The Story of Graffiti

It is not a rare occasion, when going along the street you clash with some puzzled and giant inscription. Vivid colors and intricacy lead you to stare, guessing and having a hunch what is written on the wall or building. That is the first impression people get about graffiti, embellishing their buildings. Indeed, graffiti style has emerged not long ago, but simultaneous simplicity and involute plot leave us nothing but astonishment and excitement. It is an issue of street-art culture, which signifies that modern art is not a prerogative of rich and intelligent people, but talented ones.

Graffiti is recognized as street art style that embraced outdoors of New York in 1920s. However, there are some ideas that it was only an outburst of this art, which has accomplished a long history of its development since ancient times.  As strange as it may seem, petroglyphic drawings in Egypt and Greece are likely to be the first steps towards graffiti, which were executed on statues, temples and even pyramids. They carried either religious or warning meaning. Medieval graffiti is associated with pre-Columbian America and the culture of Maya people and, in addition, Vikings in Northern Europe, who were engaged in runic writings. In Early Modern Period graffiti was left by soldiers in various parts of the world, who were eager to leave some written mark about their conquest or stay in the mission station.

All in all, at the beginning of the 20th century people faced graffiti style, which slightly differs from the modern version. Moreover, the culture of this street art style was enriched with new methods, terms, authors and, of course, ideas. A critic is also included, which features the question: are graffiti images an art or an act of vandalism? There is no doubt that most of the authors (so-called writers) strived for expressing own social and political perception, but it did not obstructed to make images (tags) alerting and well-performed. Mainly, they were observed on the streets of American cities, where young people “imprinted” their dissatisfaction with the President or certain politicians.

Many tags were created in order to point out musical preferences. For example, the most prominent tag of the 20th century is “Clapton is God”, which appeared in Islington station (London subway) in 1967. In this way fans of rock-musician supported the release of his new album “Bluesbreakers” and the rock-n-roll culture.  The decades of 1970s and 1980s are a period of protesting punk rock movement. Especially, it covered streets of Manhattan, where the most visible tag was an upside-down martini glass – a symbol of Missing Foundation (punk group of 1984-1992). By the way, Manhattan is also a native place of the first recognized graffiti writer – TAKI 183; his tags were all over NYC, pointing his name (Taki is simplified from Demetrius) and address (183rd street).

To date, lots of countries have admirable and talented writers, which decorate both their native streets and make great tags in different parts of the world. Some cases might be underlined. Miss Van started with painting incredible dolls on Toulouse streets and nowadays moved to Spain, sharing her art with fashion industry (Fornarina collection, particularly). Banksy is the most well-paid and the most mysterious painter of modernity. He hides real identity behind the pseudonym of Bansky and paintings criticizing politics. He alerts an attention with his nihilism and anti-capitalism views, which only encourage people to attend his gallery exhibitions all over the world.

Stuck at the Denver airport

So I suppose its not that bad, it’s not snowing here or in Boston either and i don’t have to sleep at the airport but chicagos is delayed so my pilot is late. I left at noon in LA and will be in boston at two-thirty in the morning.  After which It being christmas eve and everything, i will have to go spend time with my girlfriend and her family.  This is normally fine except for the fact that I will be drop dead tired and perhaps slightly offensive with my disinterest.

After that though will be a some time to relax at my moms and then at the cape, the most relaxing of all…

I was lamenting the work ethic of americans a moment ago becuase no one gives us any credit for being the hardest working people outside of asia.  I’m taking a week off and so I will get paid for three weeks instead of three and will need to subsidize my rent.  Even If I were a salaried worker, I would christmas day and newyears day off and the rest would have to be vacation days out of the ten or twenty given to most each year.  The average person in Europe works 30 hours a week and shuts down every afternoon for two hours to take lunch and a nap.  I would say that the average United state’s citizen works about double that and clocks out for lunch.

