Oh, look. Football season has begun.
I believe there’s face painting.