graffiti

Another example that proves that just because you have a pulse, does not mean you have brain cells:

http://stream.marketwatch.com/story/markets/SS-4-4/SS-4-30998/

I am not trying to single out the Chinese, or young people. Fools come in all age brackets, genders, nationalities, ethnicities, and whatever you can think of. Hopefully we all figured that out a long time ago.

I really like historical sites and museums a lot. So, I have visited an unusually large number of them in the last 30 years. This means that I’ve seen a lot of damage caused by people who did not give much thought to their actions. In the above story, where a young Chinese boy mindlessly defaces a 3000-year-old Egyptian carving, he pleads that he has the excuse that he was very young at the time. I would suggest that he can also use the excuse that his parents did not educated him well.

But, in my thousands of hours of visiting museums and historic sites, I occasionally even see the docent or guide, who I think should certainly know better, touching priceless antiquities. On a less critical, but still destructive note, I shudder every time I see one of them touch almost anything in the display.

How many times have you been in a public place that has a large map to show you where you are, and where things within a few kilometers of you are? It is very common to see the area where you are, completely rubbed out by thousands of fingers touching it. Also, the nearby major points of interest will be similarly rubbed out.

It seems obvious to me, that you should not touch it. Sure, I can touch it and then take my finger away, and it looks unharmed. But, do you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the damage that you’ve seen in so many places is caused by a large number of people touching it? It seems to me the solution is, don’t touch it.

It seems to me to be obvious, that I am in this museum or historic site, or even just a modern tourist information center about modern things, because I want to look at something and marvel at it. The very reason that I get to do that is because it is survived, often tens of thousands of years relatively unharmed. So, I cannot really imagine someone that wants it to be destroyed within perhaps months, by people touching it.

Nevermind the far more subtle damage, caused by people just breathing. There are many historic sites where we have to consider breathing and the atmosphere. Cave paintings in France. The Last Supper painted in a stable.

There are all sorts of damage methods that are very difficult to contain. But graffiti, and in my opinion, even touching, seem very straightforward and very unacceptable.

My grandfather, my mother’s father, worked for Burroughs Adding Machine Company. I think for most of his life. That was back in the days when they were filled with tiny little wheels and gears and springs. Like incredibly complicated wristwatches.

Many of you will not be old enough to remember that wristwatches used to have little moving parts inside them, but they did.

In those days you could screw up a calculator or adding machine quite easily by pushing the wrong combination of keys. They tried hard to make them fool proof, but, we all know that fools are incredibly clever about being foolish. They have a gift. I confess to having that gift myself sometimes.

My grandfather spent most of his time fixing machines that had been damaged by someone using it inappropriately. He particularly hated when someone would tinker with the inner workings. The, ‘children, don’t try this at home’ sort of fooling around, created many problems.

So, when I was little, it was drilled into me, that, “Pockets are to keep your hands in.” You just did not touch things in his workshop without permission. It was hard to learn, but it made perfect sense. It is also obvious that millions of people needed to attend his class. Don’t mess with things! And for sure don’t carve your name on a 3000-year-old carving!

Just blowing off steam. Now I need to get back to figuring out why I can only start the engine from the aft battery. The starter button that will start the engine from the forward battery has some kind of glitch that I need to fix.

Dave

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3 thoughts on “graffiti

  1. Having gone to high school with Dave I indeed remember watches with wheels and gears. I believe I still have parts from some I “fixed”
    when young. My grandfather had two utterances that I recall.
    “Hush” durring the news, and “don’t touch it” I seem to have inherited those when dealing with my grandchildren. (and my dogs)

  2. Thanks John. It is also important to, “Never assume that only one thing at a time will go wrong with a boat.” It is often a series of things that all add up. Therefore, I believe that a few things that need fixing is normal, but don’t let them accumulate.

    And, with electrical and other problems, it is sometimes hard to say after the fact, which is the cause of the problem and which is a result. Even though it may be essential to understand in order to fix the problem.

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