To most of you people, this is probably just stating the obvious, but I decided to post it here anyway, because insert reason.
(Also, my English might not be perfect all the time, I'm Finnish and very very tired)
There are legions marching down the nocturnal streets of each city, and I know you have seen them too.
Even if you can’t recall any of those encounters the next morning – that’s simply because those people really don’t seem different from the others who wander around the city at 2 a.m. But if you stood in one place and watched, truly watched, for the whole night, you’d notice that some people are not on the way to their homes after a drunken party, nor are they night-shift workers walking towards another night of tired boredom, nor hobos freezing without a home in the autumn night.
Some people simply drift.
They have no stars to follow, apart from the glistening, colourful ad lights. Still, none of them find any comfort in those images – they don’t need the Sacred Golden Arches or the warm, welcoming windows of the 24h diners to feel safe. This is mostly because they really don’t need to feel safe at all.
Wandering around in the night, looking up to the New Stars belonging to this world of ours, they create ironic bitter constellations of their own. Armed with razors and stickers, they play with the lights and twist them to fit their taste, and they do so to make up for the vast space they lost, the brutally muted starry sky and the Moon which doesn’t really manage to outshine even the faintest streetlight anymore.
For the Moon is pale and grey, it doesn’t twinkle or evolve into a whole new family of products and it hasn’t got a psychologically optimized colour surface with your ad printed on it. At least yet, it hasn’t.
Some of those people really miss the Moon, and those nights when they felt overwhelmed by the Universe just because they stood still watching the stars for a while. The new stars, the bright colourful twinkling ones, don’t make you think about anything uncomfortable, like how irrelevant our life is, the rules we create to control an uncertain existence. And they’re not light years away, and they’re not larger than life.
They give your life a purpose instead of taking it away, they are close to you and they are your Friend and they want to Be You – they are stars you can buy, wear, even feed to your dog. Wishing upon the old stars never did you any good, anyway, and the new ones are right here to satisfy needs you didn’t even know you had.
But still, those people dare to be discontent with the brand new Heaven on Earth.
When the world once again awakes to the noise of happy families and shiny new cars, they simply aren’t there anymore. You can search all you like through the gangs of depraved youth and the Badass Alternative Subcultures, but there’s a little voice inside you saying that the scapegoat was probably not the actual criminal. Sure, punk rockers and suchlikes like to smash places, but that can’t be all there is to it. We’ve all heard of the countries where they ban heavy metal and force hippies to cut their hair – somehow it never really reduces the attacks. And you’d like to think you know who was behind them, because that would bring you a vague sense of comfort; hip hoppers paint graffiti, but you know they have their stars too, like any decent fellows. They can be categorized and avoided, neatly like foodstuff you’re allergic to.
It’s much harder just to accept that someone somewhere is behind all the horrible vandalism, but you will never be able to tell by the clothes or occupation. They’re probably not even members of the AdBusters. It rather sounds like a conspiracy, actually.
The truth is, you will never find them. They’re gone with the rising sun.
But you can spot the tiny items those people have reclaimed. Someone painted a handsome moustache for the woman in the Lóreal ad, and the guy livin’ on the Coke side of life seems to be hanged in a noose painted with dogshit. Childish, isn’t it? Quick, hurry past the stains left by losers with nothing better to do than ruining the commercial hell.
The beautiful beautiful commercial hell.
Those creatures of the night have gone to their ordinary office workplaces by now, or the shopping malls or whatever places decent people like to spend their time at. They could be your boss; they pay their bills and love their kids and do their homework – but turn your back, and they take off their suit and tie and grin at you with a bittersweet smile and a spray can. They know what they do may be worth little in the end, but it is a statement, and a message for the others not to feel so alone.
They probably still do. But whenever they realize they’re further away from finding a home than ever before, they again smile at themselves, for that’s how it has always been, and that’s how it probably should be; homes too often tend to brand people.
There are legions, really.
Don’t try to tell me I’m the only one.