Thursday, March 04, 2004

Written on the Subway Walls Department

In the past few weeks, I have seen two defaced advertisements that stand out for the monomaniacal thoroughness with which their defacers defaced them.

1) Starsky and Hutch. E/V platform, Manhattan-bound, 23 St–Ely Av.

This one I admire mainly for its devotion to the old school putdown "faggot." Here is what the poster for the movie looks like:

Now picture these words, scrawled in black marker: on Amy Smart (the blonde), "washed up"; on Carmen Electra (the brunette), "will fuck 4 money"; on Ben Stiller (forehead and chin), "I wish I still did coke cause then I would be too wired to do this lame homo shit with this queer"; on Owen Wilson (again, forehead and chin), "I am a faggot . . . close your mouth cause you don't want the photographer to smell your penis breath"; on Snoop Dogg, "Snoopy sellout faggot"; and on Vince Vaughan, "I was money 4 5 minutes."

A second hand has also written across the top of the poster "Wow! Hollywood is so 'original.' "

2) Barnes and Noble ad featuring Charles Dickens. L platform, Manhattan-bound, Lorimer St.

For those of you who have not yet seen this poster, it is part of a recent campaign in which B&N pledge to deliver books to certain (desirable) parts of Manhattan, free of charge, the same day you order them. (Of course it ain't necessarily so, as this brief piece in Grand Street News points out. But that's a different story.) Anyway, this is what the poster looks like:

So, again, picture this, in black marker, though this time the words are encased in word balloons: Underneath the text "Your favorite authors. Fast." is written "With Kissinger's head. Fast." Clutched in Dickens' left hand is a severed head wearing glasses; extending from its neck is a messy tangle of blood vessels and nerves; the head's face wears a tortured expression as it says, "Dickens hass kott [sic] my severed head, it seems." Dickens himself is saying, "I am carrying the severed head of Henry Kissinger." In the upper left-hand corner of the poster, flitting about Dickens' head are two onlooking birds, one of which says, "Look -- it's Charles Dickens running some kind of marathon," while the other replies, "Yes, and in his left hand he carries the fucking severed head of that genocidal fat man, Kissinger."

This one, amazingly, I spotted within two or three days of watching the movie The Trials of Henry Kissinger. Ah, the small pleasures of riding the subway in New York!