Thursday, November 3, 2011

golden Nashville

Perhaps NAVSA this year has been sponsored by Midas?   I don't have the stunning park-and-Parthenon view, but the football stadium at dawn, though the curtains, was quite picturesque - at least until the rain descended a few minutes later.   The true star of the day, though, was inside the Parthenon, where we had a  sumptuous and fun reception (as a 2013 co-organizer of the conference, I find myself looking at the excellence of this year's organization with admiration and trepidation.   And, o.k., it may be admissible for it to rain here, but people will want their money back if it pours in Pasadena ...).  I didn't even know that there was an inside to this replica.   But there, on the upper level, is a quite extraordinary sight - a 41' 10" gilded statue of Athena.   Just like in Ancient Greece ... And this isn't some piece of monstrous Victorian kitsch, but was built between 1982-1990, left pure white for twelve years, and then gilded in 2002.   I really don't know what to say, other than that it's startlingly big, and that if this is ever rediscovered after some monstrous Armageddon, people are going to come to some strange conclusions about life in late C20th/early C21st America.

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