Raymond’s random walk, from Swedish designers to Mr. Monkey


My random walk began at Svenska Dagbladet and the article Svensk designer upprör skottar, about Swedish designer Johanna Larson whose T-shirt depicting the traffic-cone-wearing Duke of Wellington has sparked a debate in the city.

The article mentions that the tradition of placing a traffic cone on the head of the Duke is twenty years old, and my search for further information on this ongoing prank led me to Richard Leyton's musings on whether the traffic cone should be glued in place permanently.

At the end of his entry, he links to the wonderful web site of Mr Monkey and in particular Mr Monkey's visit to the statue to see it for himself.

The Mr Monkey web site is one of the hidden treasures of the Internet. Sure, it may not be entirely original, but Mr Monkey himself is so goofy-looking, the pictures are for the most part quite well-composed, and the subtitles are the icing on the cake.

Comments (9)
  1. Anonymous Coward says:

    There is something similar in Cambridge. (The original, not the imposter near Boston). In the middle of one of the commons (green parks) very close to the centre of town, there is a lampost. On the base someone painted graffiti "Reality Checkpoint". It always seems so perfect and has become the informal name for it.

    http://www.cambridge2000.com/cambridge2000/html/0002/P2260204.html

    http://www.iankitching.me.uk/history/cam/reality-check.html

    http://cam.misc.org.uk/index.php/What%20is%20the%20Reality%20Checkpoint%3F

  2. Raymond Chen says:

    There’s also the chronic "Surrender Dorothy" over the Capital Beltway near Washington DC with the Mormon temple rising in the background.

  3. John Ridout says:

    Reality checkpoint is apt.

    When you cycle across Parker’s Piece at night in the mist, you have the sensation that you are not moving. When you reach the lamp post you have a brief glimpse of reality i.e. that you are moving.

  4. Michael J. says:

    Hmm… Duke and traffic cone… I guess you revealed the secret of Java Duke:

    <img src="http://java.sun.com/features/1998/05/images/gosling.duke.jpg&quot; alt="Java Duke and Gosling, 1998">

  5. tsrblke says:

    Well I suppose putting the cone on "The Duke" is higher brow than the frat prank at my school. Here they put a jock strap on the statue out side the Rec center. I suppose now would be a good time to point out that the name of the school A cappella choir is "Bare Naked Statues" (http://www.barenakedstatues.com/) for a reason (Obviously named after the numorous statues on campus.)

    (And in case you’re wondering, the Blue Shirts they wear are the Facilities Services Uniforms. Facilities maintains the statues after all.)

  6. raoul says:

    The Cambridge ‘Reality Checkpoint’ has an underground meaning too: On one side of parker’s Piece, you have the town center, with all the universities and students. On the other side, so after the Reality Checkpoint, it is the real Cambridge, where people actually live and work. So called ‘real people’ of Cambridge, i.e. not students like to think that their Cambridge is on this side of the town. The term has been rewritten after each painting of the lamp post, and is now carved into the metal.

  7. Ah, I remember seeing mr monkey a while back but forgot about it…thanks for jogging my memory on a crazy hidden-treasure site.

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