V is for Moron by Kirby Kruger
Words like “vandalism spree” and “Private Investigator” are almost as powerful and incriminating as “wealthy and privileged backgrounds”. It’s clever and alliterative, the way they use all of those V-sounds. I read Paul Kirk’s article a few times over and tried to find other fun words like “villain” or “varmint”, but I realize that this is because I involuntarily began reading the article in Yosemite Sam’s voice and couldn’t help it.
V-sounds are powerful and vehement! That’s probably why Kirk used the word “vandal” sixteen times, so we’d know. It’d sound silly to say things like “public goofing” sixteen times. It’d be, well, goofy. And Kirk wrote this article very seriously.
I guess graffiti is breaking the law, huh?
Have you seen this picture?
Did it make you laugh? Well, it shouldn’t, because the guy who made that broke the law. You are deriving merriment out of a felon, there. Would a drug dealer make you laugh? How about a rapist or somebody who pirates DVDs?
If you’ve spent any time in the UK or the internet you’re perhaps familiar by now with the street artist, Banksy. He is a “street artist” and not a “vandal” because he was recently nominated for an Academy Award because he went a step further than putting up a Facebook page with his details – he made a movie of himself. Despite this, he still represents himself with a monkey mask so as to maintain anonymity, because if he were Clark Kent-ed once and for all he’d go back to being a “vandal” and not somebody whose work is printed on post cards for money.
Banksy sometimes paints pictures that are bold and political. One time he painted two male police officers kissing, which is something people are starting to pretend doesn’t bother them but it does, and I think at this time he was still labelled as a “vandal”. He also painted pictures with vague anti-war statements, which drove the public to see him as more of a “vigilante”.
Sometimes Banksy paints things on blank walls that make no sense but people seem to like them.
I live in Cape Town and there are these “vandals” who have an audacious blog called Word of Art and they go to Khyaletisha and vandalise everything without asking for or taking any money for it. They call the project “Write on Africa” and there are pictures and everything on their website.
A related group, also based in Cape Town, recently took part in a global vandalism act and printed out photographs people sent into their open-to-the public internet website and pasted them on blank walls all over the city. It’s called the Inside-Out Project and it’s the first time Cape Town’s hosted the message that artists and vandals who put these up was deal with “racism between the Black & Coloured youth from Hout Bay.”
So I guess this article won’t be as widely read as Paul Kirk’s and I’m a little worried I haven’t used enough v-words of my own to make a point. I hope I’ve left enough of a blank wall for you to fill in an idea of your own though, but I’m cautious about throwing that one out there because we’re talking about an illegal activity unless specifically illustrating a metaphor. Which it is. A big, fat, theoretical metaphor. Don’t let anyone tell you I told you to paint on walls.