Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I've always had a particular aversion to vandalism. Unlike thievery or speeding or even killing someone who "needs killing", vandalism has no obvious tangible benefit. I suppose the release of rage is a possible motive, or maybe it's the thought of hurting people by defacing their possessions. It just seems to me like there are more efficient ways of doing either of those things that don't involve the destruction of innocent stuff. So that's where I am on that. But then one day I was on the Ladiga Trail and noticed a small metal plaque attached to a bench. Thinking it was some kind of memorial I stopped to read it. But lo! Someone had taken the time to engrave a paragraph of rant about the liberal leanings of American media and attach it to a wooden bench placed along a wooded trail for purposes of rest and reflection. Yes, I said engrave. How far into the woods does one have to travel to escape the perceived persecution of right wingers? (I know, I know. Halfway. Then one is traveling out of the woods.) After an exasperated sigh and a dramatic eye roll, I decided to pry off the plaque and deposit it in the nearest trash can. Since I don't stroll the trail with a wide selection of tools and because that plaque was glued on with some seriously strong adhesive, I had to resort to plan B --- find a sharp rock and scratch out the engraved words. So I did. All except for the words "Christmas Eve" which I deemed inoffensive to pretty much everyone. Also, if the perp ever returned it would be obvious that the scratches were intentional. Afterwards I realized that I had vandalized the plaque and wondered if vandalizing vandalism is like a double negative that becomes positive or if it's just piling on. Also, who is crazier, the primary vandal or the secondary?