teenage wasteland

On my way home from work last night, I noticed something on the train that made me sad.  There was sprawling graffiti written on one of panels above the seats.  But that in itself is not why I was upset.

What really bothered me was what it said.

Torture.

That’s what was written.

Is this all the guy who wrote that could come up with?  If so, it really has me concerned with the young delinquents of our society.

Back when I was a budding little terror, vandalism had an edge to it, dammit!

Martin Craig and I used to stroll the late night streets of Pittsburgh peeing on store windows and lighting our G.I. Joes on fire and throwing them at houses.

I know.  You’re thinking, “How did you light your G.I. Joes on fire?” Well, we discovered a way to make a sticky substance that burned by mixing gasoline and styrofoam together.  We were good kids.

But now, there I was, looking at some kid’s version of Being Bad, and it just made me shake my head.

How did this even happen?

Tommy: [Spraying the final “e” in “torture” and turning to his friend] “Awww yeah…  Check that out!”

Ray: [Noticing the work] “Does that say ‘Torture?'”

Tommy: [Smiling proudly] “Hells yeah!”

Ray: [Scrunching his face in an attempt to look exactly like Tony Montana from Scarface, a look that he has worked on for countless hours in the bathroom mirror] “Yeah!  That shit is awesome!”

Tommy: [Excitedly now] “For sure man, I thought, you know, torture is hard!  It’s hard to get tortured man!  Or, or, ‘you better watch out, or we’ll torture you!'”

Ray: [Picking up his backpack] “Definitely feeling that man.  That whole torture vibe is rough, people are gonna be shocked!  We’re gonna shake their whole world up with this one!”

There’s no way those kids are ever going to have a future in being The Bad Boys to entice, and then years later repulse, all the women, and that just makes me sad.

The youth is a lost cause, and there’s only one thing to do about it.

It’s time to call Martin Craig.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “teenage wasteland

  1. Ben

    Graffiti in itself is the dying art of vandalism. Just wait for e-graffiti. I can’t wait until I can craft the perfect code to let me scrawl homo across your blog header.

  2. man, I fucking LOVE graffiti, even if i can’t spell it. more than that, i loved making prank calls. why i remember a sporting goods store called Koenig’s. It was in the Monroeville Mall. We used to call them on a pay phone, one of us would, while the other two would be in the store listening and laughing at our friend as he pranked the store clerks.
    also–getting drunk with Doug Carlino, going to strip clubs, and then pissing on people’s porches (sorry folks in Bloomfield) was also a great joy.

  3. I never vandalized. I feel like I have missed out on a lot. I’ll sign up to take lessons with you and Martin if at all possible. Now THAT would be a cool class.

  4. when I read the title of this post I thought you were going to hate on The Who and I was going to be sad.

  5. My stepson’s almost to that Age of Trouble Making, and I’m torn on how to deal with it.

    On the one hand, I don’t want to encourage him to do something stupid (read: break something something that I’ll have to pay for when he and his knucklehead friends get caught).

    On the other, I can totally drive the getaway car.

  6. Shit….I can’t follow Ben’s comment. Anything my straight little brain could come up with would just embarrass me AND you….

  7. Maybe they meant “torcher.” Just sayin’.

  8. At least they were able to get past four letters. Here in Alabama-that’s all they can muster.

  9. We don’t get much graffiti in my neighborhood but for awhile there was one guy tagging all over the place and his name was “peapod” which I thought was adorable.

  10. Matt

    Bens comment was hilarious…I cannot wait for that day either.

  11. Matt

    I think its fucking weird that you commented on my post at the same time I commented here.

    and we both commented about another comment.

  12. I don’t know, maybe look at it as an art critic would. Maybe it’s a commentary on sitting on the bus in really hot or really cold weather with strangers. I think we can all agree, that’s summed up very well by the young lad’s inscription.

  13. god…no one does good graffiti any more. the lame kids in my hood like spray paint over the extra “o” in hooes road street signs. hoes! hahaha!

    yeah…..so cool. so original.

  14. nancypearlwannabe

    Really? Grafitti? That seems pretty low-brow for NY. I thought you were supposed to have all the tough kids! Where are the flaming GI Joes of 2008?

