Monday, October 09, 2006

George Mallory Young Team

On 8 June 1924, British climber George Mallory went missing on an expedition to reach the summit of the then-unconquered Mount Everest. He was never seen again. Before Mallory set off on his epic but ultimately doomed quest, he was asked why he wanted to climb it. His answer? "Because it is there."

80-odd years later, three-quarters of the way down Leith Walk, on a wall on the right-hand side with Edinburgh city centre behind you, you can see this sterling example of work.

If you were to ask whoever was responsible why they'd bothered spray-painting the words BUM KNOB on the wall, you'd probably not get anything remotely resembling a coherent four-word answer. You'd be lucky to get a lazy shrug and a mumbled 'dunno'. Yet Mallory's legendary response could also be the answer to why this cracking example of truly pointless crudity was carried out. Then again, so could "Because I was drunk".

The sad truth is that it’s probably just a piece of low-level inter-gang arse-kicking, given that it half-obliterates ‘Stevie Mc YT’. While Los Angeles has its gun-toting, crack-dealing Bloods and Crips, Scotland has its alcopops-fuelled shellsuited Terrors and Young Teams. You have to hope it isn’t this explanation though. That'd be depressingly lame. Writing BUM KNOB over your rival’s name is hardly up there with drive-by shootings or pimping illegal immigrants trafficked in from eastern Europe.

That’s the trouble with kids today. No ambition.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inspired of you to label this pinnacle of human achievement George Mallory. Who's to say that "Bum Knob" were not the last words on that exhausted man's blue lips as he stumbled on into oblivion on that mountainside? Perhaps this example of Graf-hee-tee (you can have that one) is no "low-level inter-gang arse-kicking", but a crude tag. Both Bum and Knob are surely first names of choice nowadays in that neck of the woods.
Oh yes, wither "All poofs are gay"? Love your work, Da Chuckla

5:27 pm  

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