Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, October 27, 2003

The Uses of Graffiti



Lemme get this straight. Graffiti on Boston river bridges is a tradition, part of the school and team spirit of the rowers on the Charles River. It's part of Boston's ambience, a little touch of authentic (and free!) civic folk art in an impersonal urban world.



So of course some Grinches say it has to go. In the name of beautification. I roll my eyes in their general direction.



I remember as a kid the joy of seeing the newest graffiti high schooler inscriptions on the railroad bridge right before you got to 35 and the boulder near one entrance to Wright State. There was always something new (that rock must have had more layers of paint than a samurai sword has layers of steel), and it was cheerful and alive. Now the railroad bridges are the standard ugly concrete and there's an ugly, expensive brick wall "work of art" at Wright State, instead. Says it all.

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