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God Damned Graffiti-Spraying Young People Make Me See Red

Few things chap my ass more than damned young people and their insistence on defacing our country with their moronic and subversive graffiti.

In my day, we didn’t have graffiti. We decorated our towns with American flags, billboards, bomb shelters and garden gnomes – tasteful and tidy symbols of everything our country stood for. We took pride in our cities, damn it, and would never have stood idly by while some gormless peckerhead with a sack full of spray cans defaced our streets with a combination of asinine illustrations, rude doodlings and half-baked political slogans.

If I had ever sprayed my initials on a public building my old dad would taken me out back and torn me a new aerosol – and he’d have been right to do so. The only tags we had were the ones sewn into our underpants and we made damned sure to keep them shielded from the public eye.

These days though it seems that every moron with a can of paint is free to “express” himself on the walls of the local bus shelter or spray his damned gang signature in 6-foot letters across the side of a train trestle. It’s a sad commentary that the walls of our once proud Main Streets now look like a cross a kindergartener’s finger painting and the inside of a men’s washroom stall. If these damned fools put half as much effort into getting their names on job applications or military enlistment forms as they do getting them on the sides of buildings the world would be a far better place.

But what galls me the most is that instead of rounding these hooligans up and hanging them in a public square we’re rounding them up and hanging them in art galleries. It’s disgraceful. Graffiti isn’t art! And even if it were, art isn’t meant to be splashed all over the streets getting in people’s way and distracting them from hard work and the pursuit of common decency – it’s supposed to be tucked away in museums where nobody but old ladies and school children has to see the damned stuff.

Mark my words, if we don’t stop this moronic plague soon it won’t be long before young people are entirely out of control and running around in packs spray-painting our Desotos, our family pets and senior citizens themselves. They’ll be adding fu Manchu moustaches to the Rushmore Presidents and “street art” to the frock of Lady Liberty.

The time has come to take away their spray cans, hand them some brushes and set them to work whitewashing a picket fence or two. As a nation, we’d be better off for it.

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60 Comments leave one →
  1. 6:26 pm

    Another laugh-out loud crabby old fart blog. Garden gnomes scare me though–it might be o.k. to spray graphiti on their happy little faces. ;-)

    • 7:19 pm

      Thank you Heidi,

      I’m not a collector of gnomes myself but if they actually scare people I might be tempted to reconsider. There is a certain amount of menace to the little buggers and nothing else seems to keep the damned young people off of my lawn so they may be worth a shot.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  2. 6:30 pm

    “…my old dad would taken me out back and torn me a new aerosol…”

    So brilliant. :-)

    • 7:14 pm

      Thank you Tricia,

      …And more than a little painful as well.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Tricia. I trust you’re well.

      Best,

      Don

  3. Anonymous permalink
    6:34 pm

    Well put. There are too many aerosols out there wreaking havoc.

    • 11:11 pm

      Amen to that Anonymous.

      It’s time we grabbed those pea-brained aerosols by the neck and gave them a damned good shaking. A couple whacks with the cane wouldn’t go amiss either.

      Best,

      Don

  4. 6:37 pm

    Loved this. Especially the ‘gormless’. Not sure why it cracked me up like that, but there it is.

    • 11:15 pm

      Thank you Ami,

      There it is indeed. I use gormless a fair bit – it was one of my old mom’s favorite words and she directed it at me and my brothers more than a few times. It never made me laugh though – probably because it was usually followed up by a swift rap across the back of the head with a cheese grater.

      Warm regards and thanks for popping in.

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        3:34 pm

        I too love “gormless”, sir. I fell in love with it as a result of a subscription to the august Canadian publication that was Frank Magazine (deceased). Barely an edition went by without at least 3 uses of the word.

        You probably would have liked it.

  5. cecilfso permalink
    6:44 pm

    Absolutely agree… Graffiti isn’t Art. It makes the cities dirty and ugly.
    Great text.

    Warm regards,

    Cecilia

    • 11:19 pm

      Thanks very much Cecilia,

      Always nice to hear from you. I find it so disheartening when some new building goes up in our little downtown (or an old one is restored) and as soon as the scaffolding comes down and the ribbon is cut a handful of snot-nosed miscreants feel compelled to spray paint it with their god-awful tags in some misguided attempts to posture themselves as some form of suburban street tuff.

      Tome a bom cuidado do senhor mesmo meu amigo!

      Don

  6. 7:03 pm

    I’m no fan of Rudy Giuliani, but he has an excellent plan for those who spray their names on buildings. He suggested that people spraypaint the word “sucks” next to their name.

