Friday, March 04, 2011

Rev. Derek Coates does not believe in transubstantiation! or, what's your favorite graffiti?

Two good bits from books I've started this week:
"In the bed-and-breakfast ghetto the shutters squeaked and banged and a chill low-season wind blew old newspapers down the road."

— Malcolm Pryce, Last Tango in Aberystwyth

***
And here's Colin Bateman's Mystery Man on a graffiti vandal's trail in Mystery Man:
"A footpath on the Malone Road bore the legend Alan McEvoy beats dogs; a gable wall on the Andersontown Road had Seamus O'Hare plays away from home; on Palestine Street the front door of a student flat had been daubed with the words Coke dealers live here and a parish house in Sydenham decorated with Rev. Derek Coates does not believe in transubstantiation."
***
What's your favorite graffito ever? I saw my two in neat, bold, large letters in Boston's Charlestown section more than twenty years ago:
Eat shrimp for better function!
and
Kevin has his priorities
I wonder to this day if demolition of an adjacent building robbed the second of a punch line we shall sadly never know.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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15 Comments:

Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Eunice Williams-I LOVE YOU FOR EVER.
On the freeway overpass.
Had to write a story about it.

March 04, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Not happy with real grafitti and tend to avert my eyes. But I loved the fictionalized ones. Especially the one for the good reverend. In fact, that book sounds funny. A twist on poison pen letters? Hate the cover, though.

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Patti, the bit of graffiti that gets the Mystery Man on the case is also on an overpass, though they call them flyovers in Northern Ireland.

Is your graffiti story online?

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., I'm no fan of graffiti either, whether of the written or the drawn and painted variety. Gorgeous examples exist (generally on abandoned industrial buildings on the outskirts of cities, where the perpetrators have time to work undisturbed), but most graffiti is dull, unimaginative, ugly and self-indulgent.

But how much paint would one have to use for transubstantiation, not to mention eschewing the contraction in does not?

March 04, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Eschewing? :)

I take it the book is British.

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Do you think I should foreswear eschew?

Yep, Colin Bateman is from Northern Ireland, somewhere near Belfast, I think.

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Yvette said...

Banksy rules!

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I looked up Banksy, and I realized I had seen one of his images before, in situ.

If everyone who defaced public and private property were as talented as he is, I wouldn't mind graffiti so much. Actually, graffiti is like anything else: Most of it is crap, some small percentage is clever and beautiful.

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Yvette said...

How about that guy who draws those incredible 3-D pastel paintings on the sidewalks? Someone just sent me a link to more of his amazing work.

But maybe that's more of a sanctioned type thing. Art in public spaces.

Banksy is becoming very establishment I think. He's even got a docu film out - was nominated for an Oscar. He's going to have to do something really outrageous, I suppose, to get his rep back. :)

I've never seen Banksy's work in situ. But I love it anyway. The two cops kissing. The masked guy throwing a bunch of flowers. Two of my favorites.

March 04, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The one that I recognized was of a person held by the wrist and dangling out a window. I've seen either it or a copy of it on the side of a building.

What we get in East Coast cities are graffiti tags, large, colorful and sometimes attractive on abandoned buildings, ugly, monotonous and unimaginative elsewhere.

Yeah, that's a problem trying to stay subversive once the money starts rolling in.

March 04, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I like graffiti if it's creative and colorful, not boring.

It can really perk up a building or a street.

I worked in an office years ago, which had commissioned a graffiti artist to come in and paint a huge, long wall. It was colorful.

When one walked into work every day, the wall art cheerfully welcome all.

Years later, when the director left who'd had this art done, the next director had the wall painted over in solid dark gray. What an awful anti-artistic act.

I've liked graffiti ever since.

March 05, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I agree. That was an awful act, and I can well understand the sympathy it gave you for graffiti. I'd hate to see graffiti art or graffiti-inspired art as good as like the example I illustrated here disappear.

March 05, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

This post, which I hadn't noticed before, reminds me of Tom Lehrer's Vatican Rag.

One line was "time to transubstantiate."

I won't dwell on this further, to not ruffle anyone feathers, but this was a hilarious satire, as were all of his songs.

Not having grown up Catholic, I had no idea what this meant at the time, although one of my relatives who had, was thrown off-guard by Lehrer's words.

March 28, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Transubstantiate" is such an elaborate word and counter-intuitive concept that using it the context of highway graffiti o humorous songs is bound to be amusing. "Time to transubstantiate" is a wonderful line even out of context.

March 28, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

It was "2, 4, 6, 8, Time to transubstantiate."

I won't go any further so as not to offend anyone of this religious persuasion nor will I speak of Mel Brooks' famous line about "Who persuaded me" (when asked about being of Jewish persuasion).

Anyway, anyone who has not heard Tom Lehrer's parodies years ago is missing something great, and it still is relevant.

March 29, 2011  

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