Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Graphic Illustration

Once upon a time newspapers at least only romanticised criminals who could be passed off as big-time, such as gangsters like Squizzy Taylor who gave the appearance of being 'big men' (metaphorically speaking, of course).

But these days the tarts of the media just can't help themselves. They'll romanticise any bottom of the barrel crim, especially if there are tits under 30 involved:

HER passion for street art sent her halfway around the world on a year-long sojourn to learn all the tricks of graffiti from London's secretive underground community... to express her flair with a spray can... (in) laneways in the industrial area at nearby Marrickville.

Yesterday, friends of the vibrant graphic artist made an emotional pilgrimage to the Eastern Suburbs drain where she lost her life to farewell the St Peters student.
It's a grave pity she's dead. As they say, it's a waste. But if she wanted to be a graphic artist as she claimed, she could have become one without graffiti.

The fact is:

...she loved the thrill of edgy street work in a risky location...
And she was a criminal, a member of the widespread and loosely associated gangs of graffiti vandals who are a blight on our communities. As the story notes, Legge was even able to go on a virtual study exchange program to London!

Recently, in one Gold Coast location, a brand new wall of attractive feature stone beside a park was tagged by some useless drone before it was even finished. Who know is he or she is among those garffiti vandals increasingly used by other criminal gangs such as bikies to run and sell drugs.

Additionally, it is not uncommon in the hardcore graffiti community to use rape of girlfriends as a weapon to warn each other out of claimed territories.

So to turn a blind eye to a vandal's tag is to close ones eyes to a creeping criminality which can destroy everyone's lives.

The Daily Telegraph's eulogy seeks to raise a tear for this person and indeed her story does deserve one for her parents' loss and her own wilful waste.

But the media needs to stop romanticising criminals and also realise that, as the saying goes, the difference between art and vandalism is permission.

-- Nick

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