My native land, Australia, wasn't settled by European colonists before the end of the 18th century. So, Down Under, you won't find any ancient Gothic cathedrals, or stuff like that. But we've got a lot of Big Things.
One of my favorites was the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, which existed already when I was a youth in nearby Grafton.
There's no doubt some kind of deep psychological reason why Aussies have thought it worthwhile, if not necessary, to create this set of ugly objects. Maybe, one day, somebody will produce a doctoral thesis in this domain. Meanwhile, it's amazing—a minor Aussie miracle—that no enterprising outback township has got around to making a name for itself by erecting the Big Prick. Talking of miracles, I trust that devout Catholics are already working on a project for a Big Mary. [If one or other of the above-mentioned projects were to become a reality, I would surely deserve some kind of royalties.]
In the small Polish town of Świebodzin, the citizens have donated a lot of cash to build the Big Jesus. They've done this for two main reasons. On the one hand, they love Jesus. On the other hand, they reckon that this 35-meter high monstrosity—the Biggest Jesus in the World—could create touristic revenues for the township. When I observe this marvelous photo of the Lord's head being lifted into position, ready to be screwed on, I'm ashamed of myself for having sinful thoughts. I can't help imagining a nightmare scenario in which opponents of the giant statue (if indeed such insensitive individuals did in fact exist) would use their imagination to organize an apocalyptic explosion to remove this eyesore from the rural landscape. Naturally, I can't really imagine why terrorists of any faith (or, worse still, atheists) would go to the trouble of attacking this splendid work of art and civil engineering. But one never knows. Sadly, the world is full of crazy individuals…
Talking of crazy individuals who need to get their head screwed on right, here's a fabulous case study from the inspired world of US politics. I'll let you find out for yourselves who he is, where he comes from, what he does for a living, and what he's on about.
This guy impresses and inspires me. I know it's irrational, but I imagine him taking advantage of his political connections and his spiritual convictions to set up a vast US-based multinational named BTC: the Big Things Corporation. It would offer a broad range of expert construction projects ranging from giant statues of saints and gurus through to fake Gothic cathedrals for banana republics, without forgetting mammoth objects of all kinds for the prosperous Australian market. I'm assuming that, if only it were screwed on right, this fellow would have a head for Big Business.
POST-SCRIPTUM: This is a good context in which to include this charming image of a Big Bum: a statue in the nearby city of Romans.
A friend explained to me recently that this personage is called Fanny, and she belongs to the traditions of the French game of bowls in this region. If I understand correctly (which I probably don't), the captain of the winning team has to go forward ceremoniously and kiss tenderly this inviting arse.