Friday, July 18, 2008

Hidden Bicycles

Okay, one not so hidden, and, as is evidenced from my last post, I've got biking on my mind lately (and happy for the company: thank you, John B., for your comment !). Both of these pictures come from today's NYTimes. The first, of the not-too-hidden-bicycle genre, is from the international section containing an article on the rise of the Dalit politician Kumari Mayawati, pictured on the posters shown in the market. At the center of these posters is a flag of a bicycle and a raised hand. Nothing to do with the story, I'm sure, but I'd like to know what's up with the bicycle. I can't read the script or the language, and would be grateful to know what it says.

Next up, from the City Room blog (but found in print in today's Metro section), is a picture of a mural, already literally whitewashed ---sometimes the metaphor is so literally true that it is painful--- because the rat signalled an anti-snitching campaign that the city has been trying to overcome. To the left of the rat, is, I believe, an abstract image of a cyclist, maybe a messenger, crouched low over the handlebars. My primitive photo editing did allow me to add a big yellow arrow pointing at what would be the cyclist's nose.
From there, you can see the shape of the helmet atop his head, and in the strong vertical line to the right, a strong, squared arch of the shoulders and jacket/messenger bag caught in motion, the legs and body folded over the frame of bike. Do you see it, too ? Alas, gone with the rat. Instead of painting over all of this art, couldn't our dear censors simply have found the artist and/or changed the caption of the noosed rodent's stop sign ? "Stop Poverty ?" "Stop Strangling Free Expression ?" Or with a few brush strokes, transformed the slipknot to a nice tie (rat race and all), and added a simple "Stop for Bicycles ?" I hate it when good art is wasted. Damn.

1 comment:

John B. said...

Just in case you've not seen it: some link love.