Editor, Daily Nexus,
Did you know that you’re asleep right now? This paper, the people around you, the professor who’s talking while you’re reading this: all dreams. The catch is that when you snap out of it, apparently El Diablo will be your alarm clock.
If you’ve walked around Isla Vista recently, you’ve probably seen the graffiti making this claim, along with the one that politely asks you to “Please Wake the Fuck Up” as you enter campus near the HSSB building. Every day since winter break, I’ve had to dwell on these as I wait for my daily dose of coffee to snap me out of autopilot, but the point of them still eludes me.
The only hints to the underlying message of these scrawls are the anti-war banner hung above one and the scribbles about civil rights near the other. I like to consider myself pretty awake in terms of what is going on in this country.
I know that Bush keeps sending more and more troops to Iraq, despite the fact that he has yet to produce any concrete reason for doing so. I know that our civil rights are getting ripped to shreds bit by bit, whether it’s through the PATRIOT Act passed last year or the new Department of Homeland Security. What I fail to see is how cursing at people and telling them they’re going to hell will accomplish anything positive.
Activists are usually personified as antisocial radicals who don’t have anything to offer but an unfocused anger about current events, and this perception is reinforced when the mainstream press makes an effort to ignore any intelligent criticisms they may have.
For example, even though the protests at Bush’s inauguration were the largest since the height of the Vietnam War, not one of the protest’s organizers were interviewed by the principal news outlets. In place of interviews, clips of protestors hurling fruit and shouting profanity at Bush’s limo were shown. The effect of this depiction is similar to the effect of the “political” graffiti, which is fortifying people’s misconceptions of what the majority of activists are like.
Graffiti has its place, but not in the form that’s been popping up around Isla Vista and campus. Shoving cryptic messages down people’s throats doesn’t do anything but bother people and make them more apathetic towards legitimate concerns.