Oct 4, 2014

Top 16 Public Penises of the Cowboy States

I'm afraid of the Cowboy States, that swath of ranches, grassland, and mountains west of Minnesota and east of California.  I've driven through them four times, and they are very pretty, with the amber waves of grain and the shirtless cowboys and all.

But they also have survivalists, right-wing extremist groups, hate crimes, Republican majorities, homophobic laws, and billboards about Jesus.

Still, if you find yourself driving through the Cowboy States en route to West Hollywood, there are some nice public penises.  Working south from Canada:

1. North Dakota doesn't have a lot of public art, but there's a shirtless CCC worker at the entrance of Fort Abraham Lincoln Park in Mandan.

2. Everyone goes to South Dakota for the Sturgis Bike Rally, but also check out the Crazy Horse Memorial, about 17 miles south of Mount Rushmore.  When it's finished, it will be the biggest statue in the world, 563 feet of pure beefcake.

3. There's also a replica of Michelangelo's David, penis and all, in Sioux Falls.

4. I lived in Nebraska for five weeks with my first boyfriend, Fred the Ministerial Student.  It was awful.  But the Joselyn Art Museum in Omaha has a very impressive collection,  and a naked Sioux Warrior out front sculpted by John David Brcin.

5. Kansas is very flat, and the waves of Protestant fundamentalists made me nervous.  I could see why Dorothy wanted to stay in Oz (in the original novels, not in the dreary 1939 movie).  But I like the loincloth-clad Native American atop the State Capitol in Topeka Sculpted by Richard Bergen in 1988, he's called "Ad Astra" ("To the stars").

6. The Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City also features a semi-nude Native American, "The Guardian."  He wasn't erected until 2002.

7. Another Native American is offering a peace pipe to students at the University of Oklahoma.

8. For a more modern beefcake image, check out the Air Force Monument in Oklahoma City.  It features a naked young man holding an airplane aloft.

More after the break.

9. And the Golden Driller, a 75-foot tall shirtless oil field worker, erected in Tulsa in 1953, dedicated to the oil companies that "created from God's abundance a better life for mankind."

That's the only time I've heard the oil industry described in such religious terms.

10. I told you that the square states were religious.  In 2012, when a copy of the Ten Commandments was placed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol, in direct violation of the separation of church and state, a Satanic group petitioned for equal time with this 7-foot statue of Baphomet, the "Satanic Goat."  They haven't been successful yet, but the Oklahoma blogosphere is livid with rage.

11. Working south from Canada again, we hit Montana.  I had a job interview in Havre once.  They were having a "Family Values" rally on the Courthouse lawn.  No way, sorry.   But I like this muscular male angel cuddling with a soldier at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Missoula.

12. I couldn't find anything good in Idaho, and Cheyenne,  Wyoming, the heart of cowboy country, offered only "The Greeting and the Gift," a cowboy waving "hello" to a Native American offering him a horn of plenty.  It's in a "visitor area that is now closed."

13. I've visited Denver, Colorado a few times for conferences.  It has the biggest gay community between Minnesota and California, but not a lot of public penises. Just another of those ubiquitous CCC workers, and these bodybuilders jumping for joy at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

14.-16.  But Utah is surprisingly well stocked with beefcake art: Mormon saints, a Native American standing outside the State Capitol, another standing guard over the library at the University of Utah, and this mural of shirtless railroad workers at the railroad station in Ogden.