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Friday, January 4, 2008

Rambo vs. Rimbaud - Muni Vandal Strikes 'First Blood'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2008 at 10:20 AM


Photo | Courtesy of and, taken at Church and Market Muni station

By Joe Eskenazi

In the left corn-ah we have, weighing 180 pounds and hailing from Hope, Washington, John J. Ramboooooooo! And in the right corn-ah, weighing 73 kilos and hailing from 19th-century France, it's Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud!

Technically, the photo you're chuckling at documents Muni vandalism — but I wish there were a better term. Doesn't this kind of hard-working cleverness bring joy to the world? (especially on a day like today, when Muni resembled the moist version of the Black Hole of Calcutta and smelled like a pet grooming station).

Incidentally, the names Rambo and Rimbaud are pronounced virtually identically ...

if you hail from La Republique , though their body of work is not similar.

Rambo (portrayed, of course, by Sly Stallone twisting his lips in a manner that recalls Bill Murray's Carl Spackler character from "Caddyshack") is a disillusioned and pissed-upon former Green Beret and Prisoner-of-War. In three previous movies he shoots at corrupt, rural Washington cops, Vietnamese communist holdovers and the Soviets oppressing the poor Afghan mujahideens (including a plucky young Osama bin Laden).

Rimbaud, meanwhile, was a literary prodigy dubbed L'enfant Shakespeare by none other than Victor Hugo.

Here's the biggest difference, however: Rambo/Stallone is now 61, which is awfully old for a commando (or a boxer, for that matter). Rimbaud, meanwhile, died at 37 — meaning he never had time to act in Rimbaud II or Rimbaud III.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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