Murals in Jeopardy on The Golden Bear

At the end of each summer’s Bear Cruise, each division takes part in the longstanding tradition of painting a mural to reflect their experience. Through art, each of the four deck and engine divisions tell the story of their voyage, and then each cadet signs the borders. The majority of deck side murals decorate the foc’sle while the engineering art can be found outside the EOS and in ‘shaft alley.’

This is about to change, as word among the alumni circles is that the administration is planning to retroactively censor any cruise mural that features a scantily clad woman. While this may seem like a reasonable move by the campus administration in light the issues faced by Kings Point cadets in the industry (especially this year, as a number of KP’ers were moved aboard the Bear after being pulled from their ‘Sea Year’), some have found it to be a ham-handed attempt to mandate sensitivity. Each cruise mural is approved by the ship’s officers while in the planning stages and none feature nudity. Female cadets often participate in the creation of such murals (see attached - a typical mural) and erasing their story and contribution will not fix sexual harassment in the merchant marine, but only damage relations with alumni and the artifacts they left.

What says you, mariner?

1 Like

Who gives a shit. I didn’t know it was an art school.

[QUOTE=Rafterman;189373]Who gives a shit. I didn’t know it was an art school.[/QUOTE]
Right on man. No murals, no peace.

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[QUOTE=Rafterman;189373]Who gives a shit. I didn’t know it was an art school.[/QUOTE]
Right on man. No murals, no peace.

I think the pussification of the maritime academy is among us

[QUOTE=brjones;189375]I think the pussification of the maritime academy is among us[/QUOTE]

My objection isn’t about being PC. Pussification is a perfectly good English word coined by a perfectly hilarious and on-point genious. My objection is when people use the word improperly. No one should use this word unless they can imagine the ghost George Carlin standing behind them with his too-big sweater-swathed arms crossed, squinting and nodding in pissed-off agreement with what-ever statement you’re making.

Just covering their butts. A regrettable necessity these days as all it takes is one person to complain that they are triggered by the nautical artwork on the Golden Bear and next thing you know the school will be staring down lawsuits, reporters, and who knows what else.

Hint: there is a feature on your cell phone that can help assure that these works of art are never lost or forgotten.

Another hint: some of us know the difference between harassment and the artful expression of the sailor’s soul. The hell with those who think we don’t have that ability. Go forth and bear fruit.

I’d like to see the murals. Sounds pretty interesting. I have fond memories of a mural painted on the old Golden Bear, probably 50 or more years ago, in the Watch Office. So the tradition has some ancient roots. But, that being said, I have to note this:
The purpose of a training ship is to train you to work in a commercial setting. In maritime commerce the niceties of Western civilization (art, self-realization) are given as much as much respect as President Obama in a West Virginia Waffle House. Here’s the lesson: When you go to sea, you don’t get what you want. You get what the company gives you, or what you can negotiate out of them, and no one is going to negotiate art gallery privileges. If you paint a mural on a commercial ship and the captain tells you to paint over it, for whatever reason, your answers are limited to either “Yes” or “Yes, sir”. So consider you’re learning a lesson in the utility of democracy in merchant marine life (i.e, none).

Sidebar: Two hundred years ago sailors were skilled craftsmen who created and repaired miles of rigging and acres of sails with their bare hands. Years of skill went into the very detailed exacting work. Amazing what drunken syphilitics can do. Anyway, in those days, sailors used their skill to make their own artwork: scrimshaw, seaman’s chests, model ships, etc. in their spare time. They even made their own clothing. But it was all personal items. If Davy Jones wanted a mural, he tatooed one on his chest.

Maybe there’s a community in need of walls to be painted - covering graffiti or painting an elementary school mural. Do that and at least your time would go to something useful and appreciated.

Another long maritime industry tradition comes to a sad end. I could understand if the standards evolved over the years. After all, bell bottoms went out of style for most of us too. The cadets that sailed the Golden Bear left their toil and their murals behind. Sorry to see those pieces changed or altered after the fact. I was lucky enough to tour the Golden Bear a few years ago during a port call to Portland, OR.