Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life Sucks

Those words have been written by some grafitti artist on a wall outside Ballymun Shopping Centre. Every time I see them, I feel a surge of happiness, almost of elation. Because I know that that kind of full-bodied nihilism only ever comes from somebody who has little to complain about. It certainly wasn't written by a mother of five who has one child in a special needs school and isn't sure how she is going to feed any of them. It wasn't written by a man with a degenerative disease or a teen suffering from social phobia.

It was written by some well-fed, well-dressed, hot-headed young man (almost certainly a man) who feels the world falls short of his hopes for it.

Perhaps I sound sardonic, but I'm really not. I always feel the better for knowing there are people like that out there. Every time I see a piece of grafitti that reads "Punks not Dead", I am moved. It makes me think of some kid whose mental horizon is dominated by punk rock and the attitude of wider society to punk rock, for whom this is THE burning issue. Could anything be more charmingly innocent?

The kind of negativity that I find truly corrosive and toxic is the smirking, blasé, eye-rolling, ironic negativity that refuses to take anything seriously. But someone who daubs "Life Sucks" on a wall is obviously a blazing idealist at heart.

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