Monday, September 24, 2007

The Wall as Mayor

Just got back from my big bounce to Indiana - great experience! Not a lot of time right now, unfortunately, but thought I'd throw this up from a quick jaunt to Flint, Michigan we made on Saturday in the meantime.
[** In no way whatsoever is this an endorsement of any kind for the said campaigner who is apparently running for mayor in Flint. **]
But, when I saw these signs, well, I just couldn’t help myself snapping a few shots: “Walling for Mayor” … “Vote Walling for Mayor” …

Come on! As you can imagine I was totally stunned reading these plastered over neighborhoods and lawns, next to that classic nifty American white picket fence. It's almost as if the people there are voting for Walling as a verb, as an action more so than a person or candidate (which is made all the more precarious by our natural associations with candidates as translators of public action or inaction); again, it's as if local residents have been given the choice of voting for a strategy of building walls as an actual candidate for their town – like some literal manifestation of architecture as a political figure itself, like the essence of urban division as an ideal choice for public service; it's too eerily symbolic for me to pass up; it's blatant, in Flint of all places, it's craziness! It's The Wall as Mayor!

I have to admit, a name like this is more than ironic, and if I were a politician I imagine I’d change it pretty quickly, if for the simple fact that it just doesn’t sound very good to me – vote for Walling – not to mention that I'd probably be setting myself up for some impossible political consensus. But hey, in certain parts of the world maybe even along the US-Mexican border his name might carry a lot of political weight, rally a long line of support. Perhaps it's all just in the reading. Anyway….
Dear Mr. Walling, if you are reading this, sorry if I have, well - whatever.


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