Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gofs are grate

Goth news: A goth who leads his girlfriend around with a dog lead and collar was stopped from getting on a bus recently because the driver feared for passenger safety. The incident took place in Yorkshire and Arriva Buses claim that the driver was correct as 'sharp braking could cause danger to them and other passengers'.

So was this event genuine worry for the personal safety of Dani Graves (yes, really) and Tasha Maltby? Or was it the 'shock of the new' and the bus driver just didn't like what he/she saw?

If you think Dani and Tasha are shocking spare a thought for John Hetherington. When he invented the top hat and wore it in the street for the first time in the 1840s, he wasn't just refused bus travel ... he was abused, women fainted at the sight and he was eventually arrested and fined a substantial £50. A law was even passed to ban the top hat from being worn in public for fear of scaring timid people. Fear of the strange, new or different is timeless ... Only the dates change.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating dog collars and leashes. I personally find the whole idea degrading. But if Tasha really doesn't mind, where's the harm? I like goths. They're funny. They're funny because they're so serious and gloomy that they don't realise how funny they are. And they dress to look scary but don't. Brilliant. I won't have a word said against them. Which is why I was genuinely incensed by the most illiterate piece of graffiti I’ve ever seen in my life. I found it recently carved into the handrail of a footbridge over the railway in Wycombe. It said:

ALL GOFS ARE SHIL

Maybe the Graffiti artist was disturbed and never had chance to cross the final letter T? Or maybe he was just a moron. And disturbed.

Mind you, many graffiti monkeys must be seriously disturbed when you see where their tags and slogans turn up; on high advertising boards, water towers, bridges, tower blocks etc. There used to be a strangely Royalist graffiti-merchant in Wycombe who regularly risked life and limb to daub his House of Windsor-based slogans on the side of a very high railway viaduct on the Chiltern Line. When the Queen Mother broke her hip, the message read:

I think the Queen Mum’s Hip.

When she reached her century, it changed to:

100 not out!

Then when she died, it became the oddly touching and respectful:

RIP Ma’am.

Nice.

Photo copyright (c) Ross Parry and taken from the BBC News website

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing the Queen Mum graffiti every day on the way to school whilst travelling along the A40 in Loudwater I believe. Must be 8 or so years ago... Buckinghamshire must be a haven for the pretty odd graffiti artists - thinking also the "Why do I do this everyday?" plus Islamophobic messages on the M40 near Beaconsfield. -Duncan Hill.