Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Spurious Interview

City Manager William Harriss performing an elancer
Promises to be more "arty"

Interviewer: At a recently City Commission meeting you said that "Art is foo foo" what did you mean by that?

Harriss: What I meant was that with my daily duties of running the City of St. Augustine and stuff, I don't have much time for artsy things. I leave that to my wife, you know, decorating and all.

Interviewer:. It usually means something that is inappropriate for a man....something effeminate...doesn't it?

Harriss: Yeah, I guess so. I had heard though that John Wayne collected dolls.

Interviewer: Well actually they were Hopi Kachina dolls, very important to their culture.

Harriss: Yeah, but still.....dolls?

Interviewer: St. Augustine presents itself as an arts community yet there have been instances of jailing artists who have shown and sold on the streets. What about that?

Harriss: What about what?

Interviewer" The city's jailing of artists

Harriss: Look.....artists are in galleries, artists are in museums, artists are in art associations but I gotta tell you, artists do not belong on the sidewalks and in the parks. I've got a friend, a very important man in this community who owns four galleries around the Plaza and it galls him to no end to see those so called artists out there under the trees selling to the tourists. As City Manager I've got to protect his interests

Interviewer: Isn't he the man who sold the 100,000 dollar sculpture to a collector who in turn donated it to the city.

Harriss: I don't know. Did he?

Interviewer: Yes, he did. This was last week. You have no memory of this?

Harriss: Oh yeah, right. That metal statue of a shirtless guy.

Interviewer: How about the artist's stance that the Federal Courts have determined that visual art is protected by the First Amendment?

Harriss: Look, the Bill of Rights , The Constitution ,The Emancipation Proclamation were all written hundreds of years ago. Times change. I read where America is a work in progress. Those old ideas about personal freedoms and rights don't fly anymore. I have a favorite expression "Your Rights end ,when mine begin". I think that Will Rogers said that. Gotta go


  1. Anonymous17 June, 2008

    Absolutely hilarious!I had the Chateau Ausone St. Emilionhad coming out my nose and flipped the plate of Gruyere Cheese onto the Aubusson. I heard his remark on the television broadcast. Where did this guy come from anyway?

  2. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    Pretty f'in funny.
    But why not hold weekly (okay-maybe monthly 'draw-ins' on St. George St.

    This is so stupid and detracts from what I loved about St.A.

  3. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    The sad thing is that in reality this is the way he speaks.

  4. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    Monthly draw ins? What is that, and how would this help?

  5. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    What is truley sad about this man is the fact that he holds a position in the city government. What kind of city would employe such a stupid man? Does he even realise what it is he is even saying?

  6. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    I come from Seattle where artists are respected. I knew Suvo from my NYC days (when he wore Armani). What is the problem here? I have never seen problems with artists in St. Augustine. I'm told that the stret musicians were more of a problem. This is apples and oranges.

  7. The only logical course for the artists is a lawsuit in federal court against the city. The constitution and the bill of rights applies to all of us and the law does not become obsolete with passage of time. This man is thumbing his nose at the foundations of our democracy and his actions are an affront to all citizens.

  8. Anonymous18 June, 2008

    Come on people....."spurious interview" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.

    Look it up!!!

    Karl, I just love your wit!

  9. "We Must Scrupulously Guard the Civil Rights And Civil Libeties of All Citizens, Whatever Their Background. We Must Remember that Any Oppression, Any Injustice, Any Hatred, is A Wedge Designed to Attack Our Civilization."

    ---Franklin Delano Roosevelt