Author Topic: Writing on the wall  (Read 2595 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Writing on the wall
« on: April 29, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »
Writing on the wall
 
Not far from my house in Bangkok is a large telephone junction box on which someone has recently sprayed in large black letters "Jon Smith Was Here!". Not the most original form of graffiti , but at least it was spelt correctly. It would have perhaps been more intriguing if it said "Lady Gaga Was Here" or maybe had a bit of local colour like "Thaksin Was Here".

There was a time where you saw very little graffiti in Thailand, but it has become more prevalent in the last decade or so, although nowhere near on the scale of the West. "Kilroy Was Here" was the most familiar graffiti when I was growing up and at school that face with a giant nose looking over the wall was a familiar figure on the blackboard.

I've always enjoyed old fashioned scrawled graffiti _ not the modern spray paint stuff _ with sardonic or pithy comments on life such as ''You're never alone with schizophrenia'' or ''Nostalgia is not what it used to be.'' Another one spotted on walls in London back in the 1960s was ''I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.''

Then there was the poster announcing ''Jesus Lives!'' to which someone had added ''Does that mean we won't get an Easter holiday?'' Also on a biblical theme was: ''Noah: the only man to float a limited company when the rest of the world was going into liquidation.''

Caught in limbo

A lot of graffiti is written in toilets and many of the examples which follow have been acquired over five decades of dutifully staring at toilet walls and the like. What a dreadful thought. I quite liked one warning written inside the stall of a London public toilet which read: ''Beware of the limbo dancers.''

Quite often graffiti expresses a general sense of helplessness such as: ''Do not believe in miracles _ rely on them''. In a similar vein is ''He who ploughs a straight furrow is probably in a rut.''

Posters promoting transport frequently attract graffiti. One airline boasted: ''Breakfast in London, Lunch in New York'', to which someone had added ''Baggage in Bermuda''.

Some graffiti writers can be really mean. When the hit film The Usual Suspects was released in London in 1995, outside one cinema there was a poster of the characters in the identity line-up and some spoilsport had drawn an arrow to Kevin Spacey and written ''He did it!''

The taxman is frequently a graffiti target as in this offering on a Manchester wall: ''I'm glad that I am British, I'm glad that I am free, But I wish I were a little dog, And my tax man was a tree.''

Fighting graffiti is a thankless task. In a recent example, the owners of a big white wall had written: ''Thank you for not writing on the wall'', next to which someone had sprayed in giant blue letters ''You're welcome!'' Well, at least it was a polite exchange.

Casualties of war

On a more sober note, during the early 1970s when the Vietnam war was still going strong, there were plenty of scribblings by GIs in the towns of northeastern Thailand like Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima which hosted the US bases. The graffiti generally reflected the disillusionment and frustration of fighting a war they didn't understand.

One common piece of graffiti scrawled in bars was ''Fighting for peace is like having sex to promote virginity'' although the actual language was a little more colourful. Another familiar piece of graffiti which summed up the feelings of many of the soldiers was: ''We are the unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful.''

Perhaps the most haunting graffiti I saw was in Nakhon Phanom, which also appeared on T-shirts: ''Join the Air Force, travel to exotic distant lands, meet exciting, unusual people and kill them.''

Guts and nuts

Political posters are traditionally good targets for those wishing to make a point. During the 1964 American presidential election one of the chief slogans for the right-wing Republican candidate Barry Goldwater was ''In your heart, you know he's right,'' to which was added ''In your guts, you know he's nuts''.

In Britain during the late 1970s the Labour Party's slogan was: ''Labour is the answer''. On one such poster, someone had written: ''If Labour is the answer, it must be a bloody silly question.''

When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister the Conservative Party ran posters of the beaming Iron Lady with the message ''Mrs Thatcher helps small businesses,'' to which someone had added ''get smaller all the time''.

It was about this time that graffiti appeared observing: ''A socialist is someone who has nothing and wants to share it with everyone else.''

Never say die

Perhaps the most popular motif for traditional graffiti has been the ''old soldiers never die'' theme.

