And Gutenberg Lived Here: Is Hacking The New Graffiti?

Today we had a couple of hours off,

and hadn’t gotten a whole lot of fresh air lately-


so we took out our handy-dandy public transport card-

university to Rhine

and all points east,

and headed downtown.

On the Rhine-

Picture seven hills-each with it’s own area of specialization-


ancient fort on the cliffs now used for the carnival companies to practice,


home of the draysiner- a sort of pre- bicycle without pedals

(you sit on it and push yourself along with your feet- like a scooter-

and every bit as fast as a bicycle)

U teaching-research hospital-

(research partner to St Louis U and Barnes hospital-

lots of good ideas for mobility, genetics,  diabetes control, and alternative medicine

coming out of here)



back on the new lightweight narrow-gauge that winds all through the area

and is rapidly replacing buses-

just wish the towers weren’t so darned ugly and intrusive-

we were off on an adventure.

To see what was going on-


and who was down there-

senior citizens-

and what events were going on-

the wedding trade fair,

the white sales start soon,

Florence Forster Jenkins is on at the movie house-

no ice on the streets,

thank goodness-

then we discovered it-

the graffiti.

As in:

during the winter holidays,

some idiots,

and I don’t use the term loosely,

had discovered that:

to build the  new super light-weight railway

that hauls students to the U,

and  fans to the football games,

and the super-vips to the tv studios-

no, actually, only the cheerleader teams

and vips of the week-

the real biggies-

hot over here are Bruce Willis

and Leonardo De Caprio-

Bruce  born here

Leo  with German granny-

have a car, driver, and body guard-

so says one of my voice students,

whose husband is a second tv network security man.

So anyway,

there we were, passing miles and miles of university buildings,


the buildings, not us,

due to the tram builders pulling down all the fences

and bushes,

and trees,

but disgustingly decorated with

“Lukas, the Uzzis will get revenge,”


“this is OUR world, get used to it, etc etc.”

And I started thinking about why someone would do this-

especially as the university,

in egg-headed well-meaningness,

has put up mile after mile of fences covered in canvas,

and invited everyone to paint there-


not one tag-

which is why I wonder-

why do they only tag when it is destructive?


if it’s not wanting to express something that is in them

and just has to get out-

or a need to improve something-

or show beauty…


it is apparently a need to destroy.

To force people to look


at something bad they, the taggers, have done,

and accept it.

Whether they, Joe Average,  want to or not.

Which brings me back to my question-

isn’t this like computer stalkers?

The ones who just have to hate,

and attack,

and destroy,

and put it on someone’s page,

again and again.

And send them the computer version

of a burning paper bag of manure on your doorstep,

or taking your mail out of the mailbox,

and posting it on the town hall bulletin board.

Most of us grew out of that stage,

if we were ever in it-

at somewhere between the ages of eight and fourteen.

No, I do not have prince Albert in the can-

and if you call again, I will have you arrested,

phone slammed down,

kid scared,

learns not to call again,

grows up.


And eventually stops sending people 24 pizzas.

or letting air out of tires.

Which brings me to a theory of mine-

that modern living has so much surveillance involved,

you would be seen

and filmed

and find yourself on YouTube

if you did the above.

(Paper bag, Prince Albert, Pizzas, et al)

But what if you had a key

to the central post office,

and could steal anyone’s letters you wanted,

and post them in public,

or send them to other people

without getting caught?

How many of us would tell someone

I saw your mail,

and immediately ignored it,

and traced the person who did this.

Here is your mail.

And their name.

In case you want to call up

and scare the be-jeebers out of them.

So anyway,

just wondering if there isn’t something a bit odd about a system

where computer stalkers,

who, in normal life,

can’t get at you personally,

have to prove they are right in their odd thoughts,

by posting it  where

if you don’t spam it,

your eighty year old aunt Mildred tells you

her best friend’s grandchild saw it,

and is amazed you use pot-

or dislike transgenders,

or whatever lies your stalker is telling this week.



You’re it.


I’m not it, thanks.

Because no matter how much destruction is done,

from taggers ruining buildings,

or linemen listening to telephone calls,

or those who snoop in your house while at a party,

for every nine who believe the nonsense that is being told,

and the ugliness that is being shown,

there will always be one person,

one decent honorable, joyful, NORMAl person,

who says to the others,

“hey, you remember when the power lines were out, and she took John and I in.”

And one of the nine will say

“hey, you’re right. He always did four services on Christmas eve, and took the organist

home for a meal.”

“She took care of my flowers when I was in the hospital.”

“He wrote a recommendation for my son.”

And by the time the dust has settled,

and nine out of ten are now on the other side,

people will suddenly realiize

that only one person is really involved here.

A Destructionist-

how’s that for a name.

Someone who destroys,

for the fun of it,

and the control involved,

because they feel they have no control in their lives,

or for the money they get for destroying.

Or just the fact that they are so very unhappy,

and anyone being happy must be an unfeeling unrealistic idiot.

And so they destroy.

Not understanding that all that bad

is not stronger than good,

as my troll tried to  tell me.

And that even if,

as it was in the good old days where I am from,

the entire town doesn’t get together and whitewash everything that has been destroyed,

and put it back together,

at least they all still know it ought to be cleared away once and for all.

And that a group of intolerant whoo-haws

who feel we all have to be exactly like them,

since they are so insecure

and untrusting,

have no right to judge anyone,

or disrespect anyone,

or steal from anyone.

And that this will definitely be taken care of by someone

much bigger than all of us.

copyright 2017


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