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It still stinks!

27 May 2009

Downwind from the 15,000 hogs of Granitas Carroll (the Smithfield Farms hog lot that FINALLY came to attention during the “swine flu” scare) are the 3000 inhabitants of  La Gloria, Veracruz, where four-year old Edgar Hernandez Hernandez received the dubious honor of being the first know victim of the latest flu epidemic to survive the disease.

Even if, as the Governor, Fidel Herrera claims, the outbreak of flu in that small community and proximity to the hog lot were purely co-incidental (as was his winning the lottery — TWICE!), the residents would like to see their concerns with water and air quality and the loss of agricultural productivity as a result of the hog lot’s …. uh… hogging the water supply…. addressed.

Creepy art and creepy artist (photo stolen from Burro Hall)

Creepy art and creepy artist (photo stolen from Burro Hall)

Well, the Governor has heard the people, and given them… not relief, not an investigation into Smithfield Farms, not even a blue ribbon commission to study the issue to death.  Instead, being a direct action kind of guy, he’s commissioned a statue of young Edgar.  While hogs might be the proper iconography for such a statue, sculptor Bernardo Luis Artasánchez has his bronze Edgar holding a frog.

Why a frog and not a pig?   San Antonio Abad might have made a more logical choice than some poor kid whose going to be teased unmercifully as a result of all this.

San Antonio with San Porky

San Antonio with San Porky

After all, San Antonio is the patron saint of fighting infectious diseases… AND swine farms. In Latin American iconogray, he’s always shown with “Babe” at his side.

San Antonio was an Egyptian, so there is SOME weird connection here to the frog…  Artasánchez claims its a reference to the seven plagues of Egypt, but you got me on why the Old Testament reference is ok, but not the more obvious one to a place also known for serious water problems and pigs.   .

I’ve wondered if Artasánchez is related to the Governor.  He’s sort of favored for this type of public art in Veracruz, and his work has been received by the public with enthuasm… for tearing it down.


Art critics in Boca del Rio review Artesanchez' statue of Vincente Fox

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