Poor, sad Denver International Airport.
No matter how much money and effort officials expend trying to craft DIA's image as an efficient, modern portal of global travel, its reputation is forever linked to wild accusations about underground bases and the New World Order.
The key factor that transformed a few backwater conspiracy theories into an unstoppable Internet meme is the airport's robust public art program, which includes such wingnut faves as the Tanguma apocalypse murals, the blue horse of death statue and the sinister gargoyle in the suitcase sculpture.
And now DIA wants your feedback! How do you really feel about all the freaky art?
A post this week on the airport's Facebook page asks travelers to complete a survey that will help officials figure out what kinds of public art projects to include in the $650 million South Terminal expansion.
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The online survey asks participants to identify their favorite artwork at the airport and describe how those "works of art influence your impression of DIA." But the possibilities aren't limited to permanent works. The survey also asks if folks might be interested in seeing dance and musical performances at DIA -- or , perhaps, "[c]ulinary features from the region's top chefs."
Let's hope the airport gets some serious-minded feedback from the survey. Because so far, the only comments left on its Facebook page are "why dont you just ask the queen to help?" -- the queen being a reference to the Queen of England, whom legend holds owns large amounts of land around the airport -- and "Get rid of that friggin ugly horse with demon eyes."
Poor, sad DIA. Does DIA have growing pains? Read Alan Prendergast's "Flight Change," originally published March 4, 2010.