Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Nashville Anti-Graffiti

The Nashville City Council has either already passed or will soon pass a law forbidding stores from selling spray paint or paint markers to those under the age of 18. The last I heard about it was that the measure was delayed, but things may have changed since then. At any rate, I'm sure it will pass. Obviously, I'm a fan of graffiti art - the style wars picture is here for a reason you know - I have an opinion on this law. I think the law is misguided and doesn't address the issue properly. It just means more kids will steal spray paint instead of buying it. It's practically a code of honor for most kids to steal their paint anyways. The outlaw nature of graffiti is a big part of the appeal. The biggest deterrent to it is extreme vigilance - there's a reason most graffiti is done in abandoned industrial areas. You're not finding graffiti in Belle Meade, although I'd be willing to bet some of the perpetrators are from there. The end result if the measure passes is less sales and more theft for the paint stores and no less graffiti on the streets of Nashville. I will admit that the majority of graffiti I've seen is pretty bad. The city might be better off if they started having mandatory art classes for those that get caught.

Soulfish Stew disclaimer: Wally has never done graffiti, unless you count the chalk drawn picture of Electric Jesus he drew on a lightpole at a Burger King in Murfreesboro around the year 1990. The sad fact is that Wally can't draw for crap, hence the appreciation for graffiti artists who really know how to burn.

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