The Streets Are Ours!


This is another example of stencil graffiti on the streets of Lima.  I thought it was a pretty appropriate image for my web page.  I don’t think stencil graffiti is all that big in Lima, but you do see some of it every now and then.
The last time I was in Peru I saw this documentary called “Roadsworth: Crossing the Line.”  It was about a pretty harmless (and talented) street artist and how he was pissing off certain people in Montreal with his efforts.  His art tended to be pretty funny.  For example, he’d take a couple of street markings and add a couple of stencils to enhance the picture and the natural perspective (like throwing a zipper on the end of merging lanes so it looks like the street is getting “zipped up“).
It’s amazing how people get all bent out of shape by harmless, quirky shit like this (especially when you consider that the spray paint the guy used was of low quality and wore off after a month or so).  Seriously, who gives a crap?  Yet, all it takes is one or two loudmouth assholes and the city then commits to spend millions of dollars to needlessly “erase” the art, and then they pass off the rage of their expenditure on anyone who is creative.
Give me a break.
In something that’s semi related, I saw a story on Yahoo the other day about how prisoners who painted the shield logo on the trooper cars from some state, altered the spots on a cow (that appeared on the logo) so that one of them resembled a pig.  This wasn’t discovered until years later of course, but when it was discovered, the shit hit the fan and there were all these press conferences with the cops standing there seriously giving speeches about how the prank is going to cost tax payers money because they’re going to have to remove and replace all the shields.
Seriously?
You’ve got guys in jail making the shields on your cop cars, and one of them gets the better of you in a harmless way and you’ve got to just flip out over it?  Why not just laugh it off.  It actually is pretty funny if you have any sort of perspective at all.  What the hell are they worried about, that the whole legal system will be undermined if they show a crack in their armor about being human beings too.
It makes me think of “The Shawshank Redemption” where the most corrupt dude in the whole place is the warden of the prison.
In all honesty, I don’t know what happens to people.  It also makes me think of my cooperating teacher when I was doing my student teaching to get my teacher’s license in Physics.  So many people are absolutely corrupted by the slightest does of authority that it’s staggering/frightening.
The difference between me and most teachers is that I have charisma and I can give a lecture that teenagers are actually interested in listening to.  If you do that, you don’t have any classroom management problems (plus you actually create an environment in which learning can take place).
Yet, so many teachers are such boring individuals, that they can’t even comprehend the idea of presenting their material in a way that students WANT to hear it.  So they decide in their meager little minds that a “good” classroom is one where the students are sitting their quietly like robots, diligently scribbling everything they have to say, and if they observe a student interacting with a teacher like a human being, they flip out.
Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority”  should be required reading for anyone…I was going to say “anyone who goes into a job that has authority over someone” but then I realized that EVERY person at some point has authority over someone else, so it would really behoove the world to understand the danger of authority.
“Obedience to Authority” details the famous experiment that shows that about 90% of the world’s population are inclined to be Nazis, and will unquestioningly torture somebody to death if an authority figure tells them to.  It’s an amazing read, and the scary part is that 9 out of 10 people who READ THIS POST would, in fact, torture somebody to death if told to…(well, I’d hope that the enlightened readers of “Streets of Lima” might contain a higher-than-normal contingent of that not-so-obedient 10%…but in all honesty, I can’t even be sure that I am not among the 90%…I’d like to think I’m not, and I’ve certainly resisted needless authority in other cases…but until you’re put to the real test you never know).
Imagine if we hit little children with the “Obedience to Authority” test and if you failed (like 90% do) you were then prohibited from holding any post of authority in society whatsoever.  Sounds like a great premise for a science fiction novel…maybe I’ll write that novel.
One of the things that I hope makes this blog different than all the other crappy blogs out there, is that, those of you who read it regularly, should note that there is a sincere pursuit of some kind of intellectual or metaphysical or spiritual break through.  J. D. Salinger thought that the act of writing…not just a single session of sitting down and doing it, but the prolonged process throughout one’s life…was instrumental in the pursuit of enlightenment.  In a sense, writing is a form of meditation, and as you progress in your thoughts and ideas, you hopefully refine and improve them.
However, this isn’t the type of pursuit that is encouraged or even admired by today’s society.  And I’ve already cataloged how conclusions I’ve reached through writing have hindered me in a professional sense.
That’s why this blog is titled STREETS of Lima, because it’s certainly no place for people of cultivated society to dwell.  Nope…I live on the streets, where you’re free to have ideas, resist authority, and pursue greatness instead of dwell in mediocrity and the purposeful exploitation of others.
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