So the residents of Oklahoma City were at the center of yet another controversy a few days ago when a new religious monument appeared.
Only this time, it’s on private property … namely, a restaurant called the Paseo Grill. And instead of a plaque honoring the Ten Commandments or a sculpture of Jesus, this one has the distinction of being crafted in honor of the Elder Gods. Specifically, Azathoth. For those who aren’t aware, Azathoth is a demon of chaos, the great-great grandfather of the more well known Cthulhu, and described by his creator thusly:
“[O]utside the ordered universe [is] that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”
Well. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on. The monument itself is about three feet tall, several hundred pounds, and chipped out of concrete. There’s a plaque on it that reads: “In the Year of Our Lord 2012 Creer Pipi claimed this land for Azathoth.”
One might infer Mr. Pipi ended up running a little behind schedule.
For their part, the restaurant owners are taking it all pretty much in stride. They’re located in a popular arts district, and while the monument itself wasn’t approved by the local arts association, it doesn’t really stand out either. If I had to guess, the people who dumped this thing didn’t feel like dealing with the metal poles used for mounting statues in the area, and also probably didn’t want to run the risk of using anything belonging to the arts association for an unapproved, umm … “project”.
[Restaurant owner Lesley] Rawlinson said she wouldn’t mind keeping it in front of her business, just for a short while. At first, she didn’t think the concrete block could be considered art. But after watching many people stop outside her store to stare, she said she might have to reevaluate.
“Art is subjective, it’s in the eye of the beholder,” she said. “So on a personal level, this is not something I would say is art, but a lot of people definitely think it’s unique and different.”
She also received over twenty calls offering to buy the thing, but the final word is up to the property manager. I’d love to get my hands on it, but then I’d be at a total loss to figure out what the hell to do with it. Maybe I’ll put it on the steps of the Scientology Building downtown. Seeing how both are 20th century inventions by authors with vivid imaginations, I’d say it would be a good match.
Better yet, let’s contact American Atheists and get them to put it in the front lawn of the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida. They already have monument for the Ten Commandments and another one for secularism. Putting this in the mix would be kind of like posing a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the middle of a local nativity scene, but hey … fair’s fair.