If there’s anything better than the sweet aroma of coffee beans and toast floating through the air when you wake up in the mornings, it simply has to be waking up to “fuck the PAP” scribbled with a toddler’s handwriting on the roof of the HDB block opposite yours. It just makes you feel so…warm inside. Despite the fact that the ledge is literally less than a metre wide, fellow street artist Mike Cool risked his life to remind Singaporeans to…erm, I can’t really tell what his message is. Vote for PAP right? It’s a bit vague. Anyway, here are three reasons why MatKool’s graffiti is so dope:
1. The sheer height.
Just standing at that height would make me want to pee my pants, let alone spray something legible. One simply cannot blame Mike for having a childish hand considering that it is very hard to write properly with soggy pants. Also the wind could have easily tipped him over at that height. No wonder he got straight to the point. It’ll be pretty sad if he had martyred himself after spraying “fuck”.
2. It is very semiotically complex.
Breaking down the artwork into a list of symbols, we have the following:
- the Anarchy Circle x 03
- the Anarchy Heart-shaped x 01
- the Circle Lightning Cross x 01
- the Circle PAP Cross x 01
- a variant of the Nirvana Smiley x 01
Let’s talk about the first two: the regular anarchy circle, and the anarchy heart-shaped circle. For most of us, the significance of the anarchy symbol is rather clear – it is a right wing extremist position which advocates severe libertarianism where it’s every man for himself. Why then, is there an odd heart-shaped anarchy symbol inserted below “fuck”? One can only guess that out of 4 anarchies fucks that we give, one anarchy fuck has to be coming straight from the heart. Whatever it is, Mat Kool probably has some profoundly feasible political theory in mind when he sprayed the walls. One that includes Nirvana and PAP and something that’s got to do with freedom and change… It really boggles your mind.
3. It forced our darling papers to censor PAP even though it’s not a vulgarity(debatable, of course)
It is hard to miss how ridiculous SPH made itself look by censoring “PAP” from Straits Times and the NewPaper. One can only imagine that this is what happened:
Somewhere earlier last night at SPH…
Chief Editor Mr Tan: Eh, err, I think having the PAP there is really not good for our brand ah, what do u think.
Young Editors: Ya lor, “PAP” sprayed in red on the walls, later all the aunties mistake us for gangster organization.
Chief Editor: Okok settle. Then the lightning thing wan censor or not?
Young Editors: Okok let’s sensor that one also. We just erase ppl won’t know what this guy talking about alrd, they will think he’s just trying to give Singaporeans a wake up call. Like, a literal wake up call, like, SG, wake up, time for work kind.
Chief Editor: okok settle. I go ask grandpa first den we see how.
Tomorrow, Straits Times will be releasing a statement by Minister of Home Affairs saying that Vandalism is a serious crime that is punishable by a maximum of three years in jail and a $ 10 000 fine blah blah blah, and we all look forward to the same bullshit.