    • 11:35 pm

      Many thanks Ahmnodt,

      Somehow, I suspect that wouldn’t deter these taggers very much. In fact, it might reinforce their perception that they are “edgy outsiders.” I’d be more inclined to add things like “went to space camp last year” or “has a 9:30 bed time on school nights” or “still wets the bed.” That might shut them the hell up.

      All the best, lad.

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        3:43 pm

        I like that. How about “wears an adult diaper” or “is 43 and still lives with his mommy”? Any of these little bastards who get caught should be forced to wear non-ironic T shirts with those messages every day for a year.

        They should also be forced to remove graffiti for a year. That might give them a change of heart while sprucing up the neighbourhood.

  7. brian permalink
    7:36 pm

    I can’t even understand what these people are writing/spraying anyway. It’s all garbage.

    • 11:38 pm

      Damned straight Brian.

      There is nothing to understand. It’s just an overflowing and overlapping mess of self-aggrandizing horsecrap.

      All the best and thanks for stopping by.

      Don

    • Fairy Face permalink
      12:41 pm

      I totally agree Brian. I’ve had this argument so many times over the years. Don AGGRANDIZING?? great word that I must remember. They are all so busy trying to spray something different if all looks the same. Nothing individual about it at all. Messy oversized lettering that any idiot could spray. I’d be embarrassed to tag it as mine. I have a couple of paintings that I’ve done and have them hanging in my own home. It they think they are so talented why aren’t they out there selling their works of art?

  8. 8:01 pm

    I’m gonna stick my aerosol right at your front door and leave my important political statements all across your house’s exterior! It will say JASON 4 PREZ and the A will be the anarchy symbol! Deep, meaningful artistic expression.

    • 1:01 am

      Thank you Jason.

      It will go nicely with the “DJ Fuzzly” some idiot spray painted on my garbage cans. If you can do yours in red, it will set them off nicely.

      I look forward to your visit. If you could pick up a box of digestive biscuits, a bottle of rye and some hard candies on your way over it would be greatly appreciated.

      All the best,

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      4:09 pm

      Unfortunately, you’re right about that. Today, that message actually would pass as “deep, meaningful, artistic, expression”. The fact that these little bastards have absolutely nothing to say (and fill the void by screaming their own names in a desperate cry for attention) makes it a hundred times more annoying.

      Political graffiti is almost non-existent these days. Damn near every downtown building in my lame-ass city is covered in spray paint and the last remotely political graffiti I saw was about 15 years ago.

      • 2:39 pm

        I have to agree, Sedate Me.

        Beyond a couple of ludicrous calls for “revolution” (which, I suspect, relate less to socio-political struggles than they do to seeking an increase in allowance) most of today’s graffiti seems to be little more than an ill-advised vanity project.

  9. 8:56 pm

    I think you secretly care about the environment and that is why you are so adamantly against aerosols…
    On the other hand, you admitted to eating bald eagles once…You have me all confused.

    • 2:51 pm

      Thank you fornormalstepfathers,

      My concern about spray-painting really has little do with the environment (although I do consider it a type of visual pollution). In fact, given the option, I would gladly return to my old aerosol deoderant – I’ve never gotten use to those damned newfangled speed sticks.

      Still, while I may not be the most “green” person on the planet I do like to think that I’ve left less of a mess in my wake then most young most people. I may not have a “reduce, reuse, recycle” t-shirt but I tend to waste very little (I have balls of string from the 1950s) and tend to only purchase things that I actually really need.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don.

      p.s. I had forgotten about the bald eagle. An interesting meat – tastes a bit like Panda.

      • Sedate Me permalink
        7:08 pm

        Stick to the panda, sir. While pandas eat mostly bamboo sprouts & such, bald eagles eat nothing but meat & fish. That exposes them to all sorts of nasty toxins in the environment. Those toxins get more concentrated the further you work your way up the food chain. It’s a major reason bald eagles are endangered (that and the fact people eat them).

        At your age, sir, you don’t need the extra risk associated with eating toxic meat from predators. Stick to munching on vegetarians. We need you for as long as we can have you.

  10. 9:34 pm

    I think we should round ‘em up and give them black plastic garbage bags and have them clean up all the litter they threw out of their cars on their way to spraying graffiti all over creation.

    • 2:57 pm

      Thank you healingmagichands,

      I absolutely agree. For the life of me I’ll never understand what possesses someone to toss their damned garbage out the window of a moving vehicle. I can’t walk through my garden without being forced to pick up cigarette packs, burger wrappers and all manner of trash. It’s infuriating. And the sides of our roadways are a disgrace.

