The Need for Intelligible Graffiti

Graffiti is defined as words or pictures scribbled or drawn on a wall or other structure.  Graffiti is only slightly younger than dirt, as evidenced by the photo on the right.  This picture is from Kom Ombo Temple in Egypt (courtesy of Wikipedia) and was clearly drawn by a political supporter of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian God of the Afterlife.  (Note:  Last speculation is written tongue in check.  Please fact check all blog information before including in any written reports on which an educational future hinges…..).

The picture on the left was recently taken in my daily rambling ambles about Astoria.  Clearly, this collaborative work is the result of millions and millions of years of inbreeding.

Graffiti has often had a political and/or social critique component.  An anonymous tool with which to criticize authoritarian governments under cover of night and spray can.  Or, in the case of Kom Ombo, darkness, chisel and hammer (again, see NOTE, above).  At some point, however, as our drawing materials became smaller and more portable, our thoughts and missions also become proportionally smaller.

Today, much of the graffiti I encounter is usually posted on the walls of bathroom stalls in bars and consists of such meaningful, thought-provoking and life-changing messages as “Willie and Grace BFF” and “There’s something in your nose. It’s my fart.”  Really?  Is this all we’re capable of intellectually – even if alcohol is involved? What happened to the grand literary tradition of writers producing great masterpieces whilst drinking themselves into early graves?  Edgar Allan Poe, gods rest his soul, is struggling for a way to rise from his grave and smite us all with a raven for this illiterate jibberish.

I propose a poetic challenge to all of you readers out there.  Gird yourself with a Sharpie of your choice, brush up on your Rumi, Khalil Gibran, or Sartre, and take to the stalls.  Let’s prove to the Wizard that we do have a brain!

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