Use an Aesthetically Pleasing Tactic to Keep Taggers Temporarily at Bay, Go to Jail

Los Angeles is almost as lousy with graffiti as Washington D.C. is lousy with rats. Worse, when you confront a tagger defacing your home or business, he will shoot you.

What's a shop-owner to do? Law enforcement is obviously out of the question (it's akin to reporting your camera stolen in Rome). But you can apparently hire some local mural painters (L.A.'s got some seriously awesome street murals) who are respected by taggers enough so that they leave the various Virgin Marys and flag-carrying eagles alone. But − unlike awful graffiti, for example! − having nice-looking paint on the side of your liquor store requires any number of permits from the city.

"ORDER TO COMPLY," said the letter from the Building and Safety Department, which required the Antonios to remove "excessive signage" under threat of a $1,000 fine "and/or six (6) months imprisonment" for each of four alleged violations.

The Antonios called the office of Councilman Ed Reyes for help, but to little avail. One day the city sent out a work crew and just like that, the Antonios' $3,000 investment was gone, covered over with dull beige paint.

You know, of course, what happened next. Whitewashing that wall was like sending ants an invitation to a picnic. The taggers have been back almost daily, treating the wall like a fresh canvas.

Whole story here.

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  • ||

    Ass hats. Is it possible to force CA to secede from the Union, or to just not consider them a state any longer? I'm tired of waiting for the Great Earthquake that is supposed to make half the state fall into the Pacific.

  • Elemenope||

    Philadelphia is another city with some really awesome street murals. IIRC, it was part of a diversionary program for trespassers/graffiti artists, i.e. "Go to jail, or make us a really cool mural."

    Fuck regulators right in the ear. You wanna pretty up your store, that's nobody's business but your own.

  • Leonardo||

    Where do graffiti "artists" go when they die?
    Los Angeles.

    Scum of the earth low-lifes.

  • TAKI 183||

    Can't argue about taste!

  • ||

    The regulators are ass hats but the real ass hats are the vandals. I can't beleive they shot someone over it. The answer is allow deadly force in defense of property. Pick off a few of the little bastards and problem will be solved. I will even volunteer to stake out a few places around town and shoot the first person who uses a spray can.

  • ||

    Once upon a time, retards were put to work cleaning spitoons and clearing horse shit out of the street. Now our nation's mental defectives become city councilmen, or even more highly exhalted politicians.

    *I know- there's no reason to gratuitously insult honest, hard-working retards. I'm ashamed of myself.

  • ||

    Never would have heard a word if store owner had just had murals of the Mayor and Che painted on the wall.

  • Elemenope||

    Scum of the earth low-lifes.

    This is where my anarchist tendencies run against my libertarian tendencies. Sure, sanctity of property, blah blah blah, but the unbidden addition of art into a sterile space is part of what makes it alive.

    The dividing line between graffiti and vandalism is thin and perhaps non-existent, but I have a hard time lumping Banksy in with high-school mailbox baseball.

  • Elemenope||

    John --

    I agree that a vandal has no place shooting owners. If you are vandalizing and get caught, you do the "time" (jail, fine, or whatever); such as it is (or at least ought to be) with any culture-jamming enterprise.

    When you thumb your nose at a system, don't expect the system to stand idly by. On the other hand, that doesn't make the system automatically "right" in a moral sense just because it happens to be by default in a legal one.

  • ||

    "Worse, when you confront a tagger defacing your home or business, he will shoot you."

    Not if you shot him first.

  • Property Owner||

    sanctity of property, blah blah blah

    Wow. Just...wow.

  • anarch||

    For those who like poetry, here's this again.

  • YoungLiberal||

    Zoning regulations and ordinances are in place for a reason. You wouldn't want that kind of "art" on your precious suburban Bed Bath & Beyond.

  • ||

    No before and after photo?

  • ||

    P Brooks you insensitive lout!! Don't you know using the term "retard" (even when used as "impede") is politically incorrect and can get your movie boycotted?

    See here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/movies/11thun.html

  • ||

    MadBiker,

    I'm tired of waiting for the Great Earthquake that is supposed to make half the state fall into the Pacific.

    Your objectively pro-Lex Luthor stance makes you little more than a partisan hack.

  • ||

    Somebody complained

    The culprit in this case was a woman who lives near Los Paisanos and is with the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council. She told me she's not against murals but said this one was "gang-looking" and "it made me nervous walking by there."

