Please Stop Caring About Banksy

Image: Tom Thai, defacement: Silvia

I woke up the other day to this Daily Mail article about how Banksy could be Robert Del Naja, the lead singer of Massive Attack. I went onto Facebook and saw that many people I know, nice people whom I love, were discussing this information in chipper tones. I said nothing. On Twitter, I saw another extremely nice and well-rounded soul talking excitedly about this. Still, I said nothing. I saw, also on Twitter, than Banksy has 1.5 million followers. This is too many, I think. It is simply too many. I saw this, and the phrase “Countless Banksy theories have been bandied about before.” I saw, finally, that it was time to speak.

Please stop caring about Banksy so much. Please do me the kindness of obeying the law I have just invented, which is that no one is allowed to think or talk too much about Banksy anymore. Please, you aren’t allowed to speculate at length on who actually he is, and you aren’t allowed even to say that you think his ideas are stupid. You are a little bit allowed to say this, but only according to the strict terms I have laid out, of which more below. I patrol these borders very carefully. A great deal is forbidden.

You aren’t allowed, for instance, to say “guerrilla street artist” in a dumb voice while employing derisive air quotes. You aren’t allowed to say that it is Ironic that he is most likely an ex-public schoolboy of some description. You’re not allowed to say too many things about how he is “shallow”, or that only people who are stupid think he is smart. I see the appeal of this line of discussion, but I’m afraid it leads directly to caring too much about Banksy. You may not. It’s right there in the law I have recently invented, a copy of which I am currently stapling to your door. Hi. You will see that there are a lot of pages, because I have made provisions for all caring-too-much-about-Banksy loopholes. Please read them carefully. You will see that I am not quite the martinet I came across as at the beginning of this paragraph.

You are allowed, for instance, to think it is fleetingly amusing that he might be the guy from Massive Attack. You are allowed to send one text to one person, and the text can say “This is so typical. I always hated Massive Attack, and now I know why.” You are not allowed to think it’s cool, though. Look at page 3, where it clearly says “trip-hop and all trip-hop adjacent things are not cool and never were.” Please obey the law. You can wonder aloud about how come Banksy seems to hate Mickey Mouse so much? Sorry, but just what kind of a person thinks Mickey Mouse is the root of all that is wrong with this world? Mickey Mouse! It that still a thing, where people believe that Mickey Mouse is truly where the rot set in? You can ask these questions once, and once only. You are allowed to send a screenshot of that one Banksy mural, where it says like “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS” in wobbly graffiti and then there is a pretend sticker on top of that, and the sticker says CANCELLED. You are allowed to send that image to one person, and all you can say in the caption is “Ok then, Banksy”. That’s it. If they ask you what is up, you may not respond.

We have now reached a point, I’ve decided, where hating Banksy too much is nearly as bad as loving him a lot. What is the solution? Well, you’ve read the law by now. Sorry I affixed it to your door with such a savage nail gun. Sorry the nail actually went through the wood and now you have to buy a new door. It’s just that there were so many pages. I am not really all that sorry.