There are hundreds of them on toilet walls around the world. You've probably seen them before, but here are my favourites: ''Old accountants never die, they just lose their balance.''; ''Old magicians never die, they simply disappear.''; ''Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal.''; ''Old bankers never die, they just lose interest.'' ; and finally, ''Old columnists never die, they simply bore everyone else to death.''

Bangkok Post

Now what about "Old forums..." etc.?  :evilgrin
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

sicho

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Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 11:01:51 AM »
I like the Vietnam Massacre War graffiti. Back home, they thought that the lads were having a glorious time dying pointlessly.

Many years ago in London, a pub wrote its own graffiti on an internal brick wall:

'Always plan
         ahead'

This one isn't graffiti but it draws on the same sense of humour. The Derbyshire police, in an effort to reduce thefts from cars left by walkers in remote car parks, gave victims of such crimes stickers to display in their windscreens that read, 'There are no valuables in this car'.  Inevitably, I suppose, one thief broke into a car and left a note that read. 'Just checking'.

 

Offline thaiga

Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 11:35:52 AM »
WOW

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline dodgeydave

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Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 03:18:49 PM »
i am in favour of original graffiti and some of the painting they do is very artistic. but it does depend where it is written of course. and some councils are actually trying to brighten up some areas with graffiti.

Alex Lester a DJ on BBC radio 2 actually promotes the annual truck writing season with some stupid non offensive comment.this is normally written with a finger in the dirt. so does no damage

one of the best i see on the back of a truck was...preserve nature pickle a squirrel
 

Offline Loud Fart

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Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 09:58:13 PM »
I lived for some years in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK until about 10 years ago I developed an urge to get as far away from it as possible.

However, I have to give them credit where credit is due. They were years ahead of the internet social networking revolution. i mean 20 years before the advent of Facebook, they were networking on the walls of the town.

Daniella Lambert is a slag,          PC Jim Davies is a tosser,           Carlos does not pay his drug debts.

I used to live in constant fear of being the subject of someone's status update...

Even though I was squeeky clean as a character, but you piss someone off, and the Dulux comes out.
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 10:21:12 PM »
Dont forget



Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Online Taman Tun

Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 07:43:42 AM »
There is a good one for a toilet:-

Some come here to sit and think

But I come here to shit and stink
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 08:00:50 AM »
Some old school joke....not sure if it's correct.  From a student's perspective or maybe a teacher.

"Here I sit, broken hearted, paid my dime but only farted.  The bell has rung, I must not linger, so I guess I'll use my finger."

Obviously written in a land where they don't have water guns.

Here's another one, TT.  I think you will appreciate this one. 



Here I sit,
All broken Hearted,
Came to shit,
But I only farted.
Sittin in class;
I took a chance,
tried to fart
and shit my pants.
Next time you go,
take it from me:
When you have to fart,
Sit down and pee


And one more to add to the collection.  One might even surmise that it applies to certain internet forums. ;D

Here i sit broken hearted
came to shit but only farted
some come here to sit and think
some come here to shit and stink
but I come here to scratch my balls
and read the bullshit on the walls.
 

sicho

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Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 08:28:49 AM »
I lived for some years in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK until about 10 years ago I developed an urge to get as far away from it as possible.

However, I have to give them credit where credit is due. They were years ahead of the internet social networking revolution. i mean 20 years before the advent of Facebook, they were networking on the walls of the town.

Daniella Lambert is a slag,          PC Jim Davies is a tosser,           Carlos does not pay his drug debts.

I used to live in constant fear of being the subject of someone's status update...

Even though I was squeeky clean as a character, but you piss someone off, and the Dulux comes out.

Did you ride away from Banbury on the Cock Horse? If so, the local newscasters may have found inspiration for some graffiti that you never saw.   ;D
 

Offline Loud Fart

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Re: Writing on the wall
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 11:49:38 AM »
Did you ride away from Banbury on the Cock Horse? If so, the local newscasters may have found inspiration for some graffiti that you never saw.   ;D


:lol :lol
 

 



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