      Forget fines and idle threats – I agree with you. Round them up and have them clean it up themselves.

      All the best,

      Don

  11. 10:01 pm

    I used to be in favor of sniper patrols keeping an eye out for said hooligans. I was fond of the notion of shooting the spay can out of their hand and having paint explode all over them (warning shot for first time offenders). Anyway, that’s what I used to think, but writing it down now has me thinking about it again. ;)

    Great post.

    • 3:07 pm

      Thank you Peter.

      A very interesting notion but it might be somewhat impractical. There likely aren’t enough snipers in the country to protect even the smallest of our cities. Another option along the same lines might be to require manufacturers to install some sort of self-destruct mechanism that is triggered if the spray can is used on public property, in a public setting, or after 11 p.m.

      If we can put cheese in a can, surely to god we have the power to make exploding spray paint.

      Best regards,

      Don

  12. The Husband permalink
    11:46 pm

    They cannot spray paint if they are rear handcuffed.That’s all I have to say!

    • 3:08 pm

      Thank you The Husband.

      Appreciate the comment. I always like it when someone gets straight to the damned point.

      Best,

      Don

  13. 12:32 am

    Garden gnomes are one thing, but lawn jockeys? That’s scary.

  14. 1:50 am

    I thought in your day you all grafittied your arms with anchor and mom tattoos.

    • Fairy Face permalink
      12:44 pm

      That was whores and sailors Bearman lol

    • 3:13 pm

      Thank you Bearman,

      …and circus freaks. Beyond that, most of limited our self-decoration to stylish hats and decent neckties.

      All the best,

      Don

  15. 8:13 am

    the worst thing about graffiti is that i never remember whether it’s spelled with 2 Fs or 2 Ts. what is it with words like that? why not spell the damned thing grafiti? we’d still pronounce it correctly. how many hours of a person’s life are wasted spelling it with 2 Fs, erasing it, spelling it with 2 Ts, and then thinking it doesn’t look right, so erasing it again and spelling it with 2 Fs again? all that wasted time could be spent looking for a cure for cancer or figuring out how to attain world peace.

    p.s. and don’t even get me started about brocolli broccoli! :x

    • 9:17 pm

      Thank you Nonnie (or is it Nonie?)

      If not wasting time over proper spelling was really what was setting us back from progressing as a society this current generation would have cured cancer, ended war world-wide, set up colonies on Mars, come up with a better mousetrap, and developed a longer-lasting denture cream and barely have worked up a sweat.

      Regardless, I’d be all for changing the spelling to “g-a-r-b-a-g-e.”

      All the best, Nonnie. I hope you’re keeping well.

      Don

  16. misswhiplash permalink
    8:20 am

    How I agree with everything you say Don !
    Young people get away with far too much and if and when they are caught they are treated with kid gloves. a few days hard labour would do them far more good…

    I say DON for PRESIDENT!!!! Then something would get done

    • Anonymous permalink
      11:29 am

      Yes! Don for President!!!

    • 9:18 pm

      Many thanks Misswhiplash,

      I’ve long maintained that hard labor and cardigan sweaters are the cure-all for most everything.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  17. Polish Spring permalink
    11:34 am

    Mr. Mills for President!! This is a fine idea! He would clean graffiti AND this current mess of budget trouble those foolish politicians whippersnappers have concocted. If not, entire Washington D.C. could be replaced by garden gnomes, which are friendlier, smarter and better looking than the current popoulation of Capitol hill as well.

    • 9:20 pm

      Thank you Polish Springs,

      You may be on to something there. I rather like the idea of a garden gnome government and a garden gnome bureaucracy. They don’t talk much and at least you’d always know where you stood with them.

      All the best,

      Don

  18. 3:04 pm

    Conformity with nonconformity passes as creativity. (Hope that doesn’t sound like pretentious psycho-babble – I think it’s true.)

    • 9:30 pm

      Thank you pegoleg,

      It doesn’t sound like psycho-babble to me at all. It’s sadly true. I’ve said it before but when 14 million young people get Chinese lettering tattooed on their necks it has nothing to do with originality or creativity and just becomes part of a standard uniform.

      I saw 4 or 5 young people laughing at a young man in a business suit once – presumably because he wasn’t a rebellious free-thinker like they were. Funny thing was, they all had the identical haircut, t-shirt, boots and tattoos and were almost interchangeable. He, on the other hand, was quite a unique site.

