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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Doing something about the problem 

The recent government initiative against tagging has attracted criticism from the likes of NRT and Keith Ng. It's discriminatory, it's a waste of police resources, it doesn't address the 'cause' of the problem, it marginalizes youth, it's political theatre in the media spotlight, etc.

But really, these objections mean little to me. The current policy isn't working. Tagging is reaching absolutely epidemic levels in some Auckland suburbs. The new Owen G. Glenn building in the city was tagged on the weekend (and no, not with some witty political statement, but with the usual dross). It's not just a few "walls" being marked in a manner akin to a dog marking its territory (which actually does no harm except to the most delicate of perennials). Taggers are defacing all manner of public and private property: fences, walls, street signs, power poles (yep), sidewalks, bridges, overpasses, shops, bus stops, and pretty much every fucking flat surface. Even a few tree trunks in the reserve at the bottom on my street.

What's curious is that, in my neighbourhood at least, the problem has exploded like a spray can in the microwave over the last few weeks, since the infamous "death sentence for taggers" case in Manukau. Such widespread and malicious defacing of public and private property alike is expensive and unacceptable.

I'm with International Observer:
Everyone who thinks 'tagging isn't that bad and we shouldn't be labeling these kids as criminals' can erect a sign on their fence saying "Tagging OK Here!". The government can issue these signs to anyone who wants one, and kids can be free to tag those 'authorised' walls as they please. And to protect the rest of us, the Government can pass a law imposing severe penalties on anyone who tags an unauthorised wall (or requests an Official Sign and puts it on a wall other than their own).

Too fucking right. If you are sympathetic to taggers, get a sign and let them ruin your property. That includes you, Turia: you're welcome to encourage "resistance" and "alternative points of view" on your own property. Otherwise, get out of the way of those who are trying to do something about the problem.

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Have to agree. Our school gets graffitti on walls and in the toilets, classrooms and books every single day. Our poor caretaker is constantly walking the school cleaning it up with a couple of helpers.

Admittedly we have a fucken big school but if it was simply left there and the kids told it was OK to express themselves by making the school look real ugly for the other 99% of us then it would fast become a hideous eyesore.

The kids that tag are actually total c*nts. Wannabe gangsta try hard 14 year olds. They aren't poor tortured souls. Meet them and you'd know what I'm talking about.
Attn Google:

I have the theft of a blog to report. BIR used to be run by raging leftists, but the latest post is evidence that it has been stolen by right-wingers who have the audacity to believe that people who destroy public property should be punished for their activities and are not as result of society. I am pleasantly surprised to see you guys don't seem to take this philosophy.

This all reminds me of a tut at unir where we were discussing Hobbes and Locke and somehow the topic of crime was raised. The only thing I could understand from the lefties was that society was to blame for the actions of criminals.

Root causes is the biggest croc of shit. Someone should ask Turia if someone tagged her house would she still see it as an expression of identity.
Believe it or not Dinkas, there are sensible leftists out there who don't believe that it's OK for "wannabe gangsta try hards" (Yamis, 2008) to destroy and damage other people's property. Public or private.

Bit of a shock to the system, I know. ;-)
There are a couple of fairly extreme right wingers at my work who are often under the impression that all lefties are at the extreme end of the spectrum.

Just because your'e left wing does not mean that you think we should all be growing vegetables in our back gardens and giving them to foodbanks in the weekends.

Society certainly has its share of the blame in a lot of crime (usually indirectly) but most of it is committed by punks who just don't get it. Kids from the same streets are 100% lovely and hard working while the neighbours are straight losers.

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