Sunday, January 02, 2011

Tagging our history

I can't stand graffiti. People who do it have a very misguided sense self-importance.

But this takes the cake.
For the second time in about five years, someone has vandalized historic structures at Mission San Juan.

Black spray-painted symbols resembling the acronym “ATM” now mark one wall of the more than 200-year-old church and another structure that surrounds human remains on the South Side park's grounds.

The Rev. Jim Galvin, pastor for 12 years, said the same symbol appeared on a church wall four or five years ago. Whoever painted it was never caught, he said.


Visitors to the park Sunday, taking advantage of the warm weather and clear skies, were equally disgusted by the graffiti. The mission dates to 1731.

“The mission is part of the South Side,” said Mary Herrera, 47, who stopped at Mission San Juan to stretch her legs while teaching her 15-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, how to drive. “You're hitting home here — it's personal.”

First-time visitor Erica Ances, who toured all of the local missions Sunday, said she thinks the vandals should expect more than a possible federal charge.

“They're going to get haunted,” said Ances, 33.
(from the Express-News)

They should.


Dave said...

I think we can all agree that this crosses the line by any standard. The problem is, we should be just as outraged when we see neighborhoods being tagged, and overall, most people simply shake their heads in disgust and move along.

If the DA and the courts would consider the larger cost to neighborhoods in lower home values and the resulting decay, not just the cost to remove one tag, they might rightfully make this a felony. As it is, too many people think this is just youthful artistic expression.

Word Verification: inkinsa What are the chances of that?

Albatross said...


The chances are awesome!

Seriously, though, I concur with all of your statements, Dave. Graffiti is shrugged off as "art" way too often, and it's that ho-hum attitude that allows that crap to spread.

Bottom line, marking up someone else's property without their permission is not being creative. It's wrong. It's destructive, and it's intimidating to the neighbors who have to live in that area. No tagger should be given a pass just because they use the word "artist".

libraaztec said...

Agreed. Taggers give artists a bad rep.