Goodbye and good riddance norma jean

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Marilyn Monroe statue ‘Forever Marilyn’ in pieces on Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Avenue before being trucked to California, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

It looked like the thing was in a noose.

The enormous and breathtakingly tacky statue of Marilyn Monroe was taken apart last Monday night, a heavy orange rope around Marilyn’s neck as she was separated into pieces.

Factor in the foggy conditions, and it was one of the more bizarre scenes on Michigan Avenue in recent memory.

It took crews about seven hours to make Marilyn go away, and for that we should only say: Thanks and good luck.

Proving once again that if you super-size, they will come, the 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound statue of Monroe (frozen in her famous “Seven-Year Itch” pose and titled “Forever Marilyn”) was a popular tourist draw and a dominant visual eyesore from the moment it was plunked down in Pioneer Court last July.

Sculpted by the admittedly gifted Seward Johnson, “Forever Marilyn” looked like a blown-up version of something you’d find in the basement of a secondhand store in a third-tier tourist town.

And I noted when it debuted, there was something tone-deaf about the decision to place a sculpture by a New Jersey artist celebrating a New York movie in the heart of Chicago. It made no more sense than a 26-foot-tall statue of Ferris Bueller overlooking Times Square.

Little wonder ranked “Forever Marilyn” as the worst piece of public art.

In the world.

Then there was the semi-creepy factor. In fact, let’s just forget the “semi” part.

From the get-go, fans thought it would be hilarious to pose for a photo between Marilyn’s legs, usually as they gazed up at Marilyn’s exposed panties. Sometimes men (and even women) would mimic some type of oral-pleasure gesture, or wrap themselves around one of the legs as if they were dogs in heat. And hardly a weekend would go by without a wedding party posing under the statue, pointing en masse as Marilyn’s crotch.


The dismembered “Forever Marilyn” will reportedly make a cross-country trek to Palm Springs, Calif., where it will be on display this August when the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death is observed.

Goodbye, Norma Jean. Thank the heavens you weren’t a permanent resident.

POTUS Biden his time

On the heels of reassuring us the president “has a big stick,” Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he’s OK with gay couples having equal rights.

Sounding a bit like a Miss USA contestant in the weeds, Biden said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual – men and women marrying – are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

Biden also credited “Will & Grace” with doing “more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far.” Sure, why not.

At Monday’s White House press briefing, ever-boyish press secretary Jay Carney grew increasingly testy with reporters who kept pressing him on President Barack Obama’s rather cloudy, have-it-both-ways stance on gay marriage, in which he’s not really against it but not leading the charge for it.

As the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reported, CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked whether Obam should “stop dancing around the issue,” while NBC’s Chuck Todd said, “So help me out here. He opposes bans on gay marriage, but he doesn’t yet support gay marriage?”

Carney’s responses to repeated queries included, “I have no update on the president’s personal views” and the Biblical-sounding, “It is as it was.”

As the president’s views on the issue “continue to evolve,” perhaps Biden and Carney would be better off simply saying, “If you’re gay, who you gonna vote for – the president and his evolving views or Mitt Romney and his clearly unevolved stance? Now, let’s talk about bin Laden. Still dead!”

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