Cafe 227

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Now Open: The Tupac Amaru Shakur Peace Garden

"Let's rent this place for a party!!!"

That was the subject line of Conor's e-mail that tipped me off to the existence of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts.

On the face of it, how could I possibly object to Conor's suggestion? With all due respect to Biggie, Tupac was the greatest rapper of all time. Also, we're fast approaching the 10-year anniversary of his alleged death. What better way to honor this lyrical savant than to throw a bash at his eponymous Center for the Arts?

So I clicked on the link for the details. The Tupac Center for the Arts is located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It features: (1) a "Peace Garden" with a (and I quote) "Tupac bronze statue that rises from a Gothic Cross Water Fountain!"; (2) a "Maze of Peace"; and (3) "Peace Pavillions," which are available for "events" such as "yoga, poetry, and reflection."

Well then. Let me just offer 3 brief observations:

1. I'm fairly certain "reflection" does not qualify as an "event."

2. I often misuse the term "ironic." It's thrown around so frequently these days, it's hard to know precisely what it means anymore. But the fact that the centerpiece of the Tupac Center for the Arts is a "Peace Garden" strikes me as somewhat ironic. To me, this is tantamount to including a "Wacky Hall of Torture Implements," for instance, in a memorial center for Mahatma Gandhi. As an example of Tupac's legendary appetite for violence, I offer you the incomparable Hit'em Up, in which he utters the lyrics: "My fo' fo' (i.e., .44 Magnum) makes sure all yo' kids don't grow." At the time, I loosely interpreted this as a thinly-veiled threat of violence against the children of Mobb Deep and/or Chino XL. But I could have been wrong.

3. Probably a better example of irony: the Tupac Center for the Arts is located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. You know what else is located in Stone Mountain? A gigantic "memorial to the Confederacy" carved into a side of a mountain - the largest-high relief sculpture in the world, in fact - featuring "the equestrian figures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis." That's right, Stone Mountain is just like Mount Rushmore, but for confederacy-apologists. Right next to the Tupac Center for the Arts. If Tupac were actually dead, he'd be rolling in his grave...

(PS - Conor, I put the deposit down on my credit card. We're confirmed for September 13. You buy the Alize and Cristal, and we'll call it even. )


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