The Cardiff Kook gets political

Sure, many of us laugh at the “Cardiff Kook” and his antics. His Michael Jackson Thriller Tribute, his Oprah send off, the attack of the great white shark and his pterodactyl lift off — he’s survived them all. Now that it looks like the Kook is getting political, perhaps he next be writing his memoirs, and maybe it’ll be called “The Kook: Going Rogue.”
The question is will the Encinitas City Council be as accepting of the Kooks’ viewpoints now that they might contradict with their own?
A while back, after the Encinitas City Council voted to remove the world famous “Surfing Madonna” mosaic, the Kook appeared dressed as “Our Lady of Guadalupe” with a simple sign that read: “Remove the City Council.”
While many of us have grown accustomed to enjoying the Kook and his costumes for days at a time, this incarnation of the Kook was disrobed and removed in less than 24 hours. Could it be City Hall wasn’t digging his message?
Shortly after making his political views known, I learned the city of Encinitas planned to spend money to increase the night lighting around the Kook. If the Kook has a political point of view, it could be beneficial to let him share it in the light of day. Who knows what he might say next.
A few days after the Kook went political I read that Deputy Encinitas City Manager Richard Phillips sent a letter to local artist Bryan Snyder.
In his letter, Phillips advised Snyder that it is “unlawful for any person to damage or deface public property, and it is considered an act of vandalism.”
If the “Surfing Madonna” could write she might say the same thing to Phillips and the City Council. She might well have felt defaced being referred to as “graffiti.”
After the news broke in 2010 that then Mayor Dan Dalager had failed to disclose he had accepted discounted kitchen appliances, the Kook went online dressed as the mayor with a toaster under one arm and a microwave in the other. More recently the Kook was seen online in a gas mask and HAZMAT suit to question the wisdom of building homes on top of a former nursery site in town.
During this last Labor Day weekend, the Kook was seen holding Old Glory, serving as the patriotic backdrop for tourists and
passerbys posing by for photos.
The Kook continues to be a part of the community with each passing day. He’s George Clooney in bronze. He’s using his perch on Chesterfield and Coast Highway as his own pulpit. The Kook was tolerated when his antics were amusing. Will he be silenced over his political leanings?
Political ghost art? Only in Encinitas.


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