If you live in the bay area you may have heard rumors of the zero tolerance graffiti laws. Below are some very brief quotes from the "Anti Graffiti Huddle" that took place in April of this year. Graffiti artists were called "slackers in the vanguard of tagging" -Bevan Dufty, Member, SF Board of Supervisors
and claims were made that "groups of taggers are taking over the city"... From Mohammed Nuru, Chair, SF Graffiti Advisory Board (also called "Graffiti Czar" by David Chiu, Ed Reiskin, and Bevan Dufty)
Thankfully, when the topic of Shepard Fairey arose, he was dismissed as a delinquent by the very same counsel. They claim that Shepard has permission to be an artist and therefore is exempt from such harsh judgement. Wow, what a moment of clarity, good thing that kid didn't start out as a vandal or else we'd really be in trouble. ???
( Read more notes from the "Huddle")
I even stumbled upon a page where you can actually take an anti graffiti pledge.
check it out here
Is this similar to a Purity Pledge? Like teaching kids that the real solution to curing AIDS is simply Abstinence? Thank you Mr. bush for solving the epidemic with your endless wisdom and superior knowledge... I digress...
I guess what I find perplexing is that fact that the State of California is drowning in debt and yet they continue to dump thousands upon thousands of dollars into this anti graffiti movement. What those same taxpayers don't realize is that when they complain about the rising bridge toll fees and muni fees, part of it has to do with this initiative.
Now, we are not uneducated, we know that our debt has more to do with corrupt spending and excessive globe trotting government officials than investing in anti-graffiti counsels. But, imagine if you took even half of that money and invested it in after school art programs for SF schools...you would keep a lot of kids off the street or, at very very the least we would see an improvement in the level of artistic graffiti expression ... Listening to stories of old New york from Che Jen really made me think about our city and what direction we are heading in. A city that used to pride itself on the intense level of creativity it once inspired is now scared of it's most prized asset.
People here used to embrace art and the artists. But, ever since art evolved and became something that the younger generations could own and further in their unique style, the older generations got nervous. They became haters. And the taggers know it. So, they do what they do because it doesn't matter, they know that they are not respected so why would they care if they disrespect you or your property.
You know, there are countries and cities where graffiti artists are respected, and out of this respect the artists begin to feel a sense of responsibility to their community. Random tags are delegated to more appropriate areas i.e. not somebody's front door and beautiful murals ensue.
So, In an effort to keep spirits high I've compiled some images the destruction those damn delinquents have left in their midst...
Thank you delinquents, you slacker vandals you. We heart you and hope that you keep making our city beautiful.