Thursday, August 29, 2002

A Park For This?

I'm not sure I want to comment on this, but here goes. Please understand that this is not a personal attack on anyone or their disease status. It's just that I do not understand this at all.

A 1.5 acre part of Audubon Park will be taken over and turned into "Cancer Survivor's Park." The proposal request, from the UrbanArt Commission, says "dull and boring need not apply. We're looking for a unique and creative design concept from a designer with enthusiasm for this project." Exactly what the park is for, what it should do, is left open.

I do not understand this idea. We have monuments to great events and to great men and women, both individually and in groups. We mourn those who fell to some tragic events. But I cannot recall a monument to people who survived a common disease. The usual idea behind these kinds of things is to honor the souls and the memory of those not with us because of a climactic event.

Some part of me suspects this is just baby boomer narcissism yet again. No other generation has faced cancer as heroically and with such determined gusto as this one and so we must make note of that, in our time so we can pat ourselves on the back for our great sensitivity and heroism.

Or am I missing something?

(Please note: Cancer has hit my family, too. Coworkers and friends, too. I personally am at risk for a particular kind of cancer starting in about 10 years. So I'm not totally insensitive here. I just don't understand.)

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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