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Ed Driscoll

‘When Man-Children Weep’

November 21st, 2013 - 5:10 pm

The New York Times brings you this great moment in responsible journalism. A warehouse owner in Queens repaints his own building to eliminate the layers of graffiti that had accumulated over the years. Naturally, the Times sides with the vandals:

The owner of a building in Queens used a crew of painters to work overnight and paint over graffiti on a warehouse in Long Island City, wiping clean a canvas that was used by thousands of artists over the years to transform an otherwise nondescript, abandoned brick building in a working-class neighbourhood into 5Pointz, a mecca for street artists from around the world. By morning, the work of some 1,500 artists had been wiped clean, the Brobdingnagian bubble letters and the colourful cartoons spray painted on the building’s brick walls all covered in a fresh coat of white paint. “We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.

It’s not your property, so yes, you are the vandals, and “disrespect” isn’t a verb. And why does the Times tacitly approve of a sexist slur such as “rag?”, by not commenting on it?

Blogger David Thompson, the author of the brilliant headline quoted above and the italicized portion of the Times article in block quote adds, “The moral of the story, gentlemen, is buy your own canvas.” One of his commentators notes another moral aspect to the story:

And it’s worth noting where the New York Times’ sympathy seems to lie. I suspect that anyone who’s had to repair their property after a visit from graffiti “artists” might take a less charitable view. Unless of course we’re supposed to believe that of the 1,500 sprayers and their various sobbing cheerleaders not one has ever sprayed someone else’s property, and that championing graffiti as an edgy art form doesn’t encourage more of it?

At an L.A. museum exhibit promoting the “artistic” “joys” of graffiti in 2011, City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald was ordered not to add a few additions of her own by the museum’s security guards. Similarly, it would be a fascinating thought experiment — and this is NOT an attempt to encourage such an effort — to find out how the Times would respond if someone fired up a can of Krylon on the walls of 620 8th Avenue.

But shed no tears, Gray Lady. With far left incoming mayor Bill de Blasio taking office in January, it’s only a matter of time before downtown Manhattan will once again have more graffiti than it knows what to do with.

(Via SDA.)

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The graffiti crew sealed the fate of their work when they petitioned the city for landmark status on the building last week (the City Council actually approved redeveloping the site earlier this year). That would have prevented the Wolkoffs from doing anything with the building, because it would have been tied up in court for years by some judge who actually takes New York Times opinion pieces seriously.

The other thing that has been noted is the in it's truest definition, graffiti is something transitory, and is meant to be tagged over, because as 'street art' it has no protection from other street artists. Sadly for the group the incoming mayor does not have a voting majority on the MTA board or he could make the 5 Pointz people happy by simply opening up the city's 8,000 subway cars for spray painting again, like they were in the 1970s and 80s.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've got a solution - let them decorate the NY Times' building.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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