Monday, June 04, 2007

the wisdom of bansky

Plenty of people more qualified than I (including, recently, The New Yorker's Lauren Collins) have written about the graffiti art of the enigmatic Brit known as Banksy. Fewer people have noted his knack for coming up with snappy, irreverent catchphrases, which are strewn throughout the pages of his books, although Collins does note that Bansky's "talents as an aphorist ... seem to inspire all who cross his path," citing two examples:

  • “Never paint graffiti in a town where they still point at aeroplanes.”
  • “Only when the last tree has been cut down and the last river has dried up will man realize that reciting red Indian proverbs makes you sound like a fucking muppet.“

Going through the latest Banksy compilation, Wall and Piece, I was struck by a number of other quotables:

  • "Graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people: politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers."
  • "Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place."
  • "A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to."
  • "Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own."
  • "There are no exceptions to the rule that everyone thinks they're an exception to the rules."
  • "People seem to think if they dress like a revolutionary then they don't actually have to act like one."
  • "Nothing dispels enthusiasm like a small admission fee."
  • "Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity is ideal."
  • "You can win the rat race but you're still a rat. The human race is an unfair and stupid competition. A lot of the runners don't even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It's not surprising that a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk food and shout abuse. What we need in this race is a lot more streakers."
  • "We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves."
  • "We don't need any more heroes, we just need someone to take out the recycling."
  • "People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine."

1 comment:

windward said...

"People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine."

Had to smile at that one since the only thing more daunting than Palmer in the summer is getting up early enough to ski it :-)