The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.


The View from a Drawbridge

Barely a day goes by without some young fool putting graffiti on my drawbridge. I’ve also noticed that if something is breakable and it’s accessible to the public, it will be broken. Signs are defaced. Stickers appear everywhere. Human beings seem to love to trash things.

I’ve never understood this instinct to demolish and destroy. It makes me angry. I don’t see the point of it.

When discussing it with a wise friend of mine recently, he said that he thought it was people’s way of making their mark. Everyone wants to be able to say, “I was here.” “I existed.”

Okay, I can understand having that instinct. It’s why I blog. It’s why people have children. It’s why we create art. Everyone wants to have a legacy. We want to have something to show for having lived on this planet.

When it comes to youth, I suspect they feel as though they will never have an impact, and therefore this petty destruction is their only outlet. They don’t realize that they’ll grow up. They don’t comprehend that there will be other opportunities, but that some of those opportunities will take hard work and sacrifice. Graffiti, on the other hand, happens right here, right now.

I think it’s really important that we teach young people to be positively creative. We should give them projects and outlets for their energy. They should be taught to build their communities. They need to learn to problem solve, not problem create. And dare I say it? The worst, absolute worst educational trend is that of defunding art and music programs in schools.

Producing beauty is essential for everyone who wants to make a mark on this world. Otherwise, ugliness will prevail.


An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book!

7 thoughts on “Vandalism

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    As a former teen, I think you nailed it abt the etiology of youth’s urge to mark their territories. I grew out of it early. Agree several hundred % about the wrongness of defunding any education.

  2. lyn says:

    Not all graffiti art is executed by the young, and the types of and reasons for graffiti are multilayered.

    Graffiti statements of protest remind me of signs carried in marches but they last longer and reach more eyes. We still have remnants of ancient graffiti that we protect though we aren’t certain of their meanings.

  3. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    I am not sure that all graffitists produce work of value for the ages. I suggest rigging up that bridge of yours so it can *spray back*. Preferably with pepper spray. Use the milder version for dogs….

    1. Yeah. We get some outrageous graffiti here…

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