  15. Torture? That dude is lame. I’m betting he was emo. Because that seems like a pretty emo thing to do. You know, he was sitting there, with his eyeliner and his book of poetry, contemplating the tortures of his adolescent mind and he decided to scribble about it on the subway. I hope he wrote it with his eyeliner pen too.

  16. The lamest graffiti I ever saw was at a punkhouse a few years back. It read, “A bullet for every homophobe.” I tried finding who had written it to explain that wanting to kill people who hate the gays was in no way morally superior to people who dislike the gays, but was unsuccessful.

    Either way, the cloak of Righteousness does not look fetching on any of us.

  17. meagank

    Please do call Martin.
    Once, my friend and I pasted porn magazine pages on the outdoor walls of our elementary school. We thought that was clever. You never see that anymore.

    PS – I gave you a shout-out on my bloggie today. Word.

  18. Another possible scenario

    Tommy: I dare you to spray “torture” cuz our teachers gave us detention

    Ray: I double dog dare YOU to do it.

    Tommy: FINE!

    …at least they spelled it right!

  19. (See what I just did there? Do you get it?!?!)

  20. And that homemade napalm took patience! It took a lot of styrofoam just to work up a good little blob of the stuff. But oh, the fun! And you could stick it to anything!

  21. Is there a correct ratio for the styrofoam and gasoline? Really, I’m just curious…I have zero intention of setting any barbies or G.I.Joe’s on fire. ZERO. I swear.

  22. I thought the same thing as Maxie. As for the ‘torture’ comment itself, I like to think it was an emo kid trying to just … explain the AGONY of being young and feeling like their personal worth equals that of the empty beer can they plan on taking home to cut up and to turn into a really bizarre and painful bracelet.

  23. Stupid kids around here just put stickers on the STOP signs…

    STOP the war
    STOP abuse
    STOP the insanity

    Yeah, like THAT makes a statement!

    (I did see one that looked like a SweeTarts wrapper but it said SweeTits! I was like, awesome! That’s my nickname!! I should be a tagger.)

  24. 2 quick questions, 2 quick statements, 1 fact.

    1. why did you light g.i. joe’s on fire? those things were money!
    2. how exactly to you make this styro-gas fun?

    1. i liked catching things on fire as a child.
    2. i used to blow up stuffed animals with m-80’s.

    1. we should have been friends as children.

  25. Wait. I’m in New York, too. Isn’t it vandals who put giant smokestacks billowing some nasty steam-like substance into the middle of every street? Isn’t it vandals who feed pigeons so that they can shit on the rest of us? And if it’s not the vandals electrifying manhole covers so they shock us when we step on them, who is doing that? Who?!?

  26. When I tagged stuff I wrote “Happy” With a big smiley face.

    I got beat up. A lot.

  27. I didn’t know you were from Pittsburgh. I go to Duquesne. Huh. I guess you learn something new everyday.

  28. can’t say i ever wrote on anything besides my name on the wall of the batman ride…yeah i was a rebel.

  29. Rachel

    I know about 50 guys who are gonna go out and make the styro-gasoline goo.

    It’ll make for interesting paintball.

  30. Marcos

    Next!

    Also, gasoline+styrofoam= napalm

  31. The kids around here smoke ciggies and throw candy wrappers in the street and they think they’re some bad ass shit.

    Gone are the days when We were young troublemakers.

  32. That is some of the best medical humor I’ve ever read! Wow! Does someone have a scalpel! Pull the plug! Are you F—ing kidding me? Oh…..my side hurts. I have to lie down.

    Loose Cannon and the RUFKM Army

    Oh…wait….wrong forum… just substitute “medical” for “celeb” and “scalpel” for “Hilton” OK, gotta go. It’s bedtime.

  33. I guess I’m a bit more of a goodie tooshoes, cause I never did understand the ‘art’ of vandalism. To me, I guess I’m assuming now as I did then, that it was wrong. Call me a misfit, but, if I were to ever catch my kids doing half the stuff I just read, I’m gona kick their sorry butts!

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