The posters and flowers started appearing on Sunday. As Niamh and I walked by I was thinking how fortuitous it was that it appeared outside of a music store. Posters printed and stuck to the wall. Some small lit candles and people just sitting there, talking.
The next day flowers had appeared and people had written on the posters. Irish fans were leaving their tribute. HMV was blasting out Jacksons hits and selling out of his CDs.
This was yesterday afternoon at around lunchtime. There were more flowers, more messages. HMV had sent out a press release talking about it with HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo saying:
“As the news begins to sink in about his death fans are turning to one another to seek solace and finding a location somehow linked to Michael Jackson is a comfort for some. Combined with this is a huge a surge in people purchasing his music to remember his legacy.”
Today, walking past, I notice a slight change. Firstly, HMV are playing Rolling Stones, no doubt to the relief of the shop workers and all their neighbours. There was also some unfortunate but to-be-expected changes to the “shrine”:
The flowers are gone, there are posters ripped and some unsavoury messages left on the posters. In one way I’m surprised it’s lasted as long as it did …
I’ve always wondered why it is that vandals can’t leave well enough alone? What is it that won’t allow them to just let people get on with things, even if it may not have any big effect?
I may not have contributed to the tribute, or wanted to, but if it’s people’s ways of dealing with something, and it’s positive and done with care and affection, then why not leave it? I had no problem with it being there, I’m surprised others apparently did.
This, though a lot less severe, reminds me of a recent Irish Times story about the impending arrival of the city centre bike scheme :
In 2003, when Dublin hosted Cow Parade , an outdoor cultural art exhibition of decorated life-sized cows, the first 10 cows that were placed on the city’s streets were all vandalised so badly within 24 hours that the entire exhibition had to migrate indoors or to public spaces under surveillance.
One cow was beheaded with a saw. Another was stolen. All had graffiti on them within hours. Cow Parade had run in many other international cities, including New York, London and Sydney and in no other city had the exhibits ever needed to be relocated.
I’m pretty transfixed by some of the positive messages put up there on different posters – like this one – I really wonder what the story is there:
There was also this one:
People have different ideas of tributes. Some hang posters, some write lovely blog posts or superb newspaper articles. Some just play some music or say a prayer. Isn’t it a pity that they can’t just let be do that?