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Let’s just clear the air and start with “animosity,” since alphabeticaly it’s the first, and it will be the predominant theme of this entry anyway.

I feel a lot of damn animosity toward taggers, especially those who just scrawl gang tags, names, or slogans all over the place. And I double-hate stencillers, especially those who use a really simplistic stencil and spray their mark on everything they pass. Even my dang dog is a little more discriminate about the territory she marks. And her pee doesn’t leave a visible reminder that she was there.

Anyway, the spraycan shitheads who have been drizzling their marks all over the Jersey barricade along Beardsley Road and on the support pillars of the iconic 12th Street Viaduct have been chapping my ass especially lately, and I decided the other day on my way to work that I would stop and snap some pictures tonight and try to rant it off my chest.

Soooo, here goes. Fasten your seatbelts, and raise your blast shields, it’s gonna be a vitriolic ride.

Right. Where to begin? I’d say first I’d like to point out that the world isn’t owned by anyone, you, me, or the King of Antarctica. If I could justify sloganizing (and I cannot), then I’d say “the world is ours” might be an acceptable sentiment. And as such, it being a collective possession, we ought to respect each others’ claims upon it. Including not impinging upon the public weal by defacing community property.

In short, I’d like to track down the girl who piddled this platitude on the Beardsley barricade and clang her upside the head with her can of Bubblegum Pink spray paint. Fucker. Think something original. And keep it to yourself. And don’t spraypaint smiley faces on public property. That inane damn smiley face just makes this fluffbrained fuzzy-hugging bullshit that much more infuriating.

This appeared on Beardsley Rd. about two months after Adam Yauch died. I find it hard to believe that someone young enough to think that defacing barricades is cool would even know who MCA was, and I find it equally hard to believe that anyone old enough to appreciate the Beastie Boys and perhaps personally admire Yauch would think that poorly-painted testimonials were a good way to express that admiration. Somehow, I feel like the act and the sentiment were not only untimely, but misguided and misplaced. Also, I am not so sure that Yauch would have found shitty graffiti enacted in his honor that great of an honor.

Do you remember back in like 1997-1998, when girls were wearing HUMONGOUS JEANS and skinny little tank tops that said Porn St☆R?  Yep.  Still “capital ‘K'” Klassy.

Now, we are on the bridge proper. 12th Street Viaduct is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the iconic bits of Kansas City’s built environment. Built in 1911, it was the first major, modern connection of the industrial West Bottoms and the commercial Downtown district, replacing the treacherous and inefficient 9th Street Incline.

I don’t know about you, but as a resident of an area with a fairly short list of historical structures to its claim, I am inclined to feel a little bit testy when I encounter evidence of blatant disrespect for what amounts to a public treasure. If the person who scribbled this really loved this bridge as much as he or she claims to, they wouldn’t have painted stupid shit on it in the first place.

The first time I saw this, I said, “Really???” Kansas City doesn’t exactly have a thriving rave culture, and I have a hard time reconciling Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect with vandalism.

And now for the piece de rantsistance, the slogan that bumped up my bile and made this all possible. Click on the image to enlarge, ’cause I know it’s hard to read at this compressed size.

Some shinyassed twee jackoff, brimming over with a heady draught of righteous earnestness and smarmy irony, ganked a line from Auntie Mame and slathered it all over several spans of the guard wall of the underside of the 12th Street Viaduct.

This sort of smug, self-satisfied sloganeering comes from somebody, most likely a callow stripling who has yet to be ground down to size out in the harsh, wide world. Quite possibly a student or recent grad who is still knocking about with his or her buddies with few responsibilities and no fucking perspective. From his or her seat, it sure does look like a lot of people are just awful grey grinds, blind to the passions and pleasures of the world. And I for one, would love to be one of the first planes to take a pass at this one.

Anyway, my last opinion for the night (because I have better things to do than be angry on the Internet all evening) is that if you’re going to deface public property, you should at least have some skill and give us something good to look at. It takes minimal skill to scrawl some words on a wall. It takes actual talent to do this:


or this

or this.

So, people who have been scribbling on Beardlsey and the 12th Street Viaduct: fuck you very much. Get some skill and come back and do something actually interesting.

3 Responses to “Platitudes, Vandalism, and Animosity”

  1. Julie says:

    Excellent blog – well said and bravo!! You are a talented writer.

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Thank you for the very kind words, Julie. It was just kind of a relief to rant it all out! Every day I pass by this mess, and it was really getting on my nerves.

  3. Meetzorp says:

    I’m mostly unmoved by the quote because it’s unoriginal, too long, and it strikes me as smug.

    To my way of thinking, it’s bumper-stickerism, writ large, on public property.

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