Boston conventioneers are no doubt enjoying a cigar and some painful memories with the great Red Auerbach, or reliving a more innocent time with the Public Garden's ducklings. Art on a human scale and all that. But blanketing the town with statues of Wagner's dog is, well, menacing.
Update: Dialogue! Alex says they are not menacing. I was going to make a facile joke about how I don't like dogs or Germans (cf. Rammstein video above), but let's be serious for a second. It is very nice to have an intimate relationship with "your" past, but the festival form tends to spectacularize it (the past), with all the predictable distortion, trivalizing, elision, simplification. I'm not sugesting that Germans need to have a conference on nineteenth-century constructs of national identity every time they listen to Siegfried, but I'm not sure Wagner really needs a human face either. (I'm also not sure that I approve of the allegedly "humanizing" affects of pet love for that matter). The music itself should, of course, be the point, but if you're going to build a theme park you better put the anti-semitism ride next to the pet-lover ride.