~*~ Rose-Colored Glosses ~*~

hovering between the quest for absolute truth and the pursuit of utter nonsense
gloss, n.
  1. A brief explanatory note usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text.
  2. An extensive commentary, often accompanying a text or publication.
  3. A purposefully misleading interpretation or explanation.
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"The limits of my language means the limits of my world."
-Ludwig Wittgenstein
"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it."
-Mahatma Gandhi
Segal's Law:
A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
"Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste more like prunes than a rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know."
-Groucho Marx

~ Sunday, April 04, 2004 ~

The Ubiquitous Octopus
What this city lacks in the tree department it makes up for with graffiti. New York graffiti is kind of like New York pizza; even when it's in bad taste, it's still more enjoyable than the usual fare. Walking around the more interesting parts of the city is like walking through an art gallery. Granted, it's not always good art--there's plenty of crudity (and sometimes carrots and tomatoes too)--but most of it has a good reason to be there. For example, the subway ads advertising Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus (performing at Madison Square Gardens) were edited with messages like "cancelled due to animal cruelty", which is the sort of thoughtful wall message I don't mind seeing every so often.

Every time I go to the lower east side, I see a particularly delightful piece of graffiti (or "tree") spraypainted around. It's a simple cartoony doodle of a smiling octopus (although only four tentacles are visible...maybe I should have titled this "the ubiquitous quadropus"), with gaze directed optimistically upward. Here's one.

The first one I saw was just outside of Battery Dance Company, where Ring O' Bells rehearses. I don't wander around the lower east side enough, so for a long time I felt all special, believing the octopus was unique to that building. Initially, when I started seeing more of them, it was a bit disappointing--the one I noticed wasn't unique after all--but soon I realized how ubiquitous they were, and it just seemed so charming that I stopped being disappointed. I found two pages photodocumenting the octopi, so if you want to look at more examples, here are some and here are some more.

Nature doesn't live here so much, but people create here. Okay, it's technically against the law and all that, but it makes me happy to see New Yorkers owning and changing their surroundings. I'd rather see a four-tentacled octopus on a dirty wall than not notice the dirty wall at all.

Current Music: Misery, Green Day...step step step hop...

~ prattled by Miriam at 11:35 a.m. [+]

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