The frivolous debate over preserving Paul Conrad’s Chain Reaction sculpture in Santa Monica is just another example of how our City Council wastes money on needless studies that no doubt line the pockets of special interests who contribute to incumbents’ campaigns for re-election (“Commission cuts off ‘Chain Reaction,’ Jan. 19-20, page 3).

Conrad intended his cartoon as a symbol of peace and an anti-nuke protest, although local reactionary elements who vociferously object to that message can regard it as a symbol of America’s military might.

Unfortunately, it looks more like a seal balancing a beach ball on his nose. It should be rebuilt so it looks like Conrad’s original political cartoon, and requires a minimum of maintenance.

Such monuments, like the Statue of Liberty, are found in capital cities all over the world. Chain Reaction symbolizes the now defunct progressive agenda of the old “Peoples’ Republic of Santa Monica.”

It should be centrally located in the new park (across the street from where it is now). To restrict children and others it should be raised on a pedestal (like the Statue of Liberty) and surrounded by a moat or water fountain, rather than the present chain link fence.

To raise money the old sculpture should be scrapped and each chain link sold to raise money to erect a larger, more realistic and sturdier sculpture (for higher donations color some of the links bronze, silver, gold or platinum).


Jonathan Mann

Santa Monica

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