Can You Vandalize Vandalism? Imagine Lennon’s Wall

My son, Nathan, checking out Lennon's wall in October 2013
My son, Nathan, checking out Lennon’s wall in October 2013

One of the popular tourist sites in Prague is the so-called Lennon’s Wall. I stopped by this shrine a year ago while in Prague while visiting my son, who was studying in the city. For over thirty years, graffiti has covered this wall, much of it in honor of or reference to John Lennon. In the 1980s, many of the contributions to the wall criticized the communist government of of what was then Czechoslovakia.

But, according to the Prague Post, Lennon’s Wall has been vandalized. Someone, apparently an art group, painted the entire wall white a couple of days ago, adding only one phrase in black paint, “WALL IS OVER!” This is a parody of Lennon’s own popular phrase, “War is over.”

As you might imagine, no pun intended, the painting of Lennon’s Wall has stirred things up a bit. In fact, the authorities might bring charges of vandalism against the art group. Hmmm. My son, a veritable Pragueophile, and the one who made me aware of this news item, wrote on his Facebook page,

I’m sorry, but how can anyone say that the John Lennon Wall was “vandalized”? Rich irony. Wasn’t the thing a symbol of unmediated free expression? If you allow unmediated freedom, this sort of hostile takeover always rests within the realm of possibility. It’s an inherent risk. Wait, I think I think I see some larger analogy growing here… eh, never mind.

The Lennon Wall, a couple of days after it was painted white.
The Lennon Wall, a couple of days after it was painted white. Imagine from the Prague Post – http://praguepost.com/the-big-story/42729-john-lennon-wall-vandalized

I wonder, can you vandalize vandalism?

At any rate, in honor of this momentous occasion, I have taken the liberty to rewrite the lyrics of a popular song. Allow me to share them with you.

Imagine there’s no painting,
It’s easy if you try.
No tints below us,
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people,
Seeing white today. . .

Imagine no graffiti,
It isn’t hard to do.
Nothing to spray or scrawl for,
And no defacement too.
Imagine all the people,
Walking by in peace . . .

You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us,
Lennon’s wall will be as one.

Imagine no paint brushes,
Nothing from a can.
No vandalizing markers,
A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people,
Sharing all that white . . .

You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us,
Lennon’s wall will be as one.

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