A couple weeks ago my wife reported a bright blue tag
painted on the retaining wall beside my house. It sort of looks like it reads:
Ray’s work, if that’s his nomdegraffiti, is sprouting up all over my end of
I’m pretty low key about policing the Avenue and its two-foot wide strip of earth beside the street. There’s a never ending collection of squashed plastic bottles and fast food containers for me to pick up. A couple years ago I thought about writing a column about the 132 cigarette butts I picked up on that portion of the avenue in one hour. Careless disposal of non bio-degradable refuse annoys me but Ray’s handiwork isn’t careless. It’s intentional.
I suspect Ray is sort of like the laborer who can drive around his community and gaze with satisfaction on his life’s work. “See that building? I roughed in the window.” “See that one? I put in the electrical wiring.” “See that one? I troweled in the bricks under the spire.”
I imagine Ray does much the same thing although he (or she) must be a little more circumspect. “See that tag? I sprayed it on at last June.” Of course, Ray does his work late at night and hides his spray can every time a car’s headlights flash past.
In addition to an air of rebelliousness in the tagging
world it can foster a certain competition for space. In 1970’s
Whatever Rudy Giuliani’s other faults he took a dim view of such unlicensed free form decoration. Giuliani treated graffiti as a sign of decay and neglect and blamed it for creating apathy in New Yorkers about the condition of their City. He felt that curbing it would encourage people to take better care of their neighborhoods but his theory didn’t end there. He thought that a cleaned up city would discourage other problem behaviors associated with gangs including crime.
I don’t know how much truth there was in this theory but even the Mayor’s detractors generally give him credit with cleaning up the city and, coincidentally or otherwise, bringing down the crime rate.
It would be giving Ray too much credit to say that he is
A week after Ray’s work appeared on my retaining wall my
wife took a little walk around the neighborhood. She noticed cars acting
suspiciously in the
Ray may not be a doper but I sure wish he/she’d consider
finding some other way to make a mark on
Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.lincolndemocrat.com