(Rantish) Graffiti and MC Station

Lately I have seen news that Michigan Central Station in Detroit has been (and is being) used as a movie set. It was in THE ISLAND. Its
present state came as a shock...I rode the train in in 1987, and though it was old and fairly tired it was still usable, and exuded an air of magnificence. Even the hard wooden benches somehow seemed comfortable as only an old-time station bench can. I do believe they siphoned all the comfort from plastic airport seats and drew it through a time-warp to make those benches. :) But now MCS is ruinous, and covered in graffiti. It's very sad.
When I walk into a grand old place like that, or like Chicago's still- intact waiting room, I feel like an ignorant savage entering the ruins of Rome. Unlike him, I know better, but I can't shake the feeling that I am a product of a lesser age, looking on the work of those who were giants, at least in mind and in attitude. These stations are temples to transportation, and we don't have places like that now.
Now, this deity certainly had clay feet, but I do think we should respect the feelings of our ancestors. It's bad enough to deface a factory, when you think of the people who came there, day to day, toting tin dinner pails and a long list of hopes and worries, and of the daily drama always involved in the running of a place like that. Ignorance is a poor excuse. To deface a station, however, is to vandalize a forgotten temple, whose cult and worshippers have long gone, taking any of their evil practices (and good) with them. No, it's not as reprehensible as vandalizing a museum or actual house of worship, or robbing an ancient ruin for building stone. A crime it remains.
What motivates these people? Quite clearly it is ego. This is all too understandable; it's easy to feel like a nobody, and no human likes that. People have always struck out against that feeling in any way they could. Yet, even with that in their defense, the fact remains: most graffiti is just a drooling of the self in paint; a splattering of ego all over the public world.
Do these people have decorative skill? Some do. In fact, I'd say that a lot of present-day 'high art' is little advanced in content, being entirely ego-driven, and displays much less control of medium and refinement of technique. To my eyes, some of this graffiti is far superior to, say, a sloppy paint-scribble with some sociologic solipsisms scrawled across it, and the latter is all too common in museums everywhere.
The best thing that could happen to these taggers is to find a legitimate outlet and a better subject than "I was here".
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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