      Always a pleasure to have you stop in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  19. Sedate Me permalink
    4:53 pm

    Sir, I’ve touched on this before, but perhaps the biggest problem is that these ass-hats have nothing worth saying. They just run around spraying their name on everything in a desperate attempt to gain attention. They are like dogs trying to mark their territory, only dogs are smarter, cleaner, friendlier and can be trained to preform useful tasks.

    Back in your day, most graffiti contained poignant messages like “New Deal or no deal”. At the very least, they were tributes to worthy musicians. For example, “Glenn Miller hits on all eight!”

    It’s just more evidence to show how substandard the youth of today are. They can’t even rise to the level of graffiti. The best they can do is tag.

    • 9:43 pm

      Many thanks Sedate Me.

      It was actually our brief discussion on this subject a while ago that prompted the writing of this post.

      The comparison to dogs marking their turf is a very good one. In addition to being smarter, cleaner and friendlier – I might add that dogs also understand basic verbal commands and generally have the decency to stay on a short leash.

      Many thanks for kicking off this small rant, lad, and for stopping in to visit. Always a pleasure to have you stop in.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        3:50 pm

        You’re welcome, sir. Always pleased to be of assistance. Everything about this tagging nonsense has been burning my Red River Cereal for a long time now.

        For some reason, my pathetic one-horse city has gone bananas over tagging. In every measurable and symbolic way, the entire city is going to pot. It’s awash with poverty, empty storefronts, crackheads, the occasional gunfire, owners torching their own buildings for the insurance money and all manner of decay that it never suffered from before. Yet tagging is in the local news about as much as any of the above.

        Other than freezing taxes, all City Hall cares about is how to stop idiots from using spray paint. They appointed a “tagging czar” to combat it. They banned the sale of spray paint to those under 18. The city already has their own, but about a third of the businesses in town have put spy cameras on the outside of their buildings just so they can stare at their own walls. This is in the deluded hope that it will deter taggers. This despite the fact that at least two tagging rings in town were already recording themselves tagging (rarely disguised & usually playing to the camera) and posting it on YouTube, some under their real names. In fact, it’s the opposite of a deterrent as the building that put up the most cameras now has the most tags on it…tags using the name of the Tagging Czar. (I have to admit, part of me admires them for that.)

        Even with all the attention, tagging has grown, not shrunk. No surprise considering they’re in it purely for the attention. It’s so prevalent, there are now full time spray paint removers in town. The only thing that has had any deterrent effect is for businesses to pay local artists to cover their walls in murals. It may be a case of paying the mob “protection money”, but I haven’t seen a tag on a mural here yet.

        A good mural is nice, but I actually think the best overall method is for everyone to remove the spray paint the very next morning as if nothing happened and completely ignore these ass clowns. That would deny them the attention and bad-boy “street cred” they are desperately seeking.

  20. 5:51 pm

    That’s hilarious! I partially agree, Don. For me it depends on the graffiti itself. If it’s gang symbols, it should definitely be whitewashed, and the gang members should be arrested and stopped–gang graffiti is downright dangerous, because it perpetuates gang wars. On the other hand, I’ve seen some graffiti that was absolutely beautiful–that actually improved the appearance of a building. In some men’s restrooms, I’ve seen chalkboards installed so that users could write all their nonsense on those. And it does seem to work, they are less likely to write elsewhere, with those chalkboards in place. Perhaps this could be done with graffiti. Perhaps billboards (ground level, of course) could be installed so that graffiti artists could express themselves on those instead of public buildings–gotta admit it would be more attractive than advertising!

    • 10:40 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      If there is any decent graffiti out there, I’ve yet to see it. It may well exist but I suspect it’s like decent young people and is the exception rather than the norm.

      As for placating them with billboards – I understand your point but I really don’t see the need to give in to them. What’s next? Designating a small portion of the park where they’re free to mug seniors? Giving them a small warehouse to run their meth labs? It’s a slippery slope as far as I’m concerned.

      If they want to paint they can buy a damned canvas or spray paint their own bedrooms. And if it’s exposure they’re interested in surely to god there is enough opportunity through facebook, youtube and blogs for them to get their crap “out there” without having to resort to defacing public property.

      So, while I appreciate the thoughts, Scott, and am always open to reasonable compromise, I don’t think this is one area in which we want to give in. Besides, I’m sure they wouldn’t be interested in “sanctioned” vandalism and would still be casting an eye at my garage doors.

      Many thanks for visiting. Appreciate hearing from you.

      Best,

      Don

  21. Fairy Face permalink
    12:39 pm

    In Oz there were certain areas set aside for graffiti. I won’t call it art. I think some people just have an exaggerated opinion about their lack of talent.

