May. 13th, 2016

Terminus:

May. 13th, 2016 12:38 am
jack_babalon: (Default)
There is an anthropomorphic can of gasoline that greets commuters on the Eastbound MARTA line between the King Memorial and Georgia State Stations that I've named Sparky. Sparky is a creature of pure graffiti, one of the many that can be seen floating along the psychic landscape of our city in flux between ghetto no-go zone and feudal mixed-use high rise loft space. Sparky can be found waving at the edge of one of the most inspiring views of the Terminus skyline, on a derelict rooftop between the prolific tag - NOPE - and a vandal scrawl humbly reminding train passengers that - "You ain't gangsta! You don't even know one!" These words, as any casual buff of the War of Northern Aggression will tell you, were famously uttered by General Lee when he was asked to order his army to lay down their arms and surrender to his nemesis General Grant.

Of course when Grant received word of Lee's harsh reply he was, in the parlance of the time, 'drunk as fuck' and as such in little mood to be questioned on his street cred. So, according to eyewitness reports, General Grant - wearing naught but his britches and saber belt - ordered the Union Army to raze the city to the ground along with any sunovabitch dumb enough to say otherwise. The scorched earth tactic was a Grant favorite. One he utilized to much success in quelling Native American Guerilla insurrections down in Florida or tavern-keeps who tried to cut off the future president before last call. After a long siege, the supply-starved Confederate Army withdrew from Terminus and as promised, Grant danced naked in the flaming streets, waving a bottle of whiskey around and shouting - "Who's Gangsta now, Bitch?"

From the ashes of this raging bonfire the city rose on phoenix wings with the motto - RESURGENS - which locals will tell you proudly is Latin for - "Guns Everywhere for Anyone!" But where those first flames were struck that would reduce to Terminus to smoldering ruins is along the train tracks just across the roaring highway that severs the city proper from the Old 4th Ward there is a marker to remind of the devastation that was wrought. That marker of course is Sparky the anthropomorphic can of gasoline.

Right there, an act of psychogeographical vandalism designating the landmark to perhaps THE most defining moment in the city's history. In the cartoon eyes bulged with excitement, in the knowing smile, in the body of the gasoline Sparky acts a fiery reminder to the city's gentrified future, that no monument is eternal, no castle unassailable, no city vouchsafed against the flames of history that will one day rise again to claim it.

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