    No way- a meddling old biddy from the hysterical society. Who could have imagined?

  • ||

    The dividing line between graffiti and vandalism is thin and perhaps non-existent, but I have a hard time lumping Banksy in with high-school mailbox baseball.

    There is no defining line. You come and paint shit on my walls, you are defacing my property. That is pretty damn simple. Hell, it is cheaper to replace a mailbox than to try to cover/remove graffiti.

  • Elemenope||

    Wow. Just...wow.

    Spectacular argument. Now, for bonus points, you can take the total array of human values (order, safety, liberty, dignity, property, faith, life, etc. ad nauseam) and rank them by importance.

    Be sure to tell us why!

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    Good, 'cause I'm going to paint your car with some fornicating stick figures. And if you try to have your car repainted, I'll sue you.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I am only half kidding about shooting them. But, it really pisses me off. People work hard to try to have something, only to have some asshole come by and paint a bunch of crap on it. My guess is that these guys don't really go to jail even if they are caught. It is a real quality of life issue. Allowing it to happen says to the community "don't bother to work or having anything because any other person is free to come and screw up anything you own."

    Jail clearly doesn't deter these people. As satisfying as it would be, you can't shoot them. I think Singapore has the right idea with canning. Don't do anything that would perminantly scare or damage anyone. But, do something that would be so unpleasent and hurt so bad that they would never want to experience it again. Better to cain them and be done with it than waste money throwing them into jail, which doesn't deter them anyway.

  • Elemenope||

    RR --

    You come and paint shit on my walls, you are defacing my property. That is pretty damn simple.

    --is a great example of missing the point. I'm not arguing that it isn't defacement. I'm not even arguing that different laws should apply.

    I'm arguing that the activity itself has wildly different outcomes. I know that consequentialism is like an allergen around here, but for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?

  • ||

    Let's grant at the outset that taggers are subhuman scum and that the city's actions are beneath contempt.
    Still, I must admit that I find most urban murals ugly and childish. The artwork reminds me of something you might see on the walls of a preschool.

  • ||

    Now, for bonus points, you can take the total array of human values (order, safety, liberty, dignity, property, faith, life, etc. ad nauseam) and rank them by importance.

    Well, if property is protected (and you accept the people own themselves), the rest naturally fall into place for the most part.

  • ||

    I wonder if they can fight fire with fire by using 17 U.S.C. § 106A, one of the provisions prevents the unauthorized destruction of a "recognized work". CA codes provide even more rights to artists.

  • There was a time when graffiti||

    Better to cain them

  • ||

    "I'm arguing that the activity itself has wildly different outcomes. I know that consequentialism is like an allergen around here, but for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?"

    So it is okay to deface someone else's property as long as the painting is good?

  • ||

    but for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?

    Then paint your own building, or get some paper or canvas. Do not come paint up my place.

    What is it you are trying to defend, exactly, if not defacement?

  • There was a time when graffiti||

    Curses, joe'd again!

    Though this time it makes sense both ways.

  • ||

    Aaaand, they're OFF!

  • Elemenope||

    John,

    Fair enough. I think people have the right to be as ornery as they wish regarding their own property, and I'm not even totally hostile to the notion that lethal force is sometimes justified in protecting property (esp. when the legal mechanisms for protecting that property have broken down).

    My thing is, once a thing has been deemed "bad", people lose all sense of subtlety as to the great range of the thing. Like the whole "porn=bad" ideology that lumps together all sorts of disparate activities which happen to have one thing in common, and labels them all as equal in every respect.

    Since libertarians give primacy to the value of property, they tend to be dolts when it comes to activities that interfere with that value. Much like feminism and sex, or religion and ceremony. Everyone is stupidest about that which they care for most.

    Yeah, I just compared libertarians to feminists and fundies; the hate is not far from coming, I'm sure. ;)

  • Elemenope||

    What is it you are trying to defend, exactly, if not defacement?

    I'm not defending anything. If someone paints the most beautiful picture ever created on your wall, and they don't have permission, you have every right to arrest them for it.

    But it still makes you an aesthetic clod.

  • Elemenope||

    Well, if property is protected (and you accept the people own themselves), the rest naturally fall into place for the most part.

    Yeah, the keystone of Libertarian thought, as it were.

