Friday, 29 August 2008

What’s England Coming To…?

…when you can’t put some giant metal sculptures of spiders on a roundabout without someone complaining?
Giant spiders have been banned from a roundabout because of fears they could scare drivers into crashing.

The Highways Agency is forcing Arundel Gallery Trail to remove the sculptures from the A27 roundabout only ten days after they were installed because of concerns they could cause an accident.
They’re horrible, and as ‘art’, certainly not to my taste, but dubbing them a road hazard is a bit much. How many people complained? Just one:
The Causeway roundabout has been used as a gallery for up-and-coming artists for more than a decade.

But an agency investigation, sparked by one complaint, concluded the arachnoid art was too dangerous because it could distract motorists.
Perhaps investigating this motorist instead might be a more worthwhile use of the agency’s time. They're obviously not up to the difficult task of driving…
Michelle Scott, of the Arundel Gallery Trail, said she could not understand why a 10ft tall chicken statue had been allowed on a Dorking roundabout for more than a year, while the spider sculptures were being removed.
Quite…

I’m not keen on spiders myself (real ones, not giant metal sculptures) but somehow, when a real live one plopped onto my dashboard a week or so ago from its hidden perch in the sun visor while I was driving along, I managed not to swerve off the road and wipe out a bus queue quite easily.

If you are in control of a large, potentially dangerous piece of heavy machinery, a certain amount of self control is required. Anyone who feels that that is jeopardised by even the ugly sculptures that we call modern ‘art’ should consider handing in his or her license. Not whining about it to the council…

12 comments:

Letters From A Tory said...

One sodding complaint gets a public nuisance removed? Does that work for Gordon Brown as well?

Stan said...

Drivers are far more likely to be distracted by the proliferation of signs that smother our roundabouts and junctions in towns and cities than a sculpture.

patently said...

>> Does that work for Gordon Brown
>> as well?

It's got to be worth a try.... but where can we find a Tory-leaning blogger with a propensity for writing letters??

JuliaM said...

Lol!

"..the proliferation of signs that smother our roundabouts and junctions in towns and cities.."

Yup. Bet the Highway's Agency couldn't care less about that though...

DJ said...

I've got it!

Run Gordon Brown over then claim you were distracted. It's the perfect crime - even if it ever goes to a jury....well, you know.

Meanwhile, I can't be the only one sent to thinking about this. Yes, I can see people being scared by a statue of an out of control SUV, but a giant spider with a human face? If your first thought on seeing that is anything other than 'hey, it's a statue of a spider with a human face' your problems are not with road furniture.

Carl said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobia

I suggest you read up on subjects before passing judgment; inanimate representations of the subject of ones phobia(s) can instil abject terror in a sufferer; just because you take a dislike to spiders but can quite happily ignore them does not make the psychological condition any less real in the same way as your ability to interact with the world around you does not disprove autism!

All the best

Carl

JuliaM said...

Oh, I knew we'd get one of the humourless here whining about 'mental 'elf ishoos' before long...

Well, if someone has that huge a fear of spiders, to the point where they'd go into uncontrollable spasm if, say, a harmless spider were to appear in their car (as I recounted) then yes, I don't want them driving. They are a danger to themselves and all around them if they can't control themselves while operating heavy machinery. Clear?

Same goes for the people with phobias of the number 13 (better stay off Essex roads...) or buttons.

Carl said...

Well it's not really about what you want now is it darling? The number 13 is kind of crucial whereas big metal spiders are superfluous. There are alot of people that would panic if they saw a bee in the car (anaphylactic shock anyone?), does that make them any less able to drive? No; now unfortunately you cannot ban bees from peoples cars (bloody liberals) but what you can do is ban scary sculptures on roundabouts, clear?

As always, my kindest regards

Carl

JuliaM said...

"There are a lot of people that would panic if they saw a bee in the car (anaphylactic shock anyone?), does that make them any less able to drive? No..."

Yes. If they can't control their fear.

"what you can do is ban scary sculptures on roundabouts"

So a giant button would be out? A giant clown? Those are all 'phobias'.

If some loony has a morbid fear of angels, can we get that monstosity up north taken down?

Actually, that's not a bad idea...

JuliaM said...

But actually, a far better approach would be to simply say, to the complainant: "You clearly aren't capable of driving in a safe manner. License, please.."

You see, driving isn't a right. It's a privilege. And we rightfully bar epileptics for the same basic reason. It's not their 'fault' either...

Longrider said...

You see, driving isn't a right.

Unfortunately, too many people think that it is. I had this problem on a number of occasions as a driving instructor. A driving license is earned and should be maintained throughout one's driving career. Health may affect driving ability - it may mean loss of the licence. Well, tough. The lives of other road users are rather more important.

We've got huge dragonflies on the roundabouts here - I'm ambivalent. It could be worse. It could be traffic lights. Oh, wait...

John M Ward said...

Well, I like giant spiders, in particular Zappers, Pushers and Grabbers as found in the excellent game Tower of Babel.