September: a blue plywood wall, the kind that usually encloses a construction site, put up around the vacant lot on York Street, between two nondescript buildings.
On the wall: seven white posters, each with a single capital letter on it, red and bold: C U L T U R E writ large, put up, no doubt, by some university student who was enamored of the recent discovery that he had a voice, that he had the power to make noises that the world, or some microcosm of it, would hear. Enamored of that, and unencumbered by the need to say anything important or meaningful. Hence: C U L T U R E on a blue wall, for no apparent reason, signifying nothing.
Three months later, walking by on a bright, cold morning: the red letters have faded to a dingy orange now. Little bits and pieces and some larger chunks of the posters have been ripped off, so that C U L T U R E is barely discernable. On the L poster, someone has torn off bits in the shape of letters, so that the exposed blue of the wood underneath spells out FUCK YALE. On the R poster someone has scribbled with a ballpoint pen, and then scrawled a single word: "yes?" On another part of the wall, beyond the posters, someone else has added his own commentary: VOTE TODAY in white paint.
C U L T U R E, changed and shaped by anonymous human hands.
Now that's saying something. A bit obvious, perhaps, and maybe a little trite, but it's a start. I hope whoever put the posters up in the first place gets to see it. It's kind of beautiful.