    If wishes were horses...

  • G.K. Chesterton||

    Then paint your own building, or get some paper or canvas.



    Very well, then, (*sniff*) I shall.

  • Reformed Republican||

    If I wanted someone's name painted in rainbow colors on the wall of my house/shop, I could do it myself.

  • jimmy||

    graffiti tagging is just like those stupid "tribal" tattoos...it all looks exactly the same after a while, it's self-indulgent and infantile, and there will always be some liberal-type extolling it as "people's art." when the graffiti starts getting the least bit interesting-looking, then you can have your debate of art vs. assholes defacing property. right now, you got nothing but assholes defacing property.

  • ||

    "...for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?"

    Fortunately not.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    If someone came and painted a Vermeer on my wall, I have to admit I would be like "wow" and wouldn't have them arrested. If some of these taggers really are artists rather than vandals, then give them somewhere to paint. But notice, the strategy is to bring in the artists to deter the taggers. That tells me that the really talented artists aren't out breaking the law and have plenty of venues on which to paint and the taggers are just clowns.

  • Reformed Republican||

    Hell, it is difficult to tell art from scribblings when you look at established artists. Think Pollock, Mondrian, Basquiat.

  • Property Owner||

    What is it you are trying to defend, exactly, if not defacement?

    Anarchy.
    I wonder if Elementary has a car, and how he'd react if an "artist" spraypainted it. I imagine he would first weigh the merits of the painting against the inconvenience of having to spend $1500 on a paint job. But it's only "property", right? Something only dolts and clods worry about.

  • Elemenope||

    John,

    I'd like to invoke Sturgeon's Law to explain the discrepancy.

    That is, just like everything else, 99% of tagging is crap.

    That tells me that the really talented artists aren't out breaking the law and have plenty of venues on which to paint and the taggers are just clowns.

    That's like saying that bloggers are clowns, all the real writers obviously already have their own book deals. It would be silly to deny that most bloggers are clowns, but it is an unjustified leap to go from "blogger correlates with clown" to "blogger is sufficient cause for clownery".

    Same thing, re: taggers, artists, and graffiti.

  • gorgonzola\'s foil||

    LMNOP tagged it - the Philadelphia Anti Graffiti Network became: http://muralarts.org/

    One of my favorite murals in Philly is on the wall of Dirty Frank's:

    3. Famous Franks
    13th & Pine Sts., NE corner
    Artist: David McShane

    Franks are (from left to right): Benjamin Franklin, Frankie Avalon, the floral architecture design from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts by Frank Furness, Aretha Franklin, a frankfurter, Barney Frank, Frankenstein's monster, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, actor Frank Morgan in a scene from Wizard of Oz (written by L. Frank Baum), St. Francis of Assisi (for whom the artist used his twin brother, Frank, as a model), puppeteer Frank Oz, Frank Perdue, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Burns from M*A*S*H* and Tug McGraw (whose real name is Frank).

  • ||

    I'm arguing that the activity itself has wildly different outcomes. I know that consequentialism is like an allergen around here, but for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?

    There is no principled, objective difference between art and scribblings.

    The distinction here is the one between paint applied to a building with the consent of the owner. A mural presumably goes up with that consent; graffiti does not.

    The second issue is whether the State (in its local manifestation as a municipality) should be able to prohibit a property owner from having a mural.

    Arguments over whether paint is applied in a pleasing pattern are completely irrelevant, and, worse, a distraction.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    It is a free country. I find it difficult to beleive that these guys can't find a way to practice their art without screwing up someone else's property. Further, it is not like they are apologetic about it. They shot some guy for trying to stop them. It is the sense of entitlement that enrages me more than anything. I see this as your typical little bastard "don't disrespect me" culture that I hate more than almost anything.

  • ||

    If some of these taggers really are artists rather than vandals, then give them somewhere to paint.

    Well, no. "We" shouldn't "give" them anything. If they are artists, they should do what artists do - come up with their own damn arrangements for making art.

  • Elemenope||

    P.O. has whipped out the super-duper subtext reader, I see.

    No, I am not defending anarchy. I am merely saying that the equation "graffiti = bad" elides over subtleties that are important. I know that many people are not comfortable with subtlety. It challenges easy categories that comfort them. Ah well, they are welcome to cleave to those categories if it makes them feel better.

