Climbing the Duomo in Florence is exhausting.  There are a lot of stairs in that place.  And even though it’s a cathedral–a sacred place of worship for millions of people a year–some whippersnappers decided to graffiti it up.  Well, not the pretty part of the Duomo; only the walls leading up to the pretty part.  I have to say, I’m impressed with their rebellious actions.  I don’t condone it, but I’m impressed.  Look at where they chose to write on the wall–right next to a sign that says “don’t write on the walls.”  That takes some guts.  There really aren’t any guards watching you on your climb up to the top, but morally that takes some guts.  These guys (or girls–it could be girls.  I’m very egalitarian in my criminal judgements), they know that they’re doing something naughty.  I guess that’s the thrill, though, right?  The thrill of maybe getting caught while ignoring a very sensible rule.   I’m not a risk taker myself.  I get worried if I clink a glass too loudly in a restaurant.  I don’t want to bother the other customers.  So this “livin’ on the edge” business doesn’t jive with me.

I will say, though, I do want to be remembered like these people.  Let’s be serious, that’s really why someone writes their name on a wall.  Maybe some will get a fun little adrenaline jolt looking over their shoulder as they Sharpie their name and date onto a Renaissance-era church, but most are writing their name on the wall so a hundred years from now, somebody will know they were there and that they existed.  It’s the whole “flag on the moon” complex.  We already made it to the moon, NASA.  Why waste a perfectly good American flag on a place in the universe that no one will ever see but us?

When I was a kid, they were putting in a new cement sidewalk, and when the workers had gone home and left it to dry, I rode through on my bike so my tracks could remain there forever, literally cemented in time (I guess I was a bit of a rebel as a kid).  The next day, I went back and discovered they re-cemented the sidewalk, erasing all proof that my bike or me had ever been there.

I guess what I’m saying to these taggers is, what if the Duomo buys a can of paint?

Aug 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert