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SAVE THE FROG - Blog excert from January 2004

January 07, 2004

Save the Frog

johnston.bmp
After reading this:

This time, the controversy is not about business, but rather a frog.

It's a silent hello, a greeting that brightens the day of people who walk by.

"Oh, it cheers me up. It's silly and fun and I think, it's a good touch even on a bad day," resident Elizabeth Kirkindall said.

Daniel Johnston, an alternative musician, painted the mural on the wall of Sound Exchange a decade ago, but Wednesday, the "Hi, how are you?" frog will croak for good.

"All the older Austin businesses get pushed out for the smaller chain restaurants and I think it's kinda' sad," resident Adam Norwood said.

I was actually kind of relieved to read this:

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Baja Fresh Mexican Grill today announced its franchise partner in Austin, Texas will spend his personal money to Save the Frog, a mural that for twenty years has adorned the walls of the building that's housing the newest Baja Fresh. John Oudt, a Texas entrepreneur and franchisee, is working with the community to preserve this culturally important art. John responded quickly to "do the right thing" when numerous students and citizens scaled the wall yesterday in protest against its demolition.

But it's still sad that another stupid chain is going up where a local business once stood.

Posted by DruBlood at January 7, 2004 07:11 PM | TrackBack
Comments

http://www.livejournal.com/community/austincommunity/976569.html

They've saved the frog. I guess the news hasn't been updated.

Posted by: Noah Lee at January 7, 2004 09:29 PM

Is it really a frog? I think someone just started calling it that for some weird reason. But it actually resembles the aliens that often appear in Daniel Johnston's artwork, usually with more than two eye-stalks and sometimes with big bulgy muscles. Well, I guess it could be an alien frog. I've just never thought about it that way.

Did you know that Baja Fresh is using this as a PR thing now? They've released a national press release about it. Basically the guy who owns the franchise is spending the money to save the mural (which sounds weird--I mean, saving the mural just means NOT PAINTING OVER IT, which you wouldn't think would cost money), but their supposed point is that he shares the supposed priorities of the company (after which they go on and on about the "values" inherent in providing burritos specially designed for people on the Atkins diet and so on blah blah blah).

The full text of the press release is on gawker at http://www.gawker.com/archives/deranged_freakshow_press_release_of_the_day.php if you're interested. It's icky.

Posted by: susan at January 8, 2004 09:17 AM

You know, come to think of it, I wouldn't be surprised if they were fully aware of the controversy that would arise from tearing it down, and purposefully let it drag out until the last minute to take advantage of the publicity.

What do you think, jaded blog readers?

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