    I am a property owner, and have been a victim both of vandalism and of theft. I am a supporter of a social order that protects property, as I have said *repeatedly* on this thread. I don't see how that compels me to place artistic graffiti in the same category as inartistic graffiti for all purposes just to feel better about my beliefs, to keep the world orderly and straight in my head.

  • ||

    ...for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?

    They can. The art they leave up and the scribblings they paint over. Show me the post where someone says graffiti has to be painted over, whether or not the owner of the wall wants it to be painted over or not. The outside of my store is not public space. If you want your "art" to exist, paint it on your own goddamn wall.

    Seriously, dude. This is a pretty silly windmill to tilt at.

    And this is no better...

    That's like saying that bloggers are clowns, all the real writers obviously already have their own book deals. It would be silly to deny that most bloggers are clowns, but it is an unjustified leap to go from "blogger correlates with clown" to "blogger is sufficient cause for clownery".

    It's their blogs to write on, either through payment or ad revenue. Trolls leave the equivilent of graffiti on website and comment boards all the time. Are you really arguing that websites have to leave up offensive, inane, or otherwise useless comments? Even if it consists solely of 27 idiots screaming "FIRST!1!"?

    I don't see how that compels me to place artistic graffiti in the same category as inartistic graffiti for all purposes just to feel better about my beliefs, to keep the world orderly and straight in my head.

    Once again, show me the post of who said that.

  • Elemenope||

    They shot some guy for trying to stop them.

    "They"? "They" do not have a hive-mind, and "they" do not act as one.

    That's like saying that all doctors are responsible for what one doctor does.

    If someone shoots someone else for an unjustified reason, throw him in prison for the rest of his life. I fail to see how what he was doing at the time (picking his nose or painting on someone's wall) is relevant to the other part (the unjustifiable shooting).

  • Elemenope||

    Seriously, dude. This is a pretty silly windmill to tilt at.

    Apparently not. People have already lumped taggers into a giant "they" that implies they all shoot at people that interrupt them. I thought libertarian thought was partly about how groups were an illegitimate way of classifying individuals?

    I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of taggers are non-violent, and would sooner flee than shoot at a property owner.

  • Rhywun||

    or fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?



    The mural in the picture is indistinguishable from graffiti to me--which I believe is the point. If the only way to prevent your property from being covered in graffiti is to... cover it in graffiti yourself, it's not exactly voluntary, is it?

    That said, maybe the "excessive signage" part of the city's complaint refers to the... excessive signage. I wonder if they would have left it alone if they hadn't written their name repeatedly on all sides of the building.

  • ||

    People have already lumped taggers into a giant "they" that implies they all shoot at people that interrupt them.

    Completely irrelevant to the points I made. I am neither in that chorus of violence or defending that stance.

    What you are doing is lumping street artists in with taggers and demanding that they are equally deserving of respect.

    Taggers are fucking scum; idiots who think that scribbling their name on something gives them some sort of ownership of space and property. It's the semiotic equivalent of a dog pissing on a lamppost to claim it's territory.

    Street artists create paintings on unused public and private space. It's bad when they do it on other people's property and have no right to object when it is painted over. Actual street artists have plenty of avenues of expression. (Feel free to argue they should have more.)

    Two totally different things. No one here probably objects too much to a street artist, but you are definitely the only one here defending tagging.

  • Elemenope||

    The mural in the picture is indistinguishable from graffiti to me--which I believe is the point. If the only way to prevent your property from being covered in graffiti is to... cover it in graffiti yourself, it's not exactly voluntary, is it?

    That said, maybe the "excessive signage" part of the city's complaint refers to the... excessive signage. I wonder if they would have left it alone if they hadn't written their name repeatedly on all sides of the building.


    Perhaps. I think we can all get behind L.A. being irretrievably stupid in telling a property-owner that they must get a permit before painting their property how they like.

    My thing is, there are many things by virtue of prevailing conditions that are not voluntary, no matter how technically voluntary they may be on paper. If your neighborhood is infested with teenagers with spray-paint cans, one can either bitch to the wind about how cruel and unfair the world is (stupid), start shooting them (illegal), or attempt to get a creative solution like paint your property in a way that obviates tagging (smart).

    Just one more example of regulators coming down against the innovator.

