Don’t call vandalism “creative”!

It never fails to floor me that there are actually sane people out there who equate vandalism with creativity.

More so, when they are in Singapore and don’t have to live with vandalism everywhere they turn, thanks to stiff laws and to-date unflinching application.

Yet isn’t it absolutely crackers that so many in this city are such vocal proponents of vandalism, as if to support vandalism is cooler than being able to moon walk while still sober.

Take this current episode concerning some ugly spray paint work on Singpost letter boxes which the Straits Times reported as “several acts of vandalism” that appear now to be a Singpost publicity stunt gone terribly wrong.

simply insane!

Are you kidding me?

The fact that someone, anyone at Singpost — or any other corporation — could have imagined that defacing its own property would garner good publicity simply boggles the mind.

Worse still, judging from the online response, such a kuku stunt has its supporters.

Thankfully, the nay-sayers are louder and I feel comforted by their unequivocal stance.

One wrote: “Let’s not try to make a right from what is clearly a public act of vandalism under the name of calling it a stunt. Nobody in the right mind could ever think of such an act in trying to achieve corporate publicity.”

Another was even more blunt in tying the “stunt” to a slackening in the enforcement of law and order in Singapore.

He wrote: Before the post-box artist went on his stunt of decorating the few post-boxes, what’s the first thing which came on his mind ? I would say it should be “what are the chances of me being caught red-handed by the police”? And very obviously, he’s got his answer “don’t worry, police nowadays stay in their aircon office more than they are out on the streets, by the time someone calls them, I would have been gone…”

“Do you all think that artist dare to carry out what he had done if it was back in the 70s or early 80s where policemen and vigilante corps used to patrol the streets either on foot or on bicycles? I have not seen a single policeman in public for the whole week and I am out for more than 12 hours a day. That also explains why crimes like robberies against money-changers, attacks on old ladies in HDB lifts, loan shark vandalisms, street fightings … and any sort of public crimes, are on the rise….”

Whatever the reason for the misplaced interpretation some Singaporeans looking to spark creativity have placed on vandalism, I, for one, hope the day will never come when Singapore’s cityscape resembles that of Melbourne.

In my recent –and first — visit to Melbourne, I loved the good, though somewhat pricey meals, dirt cheap wine and very decent, if superficial, service.

What i hated was that everywhere I went, vandals had been there before me. Walls and doors of old and new buildings, public and private, big and small, carry the most garish scribbles, vulgar words and crude sketches that left nothing to the imagination.

Even my friend’s garage door, which faced a cul de sac, was selected for defacing. Ditto tram shelters and public seats. The surfaces of some rest rooms in good restaurants were not spared!

Vandalism was systematic yet random. Since everyone was affected, no one felt they were specifically targeted. This may explain why no one seems to be doing anything to repair the damage. Or it might be like King Canute and the rising tide!

The widespread vandalism in Melbourne may also suggest seething anger in the people there rather than overflowing creativity… which the picture (below) I took of a wall facing the Prahran public library so aptly illustrates!

creativity? my foot!

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