Tuesday, July 20, 2010

War Paint (on rocks)

There is a rock near here which looks vaguely like the head of a crow and was called painted black with a red beak and white eyes. "Jim Crow" was scripted further along the side. This has existed as long as I have been visiting this part of the world. Doing a bit of researching and asking around, it appears as there are a few variations as to how the rock got that name. There may be more but these are the ones I remember off hand.

1) Racist basis

2) There was a garage owner in the 20's or 30's called Jim Crow who used  the rock as cheap advertising.

3) The rock was just painted by someone  who just thought it looked like a crow.

Going along those lines, over the years the rock has been painted a solid grey to obfuscate the 'racist' crow image. The crow image was repainted almost within a matter of days.
There is even a web page ranting and raving about how it is racist and how people coming to visit will be offended by the racist rock.  Who ever created the original image may have an intention different than what I see the rock as now but I see the rock as a fixture of the town.

The latest painting job was done with Drummond's International Grey. Drummond is Bill Drummond from the KLF. This does not mean the KLF was responsible for painting the rock grey but it suggests that is where the paint was sourced or at least whoever did it likes late 80's and mid 90's music. Maybe.

My take on it is that regardless of if the crow has a racist origin, it is good to keep a memory of everything good and bad that was done so the good can be repeated and the bad can be avoided. Doesn't work very well, but it's a nice thought.

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