  • Elemenope||

    Sugarfree --

    In that sense, I think we are talking a bit past one another. I am intentionally eliding the distinction between "tagger" and "street artist" because of the aforementioned Sturgeon's Law point, which often causes people to take a trend and make it a definition (i.e. most taggers are scum because most of what they produce is scummy, therefore this tagger is by virtue of being a tagger scum, regardless of what he personally produces and the quality thereof).

    I don't particularly disagree with you on any other point.

  • ||


    I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of taggers are non-violent, and would sooner flee than shoot at a property owner.


    The majority of taggers are gang members "protecting their turf". To pretend that they are artists is naive.

  • ||

    I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of taggers are non-violent, and would sooner flee than shoot at a property owner.

    I'd bet that the majority property owners would rather not have to shoot at someone defacing his property without his consent in the first place.

    most taggers are scum because most of what they produce is scummy...

    No, taggers are scum because their behavior is scummy.

  • Elemenope||

    The majority of taggers are gang members "protecting their turf".

    Unless you can cite a stat, I'm gonna go ahead and continue to assume most taggers are bored and/or frustrated adolescent boys with access to spraypaint.

  • Elemenope||

    I'd bet that the majority property owners would rather not have to shoot at someone defacing his property without his consent in the first place.

    If the only response a property-owner can conceive of is shooting at them, I'd argue they have a massive deficit of imagination, not to mention common fucking sense.

  • adrian||

    LMNOP: There is no gray man. Your property is yours and yours alone. All illegal graffiti is in direct conflict with property rights. Art is completely subjective and thus should be created on property owned by the artist.

  • Anonymous||

    America : Retards welcome!

  • Elemenope||

    If there was a gray man, I'd be worried for the guy.

    But seriously, if you cannot at least admit that property is one right amongst many, than I'm terrified of your philosophy.

  • Rhywun||

    or attempt to get a creative solution like paint your property in a way that obviates tagging



    Or... make the police get serious and treat taggers like any other criminal who trespasses and destroys your private property.

  • adrian||

    LMNOP: like has been said before, it pretty much all starts with the right to property. Without a right to property man cannot sustain himself.

  • ||

    I know that consequentialism is like an allergen around here, but for fuck's sake can't people tell the difference between art and scribblings?

    Can you codify that difference in a clear way so that the law can be enforced equally upon all citizens?

    Next time I want to rail against joe, I'll think of these lefty-libertarians and bite my tongue. At least he's honest about what he is.

  • Episiarch||

    LMNOP, just fess up and admit that you made a statement that was badly worded. You meant to say that there is an aesthetic component to tagging/street art where it is possible that you might actually like what the person did, even though it was without your permission.

    However, the way you stated it was like you thought it was permissible, which you have clarified that you did not mean. So people jumped all over you, even though you do support property rights.

    Am I right?

  • ||

    But seriously, if you cannot at least admit that property is one right amongst many, than I'm terrified of your philosophy.

    Four isn't many: life, bodily integrity, liberty, defense of property.

    The only one that has anything to do with graffiti is the right to defense of property.

  • ||

    All illegal graffiti is in direct conflict with property rights.

    So the shop owner would have been justified in shooting the crew sent by the city to paint over his three thousand dollar mural? Now, we're getting somewhere.

  • Elemenope||

    Am I right?

    What, me? Wrong? Are you crazy?! ;)

    But no, actually. It was phrased intentionally how I phrased it, because my original point:

    ...the unbidden addition of art into a sterile space is part of what makes it alive...

    has really not been addressed in this discussion. At all. What, the notion that the value of a property could be improved by crime? That's crazy! The post immediately below it, also by me, says:

    ...If you are vandalizing and get caught, you do the "time"...

    approvingly. That is, if it is crime, it should be punished appropriately. Everyone else on this thread seems to be hung up on the notion of property rights, property rights, property rights as the be-all-and-end-all of discussion on the matter, and it is that which I have been busy attacking.

  • Elemenope||

    Four isn't many: life, bodily integrity, liberty, defense of property.

    Uh huh. Now, do me a favor and prioritize them, and outline where, when they are in conflict, one should prevail over the others.

    The only one that has anything to do with graffiti is the right to defense of property.

    Not true by a long shot. Liberty interests are also in play.

  • Your teacher||

    property is one right amongst many

    All rights derive from property rights. Go back two spaces. Better yet, just go away.

  • Reformed Republican||

    What, the notion that the value of a property could be improved by crime?

    Well, that is for the property owner to decide, now isn't it. If it was considered such an improvement, the taggers could ask permission. "Hey, can I paint your walls? It would look nice and attract customers?" And guess what, if they have permission it is not a crime.

    The fact that the property owner decides after the fact that it looks nice does not justify the original trespass and defacement.

  • Reformed Republican||

    Four isn't many: life, bodily integrity, liberty, defense of property.

    Uh huh. Now, do me a favor and prioritize them, and outline where, when they are in conflict, one should prevail over the others.


    Well, if you cannot control your own property, you do not really have liberty, do you?

    Without recognizing property, and therefore self-ownership, there is no right to life. The same goes for bodily integrity.

  • Kolohe||

    ...the unbidden addition of art into a sterile space is part of what makes it alive...

    The unbidden addition of music into a quiet place can also make it alive. (this is why movies have soundtracks)

    But sometimes I would rather have a little frikin peace and quiet.

  • Rhywun||

    my original point has really not been addressed in this discussion



    Because the property rights argument renders your original point moot.

    And the fact that most victims go to great lengths to get rid of graffiti suggests that it probably isn't raising anyone's property values.

  • ed||

    Regarding property rights and tagging:

    "It is only on the basis of property rights that the sphere and application of individual rights can be defined in any given social situation. Without property rights, there is no way to solve or to avoid a hopeless chaos of clashing views, interests, demands, desires, and whims."
    -Ayn Rand

  • Elemenope||

    Please, someone, trace the right of a women to have an abortion to a "property right".

    Or, conversely (if you are a wacky pro-Life libertarian), trace the fetus' right to continue to exist to a "property right".

    The notion that all rights emanate from the right to property is bull, unless someone can do that successfully.

    At least the Jesuitical contortions will be entertaining.

  • Elemenope||

    Kolohe's comment (and its inherent duality) comes closest to my point of view. Sometimes a little art (like music, but whatever) can enhance a space. Sometimes it doesn't. Often a property-owner does not want his space "enhanced". Whether he wants it or not, however, has nothing to do with the bare matter of whether or not it has been enhanced, and only bears on the contingent matter of his desires thereto.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    Easy.

    A woman owns her uterus and therefore has say on the lodgers therein. (Much like you cannot stay in my home without my permission.)

    or

    The fetus owns itself and the parent only acts as a trustee. While the parent can make certain decisions, abnegating the fetus' property rights over itself (through killing) is a violation of that trustee relationship.


    You are getting hung on the notion of property being a home or a piece of land or an iPod.

    All rights flow from property rights because if you do not own yourself, then you don't have any other rights, only the illusion thereof.

  • SJS||

    I kind of see the point of the city -- I assume they require licenses and permits and suchlike for large-scale advertisements (billboards, building painting, etc.), and thus they NEED to avoid giving this a blind eye, lest hooters/microsoft/sprint/etc. go and start cluttering up the urban landscape with their stuff without acquiring the proper permits.

    Not all laws and regulations make sense -- the edge cases will always contain something stupid. It's good to think about WHY there's such a law or regulation in place, because it was most often put there to solve a different problem.

    I find it interesting that so many people advocate violence in response to tagging -- and use the fact that folks have gotten shot to justify their position. It's backwards. It's the folks who are willing to engage in lethal force over a little paint that makes it imperative for a tagger to go armed (and shoot first).

    Sure, they're engaged in vandalism. Sure,it's ugly and annoying. Sure, they might be part of a violent gang. But the fact that there are people who would (apparently) kill them without any remorse for nonviolent activities justifies (from their point of view) their violent response.

    There aren't perfect solutions to every problem. Advocating murder over property is excessive. Our society has been here before, and it sucked.

  • Elemenope||

    Humongous conflation due to the word "ownership". Like, the way you'd think of God's balls as big.

    A. You own your body
    B. You own property

    does not mean

    c. body = property

    You can sell that which is produced by your body, i.e. labor, but that ain't the same thing. Property has the property (ha ha) that it can be transacted. You cannot give your body to another person via transaction if you *always own it*.

    It seems like you're getting hung on inflating the definition of property to suit your argument. One could just as easily call it "the Right to Bodily Autonomy" without recourse to property notions at all. I don't have to have a property interest in my body to be autonomous. I just have to wiggle my toes.

