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Monday, July 9, 2012

time to go to the library


  1. maybe also empathy, and a sense of belonging to a community.

  2. I don't think it is that simple to be honest. You're essentially taking the point of view that as you feel aggrieved, you are essentially a victim. I"m not too certain that there really is a level of malice involved, or at least a consideration that the action is going to damage or harm.

    Realistically, this is a cultural thing. It is an expressionism that can also be thrilling. It may not always offer a profound statement or idea (and more often than not does not) but it does make the person feel involved, active and even entertained.

  3. I suppose I agree with Scott's last comment, but also with your point about malice. It may be a deliberate indifference ("I am totally uninterested in you and what you want to do with your property"), but that is a sort of malice, or disrespect. Rebellion against society -- which means disrespecting the particular members of society whose stuff one is defacing -- is part of graffiti, usually.

    Then there is the whole question of bathroom stall graffiti .......

  4. No, Scott, that's not the point of view I'm taking. I do feel aggrieved when I see it, but I count myself a victim only when it's defacing my own property, which is rare. However, there are always victims, and I can feel for them and resent the vandalism wherever I see it. My point is there are plenty of creative outlets that don't involve harm to individuals or to society as a whole. This isn't strictly about graffiti, my acetone merely put that uppermost in my mind. I want to understand why anyone would choose to expend effort and time, foregoing other pleasures and options to increase human misery.

  5. Oh and I meant to say, when the question of thrills came up before, that it's only a thrill because someone else wants to stop them doing it, and that's not because it's bad art, but because it defaces property. There's no "fun" in asking permission, and therein lies the nutmeat. The intent is malicious, or it's by definition not graffiti.
    Good stuff! keep it coming!

  6. Yep, I can completely see your point, and I do concur about there being many, many more productive activities available.

    What I'm saying is, that this activity is really the antithesis of this. It has appeal to young males due to its risk-taking and expressive tribal nature. In my believe, the only outcome that is considered is the sense of pride of having marked your territory, and expressed yourself for all to see.

    It is easy to paint on a canvas. Andy Warhol point this out when he made painting of just paint smears, and deportations of every-day objects. Pop art showed us that painting is, and was a fleeting thing that - well, really was a nothing. Standing at a canvas potentially presented little to no value in our community.

    But splashing a wall with your tag, running the risk of prosecution would give you a much greater social payoff if you succeeded in it. It also got the blood pounding, while being rebellious. To the people conducting the act, it seemed to have no real victim, other than to be an annoyance to authority, while making their mark on the world while they felt they themselves had so little to be worth seeing for.

    Perpetrators for these kinds of crimes usually don't have an idea of the damage they are doing to a person or community. Often when they are directly confronted with the people they have actually victimised, they become remorseful. However they also frequently deal with this remorse with aggression and victim blaming.

    Sorry, I'm waffling.

    I had a point there somewhere. I'll come back when I've finished lunch.

  7. *in my belief* Sorry, eating and typing.

  8. *blood pumping*

    Ahh bugger it. I'll re-edit later.

  9. At the risk of oversimplification, i detect a hint of the old chestnut, "don't ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity" which returns to my point, that cruelty is the default setting of human group dynamics. It seems to manifest as soon as groups grow to the point where exclusion is an option.

  10. Shordzi I'd sure like to see more empathy but I detect it most often in introverts - people for whom social interactions don't come easily, and are often unpleasant.

  11. I'm with you on the cruelty point. I wonder if it is something that is primal in ourselves - a hunter/gatherer survival left over, or it is something that is quickly nurtured into our behavior

    But I think that is a topic for another night. I love a bit of discussion, and I'm tooling to collect someone from the train, before I overstay my welcome.

  12. Very interesting comments. One city did a project a few years back where they gave the Graffiti artists places to practice their art. They left them paint old buildings and some transit rail cars. Thus they got to put their general disregard for others property to use at helping to give a lift to the city.

    Are you going to type in the library?

  13. I'd guess that both the cruelty part and the desire to "make a mark" are primal, since early humans seem to have been doing both for as long as archeologists can determine. It might even be genetic, both of these tendencies.


  14. There are many different types of pollution. The most common pollution of our time is sensory pollution. Visual pollution, such a graffiti, bombastic adverts, etc. Audio pollution, take your pick of where it is coming from. All of it is a form of discourtesy to other and to ourselves. The hardest thing for most of us to find in this world today is silence. Richard K in Texas


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