The Walls of a New Generation

Sigh. I remember a time when posters were all the rage. When I was a child, what feels like eons ago, my bedroom walls and closet doors were adorned with the coolest posters of the day. This was my way to express myself. To show the world (my parents) what my interests and loves truly were. To show them that I was cool and hip and not like them at all. My first poster I remember like it was taped to my wall only days ago. It was a Madonna poster. There she was in all her 80’s glory, with her crazy, hair-sprayed mane of blonde with dark roots and arms full of jelly bracelets plastered to the wall with scotch tape. I thought she was so cool back then. And having her picture taped to my bedroom closet door made me feel like she was there, hanging out with me. She was my idol at 10 years old. I saw her gold necklaces and wanted to wear the exact ones, or at least the duplicates found at Wal-Mart. I looked at the mole on her cheek and used my mom’s makeup to draw a dot (the famous mole) on my face. I stared into her soulful eyes and thought, “Hey, I wonder if she loves cats as much as me?”

But as I grew older, the posters started to change with the times. In high school, Madonna came down, and Tori Amos came up. Pop music was dead to me now. I longed for the more thoughtful, introspective music of beautiful singer/songwriters. Along with Tori, came PJ Harvey on my left wall, Toad the Wet Sprocket on my right wall, and beautiful songstress Heather Nova joined Tori on the closet door. And on the ceiling reined the king of Grunge himself, Kurt Cobain. I looked at his handsome face every night before I went to sleep, and wished him a good night.

I soon graduated from high school, but even in college I did not graduate from posters. They littered my dorm-room walls. I taped mostly musicians on the walls, including the likes of Lush, the band Live (who I still listen to today), Alice in Chains, Guster, and so many more. Every semester they would change. It was like a revolving wall of music. The only actor to ever make an appearance on the wall was X-Files’ own David Duchovney. Mmmmm…. Fox Mulder.

Oh, I also had the all-too-cool college clich�© poster from Alice in Wonderland portraying Alice with a questionable questioning caterpillar. That one was very popular with my friends.

See, the thing with posters is that they are an inexpensive way of representing the inner person. However, as I move on in life, and obviously on in age, posters on the walls of adult houses seem juvenile and even tacky. So it’s on to original paintings by local artisans and framed prints by well-known artists. Because you simply cannot put a poster on a wall unframed anymore. That is an atrocity of adulthood. And I agree. It is tacky. (No pun intended.)

It was strange. Back then, it was almost as if the posters spoke for me. They told my friends more about me and my interests than I could verbally express. Just by stepping inside my room, strangers could become quick friends. If they liked the posters of the musicians on my wall, then we had something in common-something to talk about. And I was always up for a discussion about popular and underground music of the day. Maybe posters were for me, what tattoos are for the younger generation of today. It’s simply all just a way of expressing yourself.

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