  • robc||

    You cannot give your body to another person via transaction if you *always own it*.

    Prostitution doesnt exist in your world, LMNOP?

  • ||

    But seriously, if you cannot at least admit that property is one right amongst many, than I'm terrified of your philosophy.

    Sure it is, but I don't see what countervailing/overriding rights some dude with a spray can has.

    You cannot give your body to another person via transaction if you *always own it*.

    Prostitution doesnt exist in your world, LMNOP?


    Prostitution is really more of a lease than a sale, IMO.

  • ||

    I just have to wiggle my toes.

    What if I break them or sever your spine? Autonomy is ownership; anything owned is property; integrity of property.

    What do you have autonomy over that you do not own? Isn't autonomy over something the very definition of property? Therefore, what do you own that is not property?

    That your body is your property is the core of libertarianism. Argue against that if you like, but that doesn't mean I didn't answer your abortion questions. And it doesn't mean there is a logical contradiction in the philosophy.

  • ||

    well, couldn't the government just pay these people not to make graffiti? Wouldn't that be the best of two worlds and satisfy everyone?

  • ed||

    couldn't the government just pay these people not to make graffiti?

    Oh, dude, you just don't understand these "artists."
    It's not about the cash, man, it's about self expression.
    It's about taking the art to the people, and threatening anyone who gets in your way.

  • Elemenope||

    Sure it is, but I don't see what countervailing/overriding rights some dude with a spray can has.

    He doesn't. That point all have so far agreed upon. My point is that there exists a liberty interest (a guy wants to be free to paint wherever he wants) and that interest intersects with the property right. I agree the property right should prevail.

    Prostitution is really more of a lease than a sale, IMO.

    Bingo, and even more to the point, sex is labor produced by the body, not the body itself. I think if someone suggested that by having sex with a woman they owned that woman's body, they'd get slapped. And they'd deserve it.

    What if I break them or sever your spine? Autonomy is ownership; anything owned is property; integrity of property.

    I was being flippant about the toes thing, but autonomy is at least partially separate from ownership where the body is concerned in practice, and I believe completely separate in theory. Throughout history, people in power have attempted to control the bodies of others, and yet merely by depriving a person of a right to own their body under the law did not successfully deprive the person necessarily of all practical autonomy.

    They are *related* concepts, I will readily grant, but not fungible ones. Bodily autonomy is more directly connected with physical *volition* (which is where the toe quip came from).

  • Episiarch||

    I think if someone suggested that by having sex with a woman they owned that woman's body, they'd get slapped

    So when I slap her and tell her that I own her ass, and she moans and gasps "harder", I don't own her at that point? I'm confused. We can leave the choking out of this discussion for now.

  • ||

    I assume they require licenses and permits and suchlike for large-scale advertisements (billboards, building painting, etc.), and thus they NEED to avoid giving this a blind eye, lest hooters/microsoft/sprint/etc. go and start cluttering up the urban landscape with their stuff without acquiring the proper permits.

    Proppitty rahts!!!!


    What if The Evil Empire Microsoft proposed to erect a large and distinctive structure (which could be readily seen and identified from afar) in which to house their operations, and even went so far as to refer to it as "The Microsoft Tower"? Would this constitute impermissibly excessive signage?

    If my neighbor comes up the hill and tells me my concrete-steel-and-glass house has damaged his "property rights" because it doesn't fit in the "neighborhood" and I should tear it down and replace it with a log monstrosity like his, what should I do?

    Hint: if you guessed "kick him in the nuts and drag him home with his shoelaces hooked over the trailer ball on my pickup truck" award yourself ten points.

    And a cookie.

  • ||

    Throughout history, people in power have attempted to control the bodies of others, and yet merely by depriving a person of a right to own their body under the law did not successfully deprive the person necessarily of all practical autonomy.

    Granted, but we aren't talking about what it is possible to do to the human body. We are discussing the rights framework provided by the proposition of that you own your own body. Yes, the metaphysical proposition that the body is your property is debatable, but the practicality of it is at the core of libertarian ethics.

    Why people shouldn't be able to enslave you is the question the body-as-property answers. It says nothing about outlining the technical feasibility of enslavement.

    If ethics and rights could only exist in a state of metaphysical truth, the world would make monsters of us all.

