To the editor:
Apparently I’m not the only one disgruntled by the hulking presence of The Oread hotel. As I’m sure many of my fellow students noticed Monday and Tuesday, the hotel was boldly endowed with (that is, generously endowed by) a brand-new paint job, courtesy of some unknown and obviously well-meaning graffiti artist.
To anyone with an eye for aesthetic, the painting was beautiful, before its untimely demise at the hands of the hotel. During its brief existence, it implored any who looked upon it to “SHOUT PEACE” in brave, white, simple characters against a backdrop of subtle blue. Its composition both fit solidly into the building’s broad, square architecture, and, more impressively, gracefully mimicked the Kansan sky beyond.
The hotel owners, within days, unceremoniously destroyed it. Why? In Tuesday’s Lawrence Journal-World, Oread general manager Nancy Longhurst claimed, on behalf of the hotel, to be “saddened by this kind of vandalism.” Which kind? The kind that inspires peace? The kind with constructive ideals? The kind carefully integrated into the space it occupies?
I must concede that “vandalism” is inextricable from all its intrinsic negative stigma surrounding, and that this case, by law, is no exception. However, this case was neither directly destructive (it did not involve, say, broken windows), nor was it negative, antagonizing, violent or insulting in any way. The painting, instead, encouraged self-expression, with a purpose of unity between people, a lesson the hotel higher-ups, judging by their abrupt destruction of such a beneficial artwork, clearly ought to consider.