Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Butter Sculpture at the State Fair
Here are pictures of the butter sculpture. This year's entry, called "Cow Power", is a reference to the good old days when milk was delivered. By Milkmen. It also references the generation of methane from manure, a source of fuel that many farms generate and use. So far, so good.
The thing that hit me was: There are 3 cow characters in the sculpture. They are all dressed as males. Not one of the 'male cows' (true oxymoron!!) produces milk. Could we not have had one of them dressed as a female cartoon cow?
Maybe they could have had a female cartoon cow, representing a housewife, accepting a delivery of milk? How funny would THAT be?
I know you are thinking that the sculptor was a guy. Wrong. I saw the tape. Sculptor of this 800 pounds of butter was a woman.
You are also thinking "who cares?" You are right. This doesn't matter at all. Except that the American Dairy Association, which pays for this display, has clearly made sure in the past that the display had 'gender balance': If there's a young boy in the sculpture, there's a young girl.
AND, this is the American Dairy Association, not some other organization that doesn't know a bull from a cow, or which gender of cattle produces milk. Maybe that's the touchy issue here.
Still, I recall butter sculptures in the past (I think they are real memories) that did not shy away from depicting anatomically correct udders- And to tell the truth, you can walk a few hundred feet from the Dairy building to one of the cow barns, and see them in the flesh.
No, I don't think this year's sculpture needed udders. It just needed a girl, cartoon or not.