Graffiti In Blue

August 12th, 2007

I like graffiti.

I like the spray paint acrylic patina and the designs these unacclaimed artists create. And will someone please tell me what’s so sacred about plain white concrete? Our entire mass transit palette is black asphalt and white concrete.

The use of state police to stalk taggers is a ridiculous waste of law enforcement. The budget-busted rush of taxpayer dollars into eradicating a form of self-expression that’s been with us since construction began on the Coliseum in Rome seems prudish. More so. It gives law enforcement a reason to bank unnecessary hours of overtime into a this obscene deployment to capture, by flashlight and stake-out, those armed with spray paint and the need to announce that they got away with putting their tag on empty public spaces.

The only reason the cops are out there wasting our time looking for taggers is that the people behind this unique urban art form aren’t recognized the way Picasso was, financially, socially, or otherwise. Perhaps taggers should model their work after the insipid childish inspiration of an art clod like Grandma Moses whose work was hailed as brilliant by gaunt, wealthy white women who spend much of their time justifying the space they take up on this planet by lubricating their taste in art with martinis and manhattans.

The reason cops chase down taggers is not to make the urban ghetto a better place to live. These state police are under orders from the establishment to make sure that nothing jostles the sensibilities of those who might see the graffiti and therefore conclude that the environment is filthy and unlivable and not worthy of their investment. Is a museum filthy and unlivable? Or is the art contained therein acceptable to just the few who are hustled for their contributions to keep the lights on at night?

Any city worth living in is worth spray-painting any public space that’s plain and white and made of cement. If that doesn’t happen, then the subculture doesn’t exist and the city isn’t worth your time or the money shelled out to live there.

Bullets fired randomly penetrate the windows of run down apartment houses killing little kids asleep in their beds. Under nearby interstate overpasses, gallant officers from the state police patrol nightly to make sure somebody with a can of spray paint doesn’t deface the bland iron of steel struts supporting the bridge. I suppose it would be a leap of irresponsible civic suggestion to suppose that these clowns better serve the public by making sure that glocks aren’t locked and loaded just a few blocks away rather than making sure a couple of cans of spray paint aren’t fired off in an attempt to both liven up the cityscape in color and design rather than violence and cultural ruin.

But then the cops wouldn’t be serving their true masters. The establishment who uses them as armed servants to enforce a strict puritan code of alignment and obedience.

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