Dec 092009
 

Vandalism is a strange phenomenon. In a way I can understand how targeted vandalism, say against a hated minority, comes to pass. I have mentioned it a few times, I still read Goldhagen’s “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”, and I can understand how targeted vandalism can be a means of terror. Of course these are big guns, and I don’t want to discuss the book here and now, it’s only that I see a purpose in all that the Nazis did. It was evil, it was wrong, it was caused by deep-rooted hate, but it was on purpose. That does not make it any better, but there is a pattern and we can understand or at least analyze patterns.

I can see no purpose and no pattern in random vandalism. This is random. Someone saw this bicycle leaning there, and he jumped with all his weight on the front wheel.

This is not a victim of globalization expressing hate against the establishment. There is no political statement in it. It’s not like burning cars in France (and now in Berlin), this was just an old bike, I suppose about 30 years or more, and nobody was affected but someone who rides old bikes.

And if things like that happen, what does that tell about the world? Our time?

Did these things happen 30 years ago? Help me, I can’t remember. I’d be tempted to say no, but glorifying the past is so easy.

And if things like that happen, what are the things that may happen as well? What do we have to expect? Would one who vandalizes a bicycle use the same brutal violence against people? Or are these completely different things?

And who are these guys anyway? Why do they do that? And what is their gratification?

I don’t cry for stricter enforcement of laws or such things, I am really interested in the psychological, the motivational aspect. I want to understand, because only when we understand why things happen, can we decide if we need to change people or if we need to change the world that they live in.

The Song of the Day is “Hero Dead & Gone” from the 1997 De-Phazz debut album “Detunized Gravity”. I’ve only found a video on YouTube that’s … weird 🙂

  8 Responses to “1152 – Hero Dead & Gone”

  1. maybe it has to do with respect or in this case the lack of it.
    respect for people and things belonging to someone.

    don’t know. it’s complicated.
    this weekend i captured a bicycle, hanging on its chain, down the shore side.
    it’s always a sad story behind this kind of scenes.
    the bikersblues

  2. We were in the San Diego, US area and I noticed a vandalized bike locked to a frame much like in this one. My first thought was of you and your bicycle series so I made an image. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42171752@N05/4162811683/

    I hadn’t really thought of vandalism in the short term, however prevalent. Sad commentary on people in general.

    Steve

  3. It hurts! this is a large field for discussion. sometimes it´s also testosterone….

  4. That’s the interesting thing about photography and photographers. Here, there is no context, only a damaged bicycle. Could it have been an angry girlfriend? An angry boyfriend? Some group of kids that just decided to be ‘cool’ and do some random act of vandalism because they were caught up in group-think and didn’t have the courage to _not_ do it. There are lots and lots of possibilities. Could the guy or girl who parked the bicycle there been on a phone call that upset them and in a fit of rage damaged their own bicycle? Who knows.

    I could probably come up with several more possible scenarios, of which all of them could be flawed. 🙂 A great photo to start a discussion or from which to spin a story or a blog post, which you’ve done admirably.

    • The common thread with all of your examples Paul is “rage”. For what ever reason, even doing something cool and out_rage_ous.

      Joe

      • I suppose so, but I could see a group of kids, drunken teenagers or college kids, goofing around and just doing a bit of vandalism just for the heck of it. Perhaps there is underlying rage somewhere, though.

  5. Could it have been an inattentive driver backing over it say?

    • No, from the position I’d say: absolutely impossible. It must have been a person jumping on the front wheel. I have no other explanation.

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