I drove through Philadelphia yesterday, and I saw again the beauty of Independence Hall, City Hall, Fairmount Park and Boat House Row. But then there is junk some call art.
No, I don’t mean the LOVE sculpture or the giant clothespin, which have their own modern elegance and balance. But there are a few monstrosities. The most obvious is that "Lightning Bolt."
It’s a 101-foot-tall, skinny, crooked length of metal. It is stainless steel, but in the attempt to make it look like lightning, it was zigged and zagged so much it looks like an accident – or perhaps a bent straw. You might say it resembles a hillbilly’s stove pipe, but that would be an insult to stove pipes.
This thing has been sitting in a prominent location on the Pennsylvania side of the Ben Franklin Bridge for 21 years, and I’m convinced most Philadelphians still believe it is construction debris.
A couple of years ago, I finally figured out it was lightning when I noticed the big key at the bottom. Ahhh! Ben Franklin Bridge. Key. Lightning! Eureka! But this thing is ugly.
Honestly, it’s time to get rid of that piece of crap. That something so unsightly could sit in such a spot for 21 years, as millions of cars drove to and from Philadelphia, is a disgrace.
Modern art is fine. The real art has a feel to it. It inspires. If it only makes you laugh, it proves its worth. If you cry, OK. But this "Lightning Bolt," no. It inspires nothing but wonder at who left it there.