Friday, July 24, 2015

A message for posterity

I have decided to take up the #Blimage Challenge. See the end of this post for more information about it, but basically it’s to write a blog post based on or stimulated by an image someone sends you. Steve Wheeler has made the picture below available.


The best thing about these desks is the graffiti. I don’t usually condone defacing things, but when I look at the desks I see a slice of history – history that nobody will really know about, but which is there all the same. Let me explain.

That graffiti didn’t write itself. People, presumably school kids, did it. Someone has carved their name: K Ha…. Who was or is K Ha…? Did they make a success of their lives? What happened to them? Is there anything to show that they existed, apart from their name carved on the desk?

My fascination with such minutiae of life is not confined to names carved on desks. Case in point: there’s a photo of Marilyn Monroe at Grand Central Station. Look closely, and you’ll see a man in business dress. Who was he? Did he know that Marilyn Monroe was there? Did he go home and tell his wife? Or did he only realise when he saw the photo? Did he see the photo?

I have some home movies taken 40 years ago. In one of them, there was an American car driving in front of us. That was (and is) unusual. Who were the people in that car, and where were they going?

I suppose it’s all about mortality and legacy: once you have shuffled off this mortal coil, will there be any evidence that you were ever here? 

And if there is, who would know? 

Read about the #blimage challenge here: Blimey, it’s blimage!
If you fancy taking part, here’s an image you could use as a stimulus:

An alleyway

2 comments:

Martin King said...

These are the type of desks I used to sit at in school 40 years ago .. they have character I like the character which is built in through use over years so that everyone becomes different.

Fast forward to today .. standard and bland furniture in classrooms, offices & workplaces (and homes) .. says it all really.

I remember a visit to Google HQ though .. you can guess .. anything but bland .. row boats, swings, animals and on teh last visit .. benches of chipboard and character furniture .. looked like someone went down the second hand shops - this created conversations .. it created creativity!

Terry Freedman said...

Thanks, Martin. I totally agree. Today's stuff is too bland, too corporate in the worst sense of the word