What do you think of tagging? I’m not talking about graffiti here, but tagging, where people spray or paint stylised letters on walls, doors and windows around towns.
My opinion is no secret. I think it’s the human equivalent of pissing against lamp-posts,. but I also think it’s a mark of absolute arrogance, selfishness and lack of concern for other people.
Why do I say this? Because neither you nor I have any say in whether some twat with a spray-can decides to make his mark on our property. Furthermore, said twat has already decided that his aesthetic sensibilities are superior to yours and if he wants to put evidence of his genius on your wall or door, he’ll do so, regardless of what you think about it.
That, in my opinion, is the most infantile form of self-indulgence imaginable. I wonder if these fools ever heard the word “No” in their entire adolescent lives?
Monumental arrogance, and stupidity, all rolled into one.
Now, I’m not suggesting that graffiti is bad, providing it’s done with respect, which is a quality we seem to have forgotten in this country, from the thieving bankers to the corrupt government we struggled under for so long. In fact, I’m not talking about graffiti at all. I’m talking about people who think that being able to write a few letters on a wall is art. And even if it was art, since when did artists have a licence to paint over your property or mine? Since when did anyone have the right to take that choice away from you or me?
I remember a song by Michelle Shocked a few years back called Graffiti Limbo. It was about a young black graffiti artist, Michael Stewart, who was killed by New York transit cops for spray painting in a subway station. Michael Stewart was murdered for making graffiti.
Now that’s extreme. That’s ridiculous.
It’s even more extreme than the mindset that believes it has the right to deface your home whether you like it or not. But if some kid stood in front of me and sprayed my wall after I had just painted it, I’d be sorely tempted to thump him. How about you?
A friend of mine — somebody involved in art, as it happens — caught a graffiti artist spraying the wall of the place where he works. When he took the spray can off the artist and redecorated his clothes and face, suddenly, the artist no longer believed in freedom of expression. Isn’t that amazing?
Tagging seems to be a hobby for people who never grasped the concept of personal responsibility.
Meanwhile, disregarding the people who scrawl on walls, here are some more interesting examples of graffiti I happened to notice today.