25 April 2006

To Tag or Not to Tag

Note from the LuapHacim, 11/14/2012: The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect my current beliefs and convictions. Even if they do, I would almost certainly express them in different words today. Time changes people, and I am not exempt. Nonetheless, because of its historical value, I will not modify or remove this post. It tells you (and me) something important about where I've been. Read on at your own peril.

Everyone's favorite white designer of urban attire, Mark Ecko with a pretentious line over the o, has joined a lawsuit in which young people are taking on New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg over his tough -- and perhaps unconstitutional -- anti-graffitti law. According to Newsday, the law makes it a crime for young people to possess spray paint in public. Before the law, police had to prove that a particular person had tagged in a particular spot.
The funniest part of the article to me is the plaintiffs' lawyer's explanation of his cause:
"There is no justification for telling a 19- or 20-year-old that you can use your index finger for pulling the trigger of an M16 on the battlefield or pulling a switch in the voting booth, but not to push the trigger on a can of spray paint."

Congratulations, that's exactly the same argument that every one of my English freshmen has ever used to argue that the drinking age should be lowered. Except in this case, it's more ridiculous than normal. Also amusing: Councilman Frank Pallone says that
"All Marc Ecko is doing is promoting his video game, a video game which teaches kids how perform the crime of graffiti. We knew we were pushing the envelope with this law, but it is necessary to combat graffiti."

And Ecko, who is known for such free speech statements as a graffitti block party in NYC and an Internet video in which he tags a convincing replica of Air Force One, responds that it is "offensive" to say that he merely wants more publicity for his video game and clothing line.Yes, Mark, we know that you are shocked -- simply shocked -- to be accused of such a petty and low publicity stunt. Idiot.

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