Reading this kind of ignorant dreck from Paul Carpenter, it could not be more clear that it is well past time for the Morning Call to send him off to spend more time bumbling around the Westgate Mall:
There are clear signs of cultural degradation — gratuitous loud noise, acceptance of vulgar language in public, tattoos and other intentional disfigurements, habitual sloth, ridicule of intelligence and education, and barbarous music that glorifies vice and belligerence.
The clearest sign is graffiti. You can tell quickly which communities or neighborhoods have decent and productive populations, and which ones don’t, by the amount of trash sprayed on walls.
It was gratifying the other day to see the story about Fred Lahovski, a Nazareth police detective, who has found a way to crack down on the dimwitted lowlifes who use spray paint to vandalize trucks, houses, garage doors, industrial buildings and other surfaces…
Graffiti, the story said, is “driven by ego,” which compels the vandals to sign their work, even if it’s in some sort of fatuous code. As I have said before, graffiti is very similar to what dogs do to mark their territory, and is applied with approximately the same level of intellect.
There was one statement by Lahovski with which I disagree. He said some graffiti vandals have “artistic ability.” You need pretty low artistic standards to be able to look at graffiti and say something like that.
Tattoos and rap music are signs of cultural degradation? Get off my lawn!
Areas with graffiti don’t have decent and productive populations? Actually, America’s cities – and especially the gentrifying neighborhoods of America’s cities – tend to have a lot of graffiti and also very high productivity. Low-density suburban areas have lower productivity than cities.
You need low artistic standards to appreciate graffiti?
I could go on, but I’ll just direct Mr. Carpenter to look up “graffiti art” on The Google, or check out Banksy’s site. He should also see the films Exit Through the Gift Shop or Bomb It, although I’m not sure they stock them at 48 Hours or Hollywood Video.
The bottom line is that there’s an enormous difference between graffiti and just scrawling your tag on a wall. Lumping them together and then repeatedly comparing all graffiti artists to urinating dogs is beyond the pale, not to mention racially inflammatory, considering that Carpenter has made it abundantly clear by this point in the column that his villains are young non-white urban dwellers.