Most of you are no doubt familiar with Toynbee ideas. And some of you are no doubt aware that their use in Kubrik’s 2001 are resurrecting the dead on planet Jupiter. But for the uninitiated, I figure an explanation of sort is in order. Long before there was the internet, or irc… there was a simple humble man. A man who knew too much some say. He knew of the sinister plot laid down in cinematic effigy, a necromancy of astronomical proportions. We do not know his name, or where it was he came upon this information, but society today is forever changed by his message. And the above image is just one of hundreds if not thousands of similar embedded messages in streets and sidewalks across the world.
I could tell you that the flickr tag for toynbee has over 1000 images associated with it. Or that I’ve personally seen tiles on two continents. But that wouldn’t really do justice to the phenomenon. For all intensive purposes a phrase with a loose association and a general lack of grammatical sense, is now the focus of considerable efforts by many people across the globe. Is this merely a case of jingoism gone horribly awry? or is it a more sinister plot… What do these words truly mean? Are they code? Are they errant cries of madness entombed for all time in the stone facade of our byways and highways? Or are they simply a hope for a better way of life beyond our own? We may never truly know, but it is the very nature of this cryptic message and the way in which it is strangely both curious, and entertaining. Like an exotic food that you don’t quite like, but you can’t stop thinking about the strangeness of the flavor. We roll the idea over in our head again and again hoping against hope to perceive the unperceivable. Truly this masterful work will go down in the anuls of history as one of the greatest graffiti projects of all time.