Friday, May 30, 2003
The Writing On The Wall
There's a fair lot of graffiti and "street-art" on the walls and shop-fronts round my way. Much of it's either obscene or, worse, artless. It's the work of kids with little prospects, biding time before the inevitable stint at Her Majesty's, and announcing their presence like mongrels spraying territory. Only occasionally do you get something which actually adds to, rather than defaces, the neighbourhood, and lends a brash splash of colour to some otherwise grimy streets.
However, North London intellectual (pretentious git) that I am, I prefer the more erudite graffiti. Not your Kilroy Was Here, not even Don't Bomb Iraq, but the ones which make you stop and think with their deft turn of phrase.
EAT LANGUAGE, advises one graffito down the Cally. For all I know, it's probably a line from a Morrissey song, or a quote from David Crystal, but it's a sentiment I altogether agree with.
One of my all-time favourite pieces of graffiti, however, was spotted near London's Waterloo Station. I can't remember exactly when I saw it, but it was sometime last century. What I liked was its (accidental?) omission of a colon after the word "cool", which adds to the sentiment a delightful ambiguity. In bold white letters against a blue builder's hoarding, someone had written:
THE RULES OF COOL DON'T BOTHER THOSE WHO ARE