    • 10:42 pm

      Many thanks Fairy Face.

      I’m quite sure you’re absolutely right.

      Very good to hear from you. I trust all is well.

      Don

  22. Cole permalink
    7:38 pm

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    This post caught my eye and I completley agree with you one hundred percent. If only they used their talent for real art, but no, they rather be opprobrious towards their family and the community.

    No grafitti means no grafitti, it’s a simplicity if you will. These “Con Artists” just can’t seem to take a hint.

    With Respect,

    Cole

    • 10:47 pm

      Many thanks Cole,

      I appreciate the comment and the introduction to the word opprobrious. I don’t know how it managed to escape me for all of these years but I’ll be quite pleased to add that one to my vocabulary.

      Always good to hear from you, lad.

      Warm regards,

      Don

  23. SgtMaj. Harold Jennings USMC, Ret. permalink
    5:15 am

    Yes, those damned kids don’t know what respect is for a town and that’s the reason this country is going to hell in a hand basket! Last time I checked, “to express yourself” meant you fixed up a broken down piece of equipment and added a new feature to it or you slapped a nice coat of paint on your home (as long as your neighbors were ok with it). Of course, you couldn’t get kids to break away from those damn video games or their “reality” tv shows about irresponsible good for nothing people fist punching and getting pregnant even if their house was on fire and Al Queda was knocking down their damned doors.

    I tell ya, Don, they don’t make too many of us anymore and I am glad for one that we aren’t going to see the world fall into the hands of these disrespectful punks! I wish they could start another draft because that made all us grow up and we didn’t have a problem not “expressing ourselves”, We expressed ourselves by taking back the Pacific and we were damned good at it! Better yet, I got a spray paint color for these kids, yellow, and they can spray that down their backs! Now that’s expressing themselves!

  24. 2:41 pm

    “torn me a new aerosol”

    Best line in a blog…ever. ’nuff said.

  25. 3:45 pm

    Ah. I suspect we are related — I have the same views on graffiti.

    Pearl

  26. 3:52 pm

    Haha great post, I agree the world would be better without much of the graffiti!

  27. Mike permalink
    11:21 am

    “Of course, you couldn’t get kids to break away from those da*n video games ”
    Really? Just REALLY? I have to do just that all the time because almost every 40 minutes or so, because my mom calls me into her room, and asks me to do something, usually like taking the trash out, or making her a cup of ice, etc….

    “or their “reality” tv shows about irresponsible good for nothing people”
    I HATE reality TV shows! But wait! How come nobody complained about the old black and white sitcoms? (I don’t see a difference….)

    “disrespectful punks”
    Really? Not all of us are disrespectful. I do what I’m told (truth be told about 97% of the time)
    Actually, about 5-6 years ago, when my grandma was still alive, I kinda disrespected her A LITTLE. Because I kinda thought she was boring, (I hate nursery homes, I don’t know how old people stand it! The only board games is chess/checkers….) I really regret that.

    About why we are apparently “absorbed in technology”.
    Actually, it’s not even OUR faults we have technology! Who’s “fault” is it that we have technology? Old people and our parent’s generations! Also, why do old people rant about that they had to look stuff up in a book/someone? We can just go to the internet and look at it! (I think that’s WAY better than what it was when you were growing up.)

    And I’m also tired of another thing:
    Old people thinking they were better than us. NOPE! Let’s face it. Nobody’s perfect.
    I mean,yes, there are some bad examples in some generations. And what makes you think that my generation is really dumb? I don’t know about you, but I know some smart kids about my age…

    Whatever. End of my rant. Curse at me, swear at me, however you want, because I’m just sick and tired of seeing complaints like these….

    Oh yeah…
    “Designating a small portion of the park where they’re free to mug seniors? Giving them a small warehouse to run their meth labs?”
    Uhhh…. I would never want to anything bad.
    Also, you know what makes me mad,I have two friends my age, and they too, just got in high school, and saying how they lost their virginity and their on drugs. WHAT?!
    I hope I’m not the only kid who’s not doing anything bad….

    Anyways, end of my little rant, I suppose.

  28. 8:32 pm

    well FUCK YOU ALL!!!! you stupid bitches !!! I do graffiti and i love it . Afcours that it is art and you can`t do nothing to stop it , even the fucking polyce cant stop us!! So hava a nice day and i hope some writer taggs your house bitch ass!!!!!

    • Jake permalink
      1:15 am

      Pick up a paint brush and do the same thing and you could become one of the great artists in history, or kill yourself.

      ~sincerely, an ass hat.

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