These stats are not totally accurate but the idea is spot on.  If you were to tell someone in Spain for example that you work 15 hours a day, every day, with health benifits that couldn’t cover a cold, they would consider it inconceivable and possibly criminal.  I would argue that it is a conflict in our constitution, albeit a debatable one.  One could see this hard work as cruel and unusual punishment for being poor or unintelligent but it is a necessary path for people in the pursuit of happyness.  And they are working like this to make other people happy, generally their families.

Suggestions?

Federally mandated paid vacations, even for hourly workers?

Tax Breaks for people working more than 40hrs a week?

This country was built on people willing to sacrifice their lives’ work to provide a better environment for following generations.  How are we not at a point where driven hard working people can have a few minutes of free time?

This began as a reflecting on my last six months of work and how hard it is to clock 50hrs a week and be tired all the time but now I see that it’s not about me, It’s about the people really stuggling to make ends meet because they are stronger than me and I don’t know how they do it decade after decade.

To the people whose shoulders’ we stand on!

Year in Photos

Some pics from my life this past year.  More to come…

Boston

Boston

Upstate NY

Upstate NY

 

My Old Car

My Old Car

 

My Dog

My Dog

 

Thornden park

Thornden park

The Road West

The Road West

stock-market-the-ride-l

Election Results

Election Results

LA Peoples

LA Peoples

Hollywood Clouds

Hollywood Clouds

LA

LA

Beverly Hills Tree

Beverly Hills Tree

Boston College Pics

Some taken by me, some from unknown sources
Lookin up

Lookin up

 

Babst--The silent library

Babst--The silent library

 

Gasson

Gasson

 

 

My old apt on Braemore Rd

My old apt on Braemore Rd

The Red Sox Win…for the first time

Flipped and burning cars, riot cops on horses, shotguns and teargas…

Boylston St

Boylston StSome kind of gas fired into the crowd

Ready for rabblerousers

Ready for rabblerousers

Man vs Wild

I grew up in the city. I was born on Beacon Hill and when I was five we moved to Brookline on the edge of Fenway Park.  When I was thirteen, it was a good time for me and my friends to go down to the combat zone and buy fireworks in an underground store that also sold live animals and swords. I went to a high school located at Dartmouth and commonwealth in Copley Square. I had soccer practice by the waterfront and basketball in the North End.  I have been mugged and in street fights and know my way intimately around the downtown alleys and Roxbury housing projects. Until I went to college I lived within a few blocks of the Longwood medical district and as a result could not hear sirens unless someone else pointed them out.  Occasionally someone would ask how I dealt with the noise and I would always reply, “What sirens?”. This is city life, loud and sometimes dangerous.

            I have also been going to a family estate in Cape Cod my entire life. My family bought an oblong twenty acre island in Buzzards Bay in 1872 and made it their vacation home.  There are three houses there now that were built around 1900 and the rest of the place is secondary growth forest surrounded by a nature conservatory.

            It takes an hour to get there from Boston and I go whenever I can.  Perhaps it is because I can never hear silence where I live, but then again waves are not silent either.  I’ve learned to bring what I need so I don’t have to drive into a town that closes at ten. This lack of irritating or unpleasant noise tips my mental balance towards sanity.

 The distance is not a problem for me, driving is not particularly unpleasant though I am dependant on it.  Cars are too important for most people though because they need these expensive things to get to work. People can’t afford to live in the city but they have to work there and in many cases public transportation is not really an option. It reminds me of the aliens looking down on earth and deducing that the car is the dominant life form.

Ultimately the city and the technology that has arisen from it does not make our life easier, it just makes some of us live longer, more stressful lives.

Boozin College

The most dangerous aspect of college drinking should be the focus of prevention strategies.  I think the foremost goal should be not necessarily a reduction in college drinking but a reduction in the number of these drinkers who endanger themselves or others by drinking in an irresponsible manner.[1]  This is particularly important in the long run because binge drinking and other alcohol abuse makes it more likely to become an alcoholic or addict later in life. 

