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Letter from the Editor

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Christian Diaz, Staff Writer

Call me a prude if I choose to advocate for harsh reprimands against vandals on campus, but don’t call me a philistine. Let’s clarify one thing immediately: Not all vandalism is art and rebellion.

After all, whenever I voice my opinion on the subject of vandalism on campus, I en- counter the free spirit who glorifies vandals because they stick it to the Man, sometimes with “clubs and knives,” as was reported in the last Public Safety report. If, by Man, aforesaid free spirit is referring to the dormitory walls of the college that the perpetrators willingly chose to attend, then sure, they are sticking it to the Man. However, in this context, the Man is the community.

It is one thing to enhance and tweak the aesthetic qualities of a place so as to challenge the illusion of stability, much like the famously anonymous guerilla artist Banksy who has recently been bombarding the streets of Los Angeles with spray-painted images of children shooting crayons from automatic weapons.

It is an entirely different thing for college students at a relatively expensive private institution to mindlessly destroy common property, such as the idiot/s who fractured the ping pong table and pads in lower Gladfelter some weeks ago. What statement does this make?

It says, to me, that there are folks among us whose narrow vision impedes them from relating to their tremendous privileges as college students in the first world.

It says, to me, that there are students who recklessly destroy common property, waste resources and undermine the community because it’s fun. Contrast this with others on campus who technically are vandals. Does it not strike you with admiration to look outside a window and see miniature universes on impossible-to-reach places, the work of “vandalism” performed by the artist known as the King of Toys? Does it not make you warm to randomly encounter a giant stuffed tiger on the roof of Kittredge while you are rushing to class?

The kind of vandalism I can applaud is creative and enhances your sense of place. Its evil twin, however, is destructive and stupid and unfortunately much more common.

If you feel like undermining authority, spend a late night painting a mural on the outer walls of Kittredge, or psychedelic doors in the halls of Dorland. Don’t pee in the holy water of the Chapel.

Discussion

2 Responses to “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

  1. more toys!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by mojonixon | March 9, 2011, 12:04 am
  2. Even though this article is older, and I’ve yet to actually reside on campus (I’ll be starting this January), this article makes a lot of good points about vandalism. It’s hard to believe sometimes that people could actually fail to appreciate the environment as it is without feeling the need impart their “mark of wisdom”. And actually if you wanted to, you could kind of compare the act of vandalism to a carbon footprint.

    Posted by David | December 14, 2011, 1:47 am

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