Butter can be used for a lot of purposes (note: Last Tango in Paris), but not as a tool for an homage to the King of Pop. That, unfortunately, is exactly what’s being proposed at the Iowa State Fair. Iowans are a progressive bunch–passing gay marriage and all–but they are not immune to a robust debate on forbidden subject matter, especially when it comes to the state’s formidable band of butter sculptors. In fact, there hasn’t been this much controversy on artistic license in the Hawkeye state since 1999, when another butter sculptor (note: how cool would that be to have on your business card–”butter sculptor”? Almost as good as “certified moyle”), by the name of Duffy Lyon, carved out “The Last Supper” in buttery glory.
The proposal is to display the Michael Jackson in his classic moonwalk move. And this is irking some Jackson fans. The sculpture would somehow be featured in conjunction with another butter sculpture of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon…i guess to celebrate the 40th anniversary. Jackson loyalists need not worry. Iowans are very democratic. They’d never decide something unilaterally like Texas. So they’re putting it to a vote. Through July 16th, you can actually vote online here to have an impact on this highly important issue of our time.
You know, the more I think about it, why shouldn’t we feel free to pay an homage in butter. It’s not like Jackson is Jesus. In fact, it’s likely he was the most opposite thing of Jesus: a pedophile-ish type who was socially alienated and couldn’t really relate to grown ups. Maybe butter is apt. After all, it will melt. And do we really need to pay more tribute? My hometown, Los Angeles, is nearly bankrupt and they found some way to pay 4 million for the king’s funeral (but scoffed when they had to cough it up for the Lakers). Feh.
But if you’re a true fan and you don’t want to travel to Iowa to see the masterpiece you could take matters into your own hands:
If you are consoled by absurd--whether it's auctioning off virginity or adding cocaine alkaloids to Red Bull--you're in the right place. We can't have hope without knowing our contradictions. It's lonely being a gadfly. I'm currently a Sr. Editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and I've written for numerous publications (from travel, to personal essays, to entertainment) including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the now defunct, but missed, New York Sun.