Wednesday, July 23, 2014

V For Vandal

There's a few things that caught my eye, with the white flags that were mysteriously flown on the Brooklyn Bridge. One was that they were real American flags that were bleached. Which got me thinking about Jasper Johns. 
Johns was a Korean War vet, which may be neither here, nor there concerning this incident. Freaky enough is, I'm not the only one who was thinking of Johns when you look at this, BBC News - #BBCtrending: 10 theories about the Brooklyn Bridge flags
Johns is number 5 on the list.
But the weirdest thing of all was the whole New York Post (I know, I know)  Vandals plant white flags on Brooklyn Bridge, causing fear among New Yorkers over lack of security - NY Daily News
Vandals? Really?
Which threw me, exactly what was vandalized? Maybe our sense of security was vandalized? The usual definition of "vandalism" is Vandalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable.[1] The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner."
Could this be localized as a surrender? As in the God awful "choke hold" death of  Eric Garner, if that's allegedly what  happened? First Police Report On Eric Garner's Death Doesn't Mention Chokehold: Gothamist
What's crazy to me is that these people got on the bridge, and shut down the lights with some aluminum bake ware and were able to swap out the flags. If they were vandals or terrorists or what have you, they could have caused chaos, but they didn't. In a time and place when surveillance is everywhere, you would think that the NSA, scooping up all our metadata, somehow, this would have alerted homeland security.
So what has been surrendered? If that is what it means? Is it art? I think terrorism has been ruled out.
What it reminds me of is this, with all the war and chaos worldwide.
 It's John Lennon.  Give Peace A Chance.

     Maybe it's just me, but I am hoping those flags with all the turmoil worldwide, may mean this,

  Maybe we should all have white flags for Peace in front of our houses or on our cars, because these borders, and flags. that are man made cause war and destruction. We need a Peace Flag.


  1. Nice and very interesting piece. (Or is that the same thing?) At any rate, there's a simple explanation for the "Vandals" headline. It sells newspapers. "Practical jokers" wouldn't do nearly as well.

    I worked for the same newspaper (under a different owner) more decades ago than I care to admit. One night, I was sent up to East Harlem to cover a shooting in which two brothers had been killed. It turned out to be a feud between a local thug, who had been unsuccessfully hitting on a young woman, and the young women's brothers. The thug climbed a fire escape, and fired into the family's living room window, killing one of the brothers and a house guest.

    I phoned in the story.

    "What is it, a gang war?" the rewrite man asked me.

    "No, just some hard feelings between one homicidal lunatic and two brothers. Let me tell you how it happened." I did.

    By the time I got back to the news room, the first edition of the paper was rolling off the press. "Two Killed In East Harlem Gang War" the headline declared.

    As I was saying, it sells papas.

  2. Well, Crank I had no idea about your journalism background. But it doesn't surprise me since you are a fine writer and so politically astute. You always get and angle I don't see and I look at what you write about with new eyes.
    That is so interesting, how the media twists things, for profit, that's what it comes down to. It takes an artist, like you and like me to see more than what is profitable, or convenient, to get to the truth or at least see between the lines. Thank you for the compliment on this post.

  3. Similar to graffiti artists, I suppose. Just like them these white flags folks (assuming it was more than one person) manage put up something eye catching without anyone knowing at first. I don't know how they get away with it. I couldn't. I was once stopped by a park ranger for talking to myself!

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  5. Yeah Kirk, I talk to myself all the time. Didn't know it was worthy of a busy policeman's notice...