Thursday, February 12, 2009

i'm it

Where is a Mexican policeman with a spray paint can when you need one?

You may recall, last month in
paging john edwards we discussed how the system should deal with juvenile delinquents -- in that case, graffiti brats.

Well, I just joined the tagged set. I went out to my garage the other morning and was greeted with the "art" in the photograph at the top of the blog.

I am not a garage virgin. I have had two sides bedecked with the works of budding James Whistlers.

And I have been through all stages of the craze: spray paint that required a heavy coat of enamel to obliterate; the stupid phase of water-based pens that came off with spit and kleenex. And now the newest phase: magic marker. Permanent magic marker. Permanent magic marker that bleeds through paint.

Our city has an ordinance that requires property owners to clean up graffiti within something like 72 hours of discovery. I am in flagrant violation of the law, and like Thoreau in his Walden cabin, I will resist the jack boot of the man. (Several years ago, I was visited by an armed police woman, who threatened dire consequences unless I cleaned up my garage act. I told her I was a performance artist. She told me I had 72 hours. Whatever happened to the jovial beat cop?)

Actually, I just need to find some green paint to turn the gang tag into another drab suburban garage door.

And while I am at the hardware store, I may buy a can of spray paint. You never know when some guilty feet may get some rhythm -- or, at least, some paint.


Michael Dickson said...

I advocate execution for graffiti criminals. Seriously. It´s taken far too lightly.

To digress a tad, I was saddened to learn this week that the international Green Party has ousted the Mexican Green Party. Yes, the Mexican Greens cannot come to the party.

And why is that? Because we favor capital punishment for murderers and kidnappers. Yes, Greeners who are tree-huggers AND advocates of capital punishment. I find the Mexican Green Party´s stance on these issues quite thrilling, and intend to go Green at the first electoral opportunity. Really. The PAN will lose me.

And I also urge the miniscule percentage of you who can vote in Mexico to Go Green! Save the trees. Fry the Narcos!

ken kushnir said...

Join the club Steve, the city were I had my business also put 72 hours to take it off, hell I couldn't get anybody to return my phone calls to come over to repaint it in that time, so the city fined us $2000.
It is a new profit center for municipalities, it is really a serious problem and is getting worse.
Take a can of spray paint and paint over it with more squiggly lines and tell them it is your artwork.....Expression of art, you think it will work?

Islagringo said...

And what a stupid piece of graffiti it is. Looks like somebody's initials. Not even original. Have you tried painting over the offending piece with KILZ before using regular paint? That stuff even keeps crayon from bleeding through.

Steve Cotton said...

Michael -- If I caught the miscreant in the act, I am not certain what I would have done. Stocks? Yes. Chopping block? Not for me. I wonder if the Mexican Greens read National Review?

Larry -- I almost tried something similar with the police woman who read me the graffiti act. I was going to tell her that the graffiti was protected as expression under the Oregon Constitution. But I wasn't certain that I wanted that to be the general answer. I still have not fixed this latest tag, though.

Islagringo -- Most gang stuff is not very interesting. It is as if IBM has taken them all over.

Calypso said...

This would make me very mad! I am with Michael on this one (and most things for that matter)

Anonymous said...

Steve, You are actually a lawyer, and can thus fight them on your own. If I were a lawyer, I'd sue them for being unreasonable about the graffiti. 72 hours? That's ridiculous.

They ought to pursue the criminals with at least as much vigor as they pursue the victims.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where, surprisingly enough, we don't seem to have much graffiti. Not sure why.

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- It must be the hats.

Kim -- I have been told, we now have "community policing." If we gather enough evidence to arrest someone, the police will act.

But I am getting tired of the unimaginative nature of my garage "art." I need to get some paint.

Islagringo said...

"It must be the hats" Almost made me blow coffee all over my screen! Thanks for the morning laugh!

glorv1 said...

I forgot Steve, Happy Valentine's Day to you and Mr. Jiggs.

Steve Cotton said...

Islandgringo -- You were lucky not to be included: Sombrero Boy. I am going to do my best to avoid any hatted photographs. I may as well have a balloon over my head: "Did you see that pesky wabbit?"

Gloria -- Thanks.