October 28, 2004
A MADISON SIDEWALK STENCIL. Found on Bascom Hill, near the Law School:
UPDATE: This emailer has definitely thought more deeply about the meaning of the stencil than I did:
Okay, maybe it’s me: I’m middle-aged and doubtless ossified (or “dirigiste” if I grok Glenn’s delightful turn of phrase in his latest Guardian column), after all. But I really don’t get it. Or I get it, but in more than one way. Or that I don’t get why someone would go to the trouble to produce sucky minimalist agitprop which provides no blindingly obvious and instant recognition, and thus defeats the whole raison of StencilPolitik (at least for the dirigiste among us).
So, is capitalism the gun-guy, and “we” are the victim? Or is it that there is no you-we, and the idea is capitalism means the robbery of nameless, faceless innocents by nameless, faceless guilties? Or that “we”, as the proletarian-intellectual solidarity movement of the PR of Madison, have the Gun Of The Dialectic pointed at the blank, bourgeois head of capitalism? Or that, a la “Fight Club”, fringe Young Republicans are carrying out a secret recruiting drive under the very noses of Badger mainstream by posting cryptic, mocking communiqués known but to those whom they seek? ( “First rule of Madison Capitalist Pig Club; nobody talks about Madison Capitalist Pig Club .”) Please, reveal all.
Man, I so can’t reveal all I didn’t even realize when I posted this how less-than-all I understood about this inscrutable stencil. I think I’m just charmed by inscrutability (like that “Plants Can’t Vote” sign, which an emailer is bringing me down by saying it’s crushingly obviously about medical marijuana). But I can reveal this: I absolutely love the movie “Fight Club.” And wasn’t 1999 a great movie year? I had so much hope then about how cool movies were, and what happened?