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Forum to investigate bad taste

“Pink Flamingos: Bad Art, Bad History and the Meaning of Memorable Things,” presented by BSU history professor Todd Shallat, will focus on those infamous eyesores that are inexplicably found on the lawns of many homes.

MCT - Not many things are tackier than the pink flamingo lawn ornament. History professor Todd Shallat will discuss just that in the final Fettucine Forum of the semester May 6.

The final Fettucine Forum of the season will be all about bad taste — literally.

“Pink Flamingos: Bad Art, Bad History and the Meaning of Memorable Things,” presented by BSU history professor Todd Shallat, will focus on those infamous eyesores that are inexplicably found on the lawns of many homes.

The free public lecture is from 5:30 – 7 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) Thursday in the Rose Room at 718 W. Idaho St. in Boise. There will be free appetizers and $6 fettuccine catered by Life’s Kitchen. Beverages will be available for purchase from Jo’s Traveling Bar.

Boise’s “pink flamingos” are icons of bad taste that tell historical stories about who we are and what we’ve become. Shallat will unveil his Top 10 list of the gaudy and pretentious — of things so distinctly “Boise” that they’ve become emblematic as their pretensions cross the line from trash to treasure.

Former Boise historians Amber Bierle, Ann Felton and Tully Gerlach, and current city historian Brandi Burns, will help Shallat and the audience explore how impressions of these icons have evolved and made the leap from trash to treasure.

“As a group, we will ponder what it is about the inherent ‘badness’ of certain objects that over time transcends into something appealing or even endearing,” said Shallat. “What do these icons’ stories tell us about Boise and about ourselves?”

Shallat directs the Center for Idaho History and Politics at Boise State and writes about the history of technology and the environment. His Idaho writings include “Ethnic Landmarks” and “Secrets of the Magic Valley.” In 2002, the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education named Shallat Idaho Professor of the Year.

The Fettuccine Forum is produced by the Boise City Department of Arts & History in conjunction with the Boise State University College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs. Lively and informal, the monthly event invites the public to interact with politicians, artists, historians, activists, advocates and professionals in an effort to promote good citizenship and responsible growth through education.

The next Fettuccine forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 7.

1 Comment on Forum to investigate bad taste

  1. http://xkcd.com/725/ seems like it applies here.

    Figuratively, not literally. Unless of course you mean that people will be eating pink plastic flamingos and that they taste bad.

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