A rant about visual vandalism

So, someone “dissed” some images by Banksy by spraying some paint on it.

You know what I hate? All vandalism. If the result is some kind of image, it doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t have to clean it up or pay for it. I hate to call it art of any kind, because that in some way imbues it with a quality that it doesn’t deserve. Some people go on about the democratization of art. I see it as the monopolization of the visible public spaces by a law breaking minority.

Sure, some 0.000000001% of visual vandalism looks good. I own a book of Banksy’s works, and it’s highly amusing and thought provoking. I would, however, be happy to give up on all of Banksy’s body of work, and all other interesting visual vandalism, if it meant I never had to have the 99.99999999% of visual vandalism forced into my face every time I walk down the street. Banksy is good, sure, but he legitimizes (in the eyes of some) that 99.99999999%. He’s like the soup kitchen provided by catholic nuns to the sodomy of Irish orphans by catholic priests.

No, scratch that. It isn’t just about seeing all this vandalism while walking down the street. It’s having it on my front door. And not just on my front door. Here’s a photo I took this afternoon:

That’s my FUCKING BACK YARD! Only me and the guy next door have access to this yard, and we use it during the summer to sit outside and relax, have barbecues, entertain guests. Everyone else in the apartment building looks out into the yard too, so we try to keep it relatively tidy and pleasant to look at.

And some fucker climbed over two walls and scrawled that crap all over the place. Who did he think that vandalism was for? Did he think the people in my apartment building wanted to see it out their window every morning? Like fuck we do. Was it to make us think? Was it to make a political point? Was it to democratize art? Was it to make my back yard more culturally vibrant? Of course not! Nobody is going to ever see it!

Then, as you can see, my landlord decided to paint over it. Sure, the white paint looks a bit shit against the unpainted wall, but it was far better than the vandalism that took place. Then what? Some other fucker decided to do the same thing again! The second vandal could obviously see that the work of the first vandal had been somewhat unappreciated, due to the fact it had been painted over. Why could that person have thought “Actually, my vandalism isn’t going to go down very well around here. Maybe, I dunno, I shouldn’t spray paint all over this wall?”

If someone can come up with a single justification for the acts of this trespasser, I’d love to hear it. Until I’m convinced, I’d really appreciate it if everyone would do everything they can to stop all vandalism, no matter that it results in some kind of visual adornment.


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