Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Marilyn Monroe in Chicago


Remember Marilyn Monroe’s famous pose in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch? In the scene Monroe stands over a subway grate as a breeze from a train passing below blows her skirt over her panties.

That particular scene was shot in New York but on July 15, 2011, a 26-foot (8-meter) tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in that same memorable pose was unveiled at Chicago's Pioneer Court (400 block of North Michigan Avenue, east side). As the Windy City, Chicago seems like the second best location for this gigantic bombshell by artist Seward Johnson. This monument of stainless steel and aluminium and weighing a whopping 34,000 lbs will be on show through the spring of 2012 - according to the Huffington Post (July 19, 2011).


Not unexpectedly, passers-by wasted little time to position themselves under her billowing skirt to get a subway-grate view of Monroe! The men (below) in their spiffy suits too couldn’t resist Monroe’s presence – and so, they took photos from err... all angles.


I don't blame them. That pose, that dress, that blonde hair and OMG, those luscious lips can drive any man crazy! Me included!

I read in Chicago Tribune also that The Zeller Realty Group, which owns Pioneer Court and now this statue, wants Monroe to make people think. I am not really sure how much thinking there will be, but for sure, this artwork will become a conversation piece and a target for camera lens.

I don’t know why but this makes me suddenly think of Sunway University’s “Think to make a difference” slogan – again, how much thinking are we expecting from this? If we just think, how do we make a difference? It is only when we act upon it, that we can make a difference.

Besides, there is old thinking and new thinking. I am sure we want people to embrace the new thinking, do we not?

Also, what if everybody is thinking the same? I think it was George S Patton who said that “if everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking” – which is not exactly what we want Sunway University to become. At least I don't think so. As a place of learning, surely we want it to be able to nurture minds and inspire creativity and innovation. I would think that it should not just be a place of thinking, but even better, it is a place of doing. I would be worried if - as Bruce Lee said - "If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done".

Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't understand this slogan at all. I get the feeling that the smart aleck who developed this slogan may actually be lacking in clarity of thought!

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