Trying to prevent alcohol from possession by underage students is in practice a waste of time.  Punishments or legal measures for such offenses are important because they show that the establishment stands behind the law, but do not prevent the flow of alcohol.  In this particular case it should be recognized that attacking the supply is useless because of the legality and general acceptance of underage drinking.  In most cases, a reasonable person does not object to people over the age of eighteen drinking responsibly.  The most compelling argument for me is the fact that when an American citizen turns eighteen, we can vote, go to war, be tried as an adult, but are not allowed to participate in one of the most popular adult activities.  We should also think about the situation in this country in relation to the situation in other first world countries.[2]  Considering that alcoholism rates in Europe are much lower and so is the drinking age, as well as the idea that alcohol is less likely to be abused when its consumption is not a novelty, we can conclude that focusing on responsible drinking is the best general strategy to reduce the overall harm, regardless of age. 

            Education is important but taking a hard line approach when presenting the facts can undermine the intended statement.  Since many college students think they should be allowed to drink, they may disregard a message that prescribes prohibition for people under twenty-one.  Providing a course to educate freshmen seems like an excellent idea as long as the emphasis is on responsible and safe drinking.  It should be a given that freshmen have the choice to drink alcohol.  These courses should also be mandatory instead of a form of punishment for violating the rules regarding alcohol.  Classes that are required as part of punishment are also less likely to be effective because they do not generally cover a large amount of material and students generally just have to attend to fulfill the requirement.  A mandatory class with grades and credit, not unlike this one, would be a way to make sure that everyone is aware of the dangers, even if they choose to ignore them.

            Proper education about the nature of alcohol should also be provided before college and most people do have some drug and alcohol programs in high school and middle school.  Experimentation should also be encouraged to a certain point.  This is not to say that parents should give their kids alcohol and tell them to have a good time but if a teenager is curious about alcohol, they should be allowed to try it.  I think that knowing the effects of alcohol before entering a college drinking situation would be very beneficial.  Quite often alcohol poisoning is a result of someone who didn’t know what effect a certain amount of alcohol would have on them.  A very important aspect of any education program should include the warning signs of alcohol poisoning.[3]  Sanctioned, supervised alcohol consumption during high school and college would also normalize the drinking situation to a great extent.  For many people, drinking would become less of a thrilling pastime and more of a normal event.  For example, I have spent a good amount of time at Mcgill and at the parties there everyone is drinking but generally not overboard and is certainly nothing compared to American schools.  One possible reason for this is a tradition that professors have a dinner with groups of new students, wine is served and the students can have an example early on in their college career of how to drink in a responsible manner.

            Beyond education, there are several things that could be done with regards to student living arrangements and sanctions associated with underage and/or irresponsible drinking.  The first and most important thing is to make sure that if someone gets in trouble, they can be helped as quickly as possible.  In order for this to happen, people can not be afraid to ask for help.[4]  The possible sanctions one might face when calling the police or ambulance for a sick friend should not be such that someone might hesitate to react the way they should.  BC has done a good job concerning this risk because generally when an underage person is caught drunk, they are given the choice of a jail cell or the infirmary.   Another thing the school could do would be to encourage RAs to be more aware, if not involved, with the activities of the students.  Students shouldn’t be worried about being “busted” by the RA because then we have an US vs. THEM mentality which may stop some of the alcohol coming in but does not make for an effective prevention technique.  An RA should overlook moderate drinking in order to create an atmosphere of trust and so if a serious problem arises, it can be dealt with more effectively.  Sanctions should be given mainly as a way to recognize warning signs for an individual.  The college is certainly concerned with the health of their students and so with a certain number of alcohol related sanctions, someone should tell the student they may have a drinking problem and have recovery options should they need it.

            I think we should lower the drinking age despite the fact that the earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely they are to become alcoholics.  The benefits of a more responsible drinking population would outweigh the potential downsides.  Destroying the novelty of alcohol consumption would greatly reduce the amount of abusive drinking.  With the drinking age at twenty-one, it is important to focus to moderation and treatment rather than prohibition and punishment