Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Graffiti - futile attempt at plumage

In a city of 4 million people, there's going to be immature little boys who feel the need to "tag" or mark other peoples' property, public property, just about anything that is visible in a futile attempt to "leave their mark". I see such petty behaviour as the modern equivalent of male "pissing to mark territory". It's not an "expression of art", it's a pathetic attempt to try and extend one's own insignificant sphere of influence where it does not belong and it is not welcomed. Graffiti is a visual equivalent of LOUD SUB WOOFERS on teenage and 20-something automobiles, akin to feathers on peacocks and turkeys, and peeing on trees by lower functioning mammals. Sad, futile attempts, to make a "statement" - whatever.

One of the nicest Phoenix city services that I have used, just about monthly, is the "Graffiti Busters" hotline.
(602) 495-7014 (after the fact)
(602) 262-7327 (in progress)
(602) 712-6585 (AZDOT for interstate highway tagging)
I call these nice people, and tell them where I've seen the graffiti, what color the paint was, and if it can be read (frequently, the 'wanna-be artist' miscreants make their scribble unreadable except by other miscreants), and within the next week or so, they send out a contractor who paints over the offending graffiti with an industrial spraying truck. Very nice, very efficient, very personable. I certainly hope that this wonderful service doesn't go away due to the $1.2 BILLION 2008 shortfall.

The Graffiti Buster's hotline has a $250 reward they offer, but I do not give them my name. I just enjoy seeing the impotent little taggers' hard work being obliterated.


  1. Can't believe I'm defending graffiti here, but...

    You've never seen any graffiti that was funny or you thought was really good? Let's start with scratching off the letters on a World Dryer Corp hand dryer so that the instructions read "push butt. rub hands gently under arm." Cracks me up every time.

    In Northern Ireland under a political sign that said, "Ulster Says No", someone had added "but the man from Del Monte says yes!"

    Personally I think a wall of "Romans go home" in Latin would be a nice touch.

    I've got a Banksy in my neighborhood and I like it.

    Most graffiti is annoying crap. That's true with most of everything, isn't it? I don't like the gang tagging. And I'd wager I personally have had my property graffitified much more than you. No city services, either, we would just paint over as quickly as possible. Seemed to work ok.

  2. I'm in a constant battle with taggers in my neighborhood. SF has a hotline for graffiti too, but I tend to use this site:


    This lets me track all the tags & other problems, add photos, etc. I then call the tags in to DPW, and they issue citations to the property owner to clean it up.

    You can see my watch area here.

  3. Banksy's work, in my opinion, is NOT graffiti in the basest sense. It is artistic, humourous, ironic. Banksy's art is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the ubiquitous spray-painted scrawled characters, written in teenage-angst-desperate-cursive, by pathetic little miscreants trying to "mark" their territory. I would also welcome Banksy, or Banksy-esque artwork in my neighborhood. I've seen such street art in San Francisco in large murals, and even Greenville SC has a creative bridge mural heading north out of town on US276 through a completely run-down neighborhood not far from the main bus station that was pained on vertical bridge supports 6 inches apart so that you can really only see it as you are driving - it's creative (and I get to use the embedded hyper text technique you showed me! lol!).

    I do enjoy the WDC rub-offs, and I myself, have altered public rest room graffiti (when drunk, and when sober) to express messages other than what the original poster had intended by altering a letter here or there, but again, these are not gang tagging. In the case of West Phoenix, it's more middle-class-teenagers-with-too-much-time-on-their-hands-who-wanna-be-seen-as-gang-taggers. Constant vigilance (re-painting, calling the city, etc) is needed to obliterate the pathetic tagging attempts. There's no dissuading the sad little boys who constantly spew their little scrawlings.

  4. And JoeM, I agree in our previous conversation in SF, that catching the miscreants in the act, and driving their little faces into the fresh paint, is THE most satisfying corrective action. Hulkish and brutish, yes, but a wonderful adrenal high and deterrent.

  5. In Chicago, we, along with our neighbors on our side of the street, were diligent about painting over tags as quickly as possible. Across the street and down the block, one of our more militant neighbors caught a tagger in the act, yanked the kid's pants down and, in his own words, "spray-painted his pecker". This seemed to work as an effective deterrent.

  6. LMAO! Classic! I would have paid good money to see a viral video of that!


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