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Is Palm Springs the “butt” of a joke?

Is Palm Springs the “butt” of a joke?

You just cannot make this stuff up.  Palm Springs, California (figures) commissioned a sculpture by Phillip K. Smith III to honor those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS.  The proposed design is a donut-shaped limestone with concentric circles on one side and … (get the kids out of the room) … looks amazingly like an a**hole on the backside (no pun intended). 

The Internet police apparently think that the story about this particular work of arse –ooops, I mean art – was so graphic that it had to pass through a security page assuring whoever is at the other end of it that I was 18+.

The work is supposed to represent the “impact of AIDS on the community.”  I fail to see the connection, but I do not claim to be an art expert.  Personally, I would think it would be more suitable outside the offices of a proctologist.

In the face of public outrage and mockery, the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force are working on a “revised design” – something they should have anticipated in (sorry) hindsight. Task Force officials have said that the final memorial will feature an educational component on prevention and treatment options.

The statue is planned to be next to the sculpture of Marilyn Monroe’s famous panty exposing wind-blown skirt from Billy Wilder’s classic movie “The Seven Year Itch.”  We can only be thankful for the movie code that had the “blonde bombshell” wearing panties.

A group of statues of babies

Description automatically generatedThis is not the first time Palm Springs has caused controversy.  Back in 2018, they commissioned a series of baby butt statues.  (I have embedded the photo since I am sure you would not have believed me.)  We can probably all agree that baby butts are cute.  Think of all those infants photographed on the bare skin – I mean bear skin rugs.  My youngest son has one of those with which his mother em-bare-asses him (I cannot help myself) whenever possible.

As cute as baby bums may be, the Palm Springs artwork is a bit disturbing in a community with a large gay population.  Maybe it is the pose.  Very few gay guys are pedophile, but …

It does appear that the good citizens of Palm Springs will prevail and their monument to the genuine tragedy of HIV and AIDS will be something more appropriate and respectful.  Not something that has become literally the “butt” of jokes.

In some sense, I am sorry that they are not proceeding with the original design.  I would like to have seen California Governor Gaviin Newsom cut the ribbon at the dedication.  What a great photo for his presidential campaign biography.  Two of a kind.

Hey!  If they made the sculpture work small enough, it could have been interactive.  (Dear God, get me out of this one.)

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. frank stetson

    You do have a sense of humor after all. I was seeing hemorrhoid pillow. Although other renderings were more kind, still a donut no matter way or ….. as you have called it. Reminds me of the Lucent logo, known as the “ring of fire” that did not go well either.

    I loved the baby butts though. And anything almost by Billy Wilder, the master of fast talking dialogues.

    • Jim lucas

      Frank loves baby butts. Telling!!!!

  2. Frank stetson

    Good one jim. Made me laugh.

    but who doesn’t find “smooth as a baby’s bottom” cute.