Staff Writer Owen Fitzgerald-Diaz reports on some troubling possibilities concerning Columbia’s statues.
Columbia has giant ceremonial bowls all over campus. They are hidden mostly out of the average street-bound pedestrian’s line of sight, but if you look up from your meaningless existence of wandering to and fro across the quad, you will see the bowls watching you, looking down from on high like raptors or strange, faceless alien gods, judging from above.
Their presence raises a number of troubling questions.
Who made them? Why are they here? What do they want? Great trouble was evidently gone to to install them here, on top of huge granite-faced pillars that seem to serve no obvious architectural purpose. Behind the scenes, hidden within them, are their pipes to whisk away rainwater and snow melt, to some hidden reservoir or into the bowels of the city’s sewers? If so, to what end?
The two most likely answers, obviously, seem to be either that there are vast yet unseen entities that walk among us and store their gargantuan crockery exclusively on elaborate granite plinths, or that they are somehow part of Columbia’s defensive systems, perhaps to be filled with boiling oil or napalm in the event of a siege and spilled onto attackers.
The former is alarming, yet intriguing- a creature large enough to use these enormous sculptures as wine cups may be lurking undetected about the campus. Anything of such size could obviously be dangerous, yet not only has the student body remained unaware of any damage inflicted (perhaps due to an elaborate cover-up, or perhaps due to a genuine lack thereof), no one seems to have ever spotted such a creature or creatures. If they have truly gone undetected, then how, and if they’re being hidden from us, then who is behind this vast conspiracy, and what are their motives- simply preventing panic, or something more sinister?
The latter option is reassuring but a bit baffling- unless supplemented by other defensive measures hidden out of view, this doesn’t seem like a terribly effective approach. Additionally, most of the bowls are situated within the quad, rather than around the perimeter entrances, which has disturbing tactical implications for those on campus, as evidently the administration has made contingency plans for enemy forces to breach the perimeter and enter the main region of campus. This also raises the question of why the university has undertaken serious preparation for a siege (though if taken as somehow related to the first theory of the giants, perhaps it makes more sense).
Study the bowls and learn. They may yet play a part in the struggles of the coming years.
Photos via Bwog