It is argued that vandalism is a position term used selectively, such that not all wanton destroyers of emblematic public property are called vandals, not all vandals are wanton, not all defacements are vandalistic, and not all eligible vandalisms are accordingly condemned. Governing assumptions include (1) that places, objects, and traditions used as props for cultural identity theater productions are invented to preserve the persons, groups, or institutions who produce the broadcast; (2) that the aggregation of such props, properties, and propaganda is checked by a pulsing instinct for decomposition, contrary to preservation, as stabilizing actions are met with destabilizing reactions, seeking space within a culture for new postures, assumptions, and assertions; and (3) that vandalism is a strategically disparaging term for what is often an amateur effort to broadcast a coherent grievance from outside the city walls so that it is heard inside the city walls, if the city is a metaphor for any bastion of cultural identity reinforced with iconic physical props.


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pp. 66-77
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