Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Bunker Mentality

Despite a quarter century of trudging around the Campus, yesterday for the first time I stumbled across one of those forgotten corners that is only visited by those with an urge to remain unseen (or curious photographers). From the graffiti, I suspect an infestation of nocturnal teens.

Isn't it odd, though, how the swastika is still the symbol of choice for a moron with a spraycan? And how such morons rarely notice they've got the thing the wrong way round? At least, I think this was meant to be a swastika. And I hope it's paint.

Interestingly, perhaps ominously, the entrance to this particular Nazi bunker is also presided over by a suspiciously pagan-looking green torso, resembling something by the artist Leonard Baskin.

As you may have noticed, I've got a "white wall" theme building at the moment. Whether it will go anywhere is hard to say at this stage.


Gavin McL said...

The swastika in the west is tied up with Nazi party and its offshoots that we forget it was a symbol of good (luck) in the east. Though I think the arms go the other way
I first traveled to Korea about 10 years ago and was quite shocked to see the swastika painted large on the gables of Bhuddist Temples and little gold swastikas round peoples necks worn as casually as a Christian cross.
Like the green man

Mike C. said...

I went to a lunchtime talk last week given by Denis McManus of our Philosophy school, who was talking about Heidegger's Nazi-ness and the broader question of why and whether we expect great thinkers to be good people.

The thing that got my attention was the suggestion that -- although we generally know a Nazi when we see one -- the actual ideology of the Nazi party was pretty woolly. The wing of the party that adopted "Aryan" symbols like the swastika (which -- despite its agreeably jagged Germanic sound -- is actually called a "Hakenkreuz" in German) and Nordic symbols like the SS runes was actually quite distant in attitudes and "philosophy" from the run of the mill Nazi Party member, even at the highest levels. The anti-modern Himmler contrasts markedly with the ultra-modernist Goebbels, for example.

But the bold design sense of the Nazis has to be admired, however... Not everyone knows that the SS uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss. Why oh why must the battledress of the Angels (I mean, of course, the British Army) always be designed by the same committee that gave us the camel?


Paul Mc Cann said...

Until recent times there was a Swastika (Commercial) laundry in Dublin.

Mike C. said...

Not "Swashtika Laundry"? (Sorry)


Martyn Cornell said...

Don't knock the camel - it may look awful, but in its own environment it vastly outperforms the more attractive horse.

I have a book of poems by Rudyard Kipling published in the early 1920s which has a swastika on the spine, because this was a time when it was still primarily a symbol of Hinduism and India.

Mike C. said...

That's right, there was a collected edition of Kipling decorated with swastikas that you used to see in all the second-hand bookshops. After a bit of a google, I found this interesting page:

You have to wonder if it somehow contributed to Kipling's fall from fashion.