Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eleven Nine

September 11 2001. Four commercial airliners. 19 hijackers. Almost 3,000 dead and missing. The emergence of Osama bin Laden and the rise of al-Qaeda. The catalyst for the war on terror. Part of the excuse for the eventual invasion of Iraq. A growing death toll.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard the shocking news filtering through? The chances are you do. And though we can only guess where one I.L.McKinnes was on that fateful day in 2001, we certainly know where he or she was 14 years previously, on September 11 1987 - standing at the foot of a flight of steps off Montrose Terrace in Edinburgh, a stone's throw from the junction of Easter Road and London Road. And we know what they were doing - dragging a cheeky finger through some wet cement rendering on a wall to leave a profound message for future generations to enjoy.

A freshly-applied patch of wet cement holds the same sort of attraction for a graffitist that an open pot of jam holds for a wasp. It's impossible to ignore. It's crying out for some close attention. So imagine the buzz of excitement I.L. must have felt at the sight of this newly-rendered wall. What an opportunity for self-expression. What a glorious chance to unleash some free-thinking, leftfield creativity. And on completion, there was even time to sign and date it. Stylish.

Let's put a shout out, as dedication-seekers say on radio show call-ins, to the enigmatic I.L.McKinnes. Big up. Top work. Nice slogan. Happy 20th anniversary.

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