“It’s mindless vandalism,” thunders the Evening Cancer. A view apparently supported by an odd coalition of Bristol Indymedia readers, the BBC, the local PR industry, the Lib Dems and the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft.
Appropriate Media daubing Banksy’s ‘Mild, Mild West’ on Stokes Croft in red paint might well be vandalism of this piece of, er vandalism. But is it mindless?
For starters Appropriate Media seem to have effortlessly gained acres of media coverage while outraging the bourgeoise – never a bad thing.
Meanwhile a look at their website suggests they’ve not only had a think about things rather than just conforming to a liberal consensus media view but they’ve also managed to write something far more witty and entertaining than anything you’re likely to find in the local paper:
Here’s a mystery for you. Renegade urban graffiti artist Banksy is clearly a guffhead of massive proportions, yet he’s often feted as a genius straddling the bleeding edge of now. Why? Because his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots.
Doesn’t sound mindless to me. Reads more like something Charlie Brooker might write in the famously brainy Guardian in fact.
And they do politics too. Try this:
Take Banksy’s political stuff. One featured that Vietnamese girl who had her clothes napalmed off. Ho-hum, a familiar image, you think. I’ll just be on my way to my 9 to 5 desk job, mindless drone that I am. Then, with an astonished lurch, you notice sly, subversive genius Banksy has stencilled Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald either side of her.
Wham! The message hits you like a lead bus: America … um … war … er … Disney … and stuff. Wow. In an instant, your worldview changes forever. Your eyes are opened. Staggering away, mind blown, you flick v-signs at a Burger King on the way home. Nice one Banksy! You’ve shown us the truth, yeah?
See? They’re not letting the media do their thinking for them are they?
As for charges of ‘vandalism’, well that’s Banksy’s big new thing they gleefully point out:
“I’m using the word vandalism a lot with the show. You know what hip-hop has done with the word ‘nigger’ – I’m trying to do that with the word vandalism, bring it back,” says Banksy
Eh? Bring it back where? Are you campaigning on behalf of a 5th century Germanic tribe? Or are you making parallels between the struggle of black people with centuries of racism and the struggle of poor little middle class white boys with the need to deface private property?
He, he. It’s almost like this lot are trying to do their own criticism of street art on the streets isn’t it? Brilliantly original aren’t they?