  • Elemenope||

    So when I slap her and tell her that I own her ass, and she moans and gasps "harder", I don't own her at that point? I'm confused. We can leave the choking out of this discussion for now.

    Fucking LOL.

    In more ways than one.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    Don't egg him on when he gets to talking about his mom like that. Trust me. It can get messy.

  • Elemenope||

    If ethics and rights could only exist in a state of metaphysical truth, the world would make monsters of us all.

    Heh. I'd submit to you that practicality is a fundamental element of metaphysical truth (i.e. I can and cannot do certain things right now, and these capacities inhere insolubly in what is and is not true about me right now.)

  • Elemenope||

    Don't egg him on when he gets to talking about his mom like that. Trust me. It can get messy.

    And just moved from LOL to ROFL in record time.

    Well played.

  • Fluffy||

    But no, actually. It was phrased intentionally how I phrased it, because my original point:

    ...the unbidden addition of art into a sterile space is part of what makes it alive...

    has really not been addressed in this discussion. At all. What, the notion that the value of a property could be improved by crime? That's crazy!


    I see what you are trying to get at, but if it's my property and I don't think it's "sterile", I don't see why your opinion should matter. At all.

    And if I want my property to have bare white walls, it doesn't really matter if you think that graffiti would enhance its value. It doesn't even matter if graffiti actually would enhance its value. The value of the property is only relevant if I want to sell it. If I'm not in the market to sell it, my property right expresses itself as a use right. And if the "use" I want is to have bare white walls, if you paint on my walls you are denying that to me.

  • Fluffy||

    Please, someone, trace the right of a women to have an abortion to a "property right".

    The womb is real estate.

    The fetus has no lease.

    It's really pretty straightforward. The fact that conceptualizing the situation this way makes some people unhappy isn't that important.

    I think that this implies that a viable fetus must be removed from the womb in a manner that doesn't kill it, if possible - but technical aspects of acceptable abortion methods weren't really part of your question.

  • ||

    El,

    But that means you agree with me. If practicality informs transcendent truth, then outline a system more practical than taking ownership of the body as a first principle and letting rights flow from there. Anything else must justify ignoring the prima facie observation that you and your body are one and the same (or that you solely inhabit your body, for you Cartesians out there.)

    If you don't own your body, who does? and if no one owns their body, how can they assert their bodily integrity? (Autonomy is not integrity (or ownership). I can drive your car, but that doesn't mean I own it.)

    You own your body. No one else has dominion over you. What is impractical about that?

  • Elemenope||

    I see what you are trying to get at, but if it's my property and I don't think it's "sterile", I don't see why your opinion should matter. At all.

    And if I want my property to have bare white walls, it doesn't really matter if you think that graffiti would enhance its value. It doesn't even matter if graffiti actually would enhance its value. The value of the property is only relevant if I want to sell it. If I'm not in the market to sell it, my property right expresses itself as a use right. And if the "use" I want is to have bare white walls, if you paint on my walls you are denying that to me.


    Then, we are agreed. :)

  • Elemenope||

    The womb is real estate.

    The fetus has no lease.

    It's really pretty straightforward. The fact that conceptualizing the situation this way makes some people unhappy isn't that important.


    I agree that simply because a point is uncomfortable doesn't make it wrong, but still think this point is incorrect. Not because the womb isn't real estate, but because the fetus has lease (it's a contract of adhesion, you see, unless of course the conception occurred against the will of the property owner).

    And the womb *isn't* real estate, regardless, because it cannot change hands. Fails in the same way as other property, for the purposes of this exercise. Like the prostitution example, what you are talking about is rent, not ownership.

  • ||

    Once again, it's not whether the uterus is real estate that matters, but if treating as such leads to enhanced freedom. That is the libertarian contention.

    Stop getting your metaphysical chocolate in my practical peanut butter.

  • Episiarch||

    Don't egg him on when he gets to talking about his mom like that. Trust me. It can get messy.

    Incest is best. It's true because it rhymes.

  • Elemenope||

    If practicality informs transcendent truth, then outline a system more practical than taking ownership of the body as a first principle and letting rights flow from there. Anything else must justify ignoring the prima facie observation that you and your body are one and the same...

    Again, you are conflating ownership and property rights, which is the crux of the argument. You would get no argument from me on the point that we *own* our bodies, and many rights thusly flow from that preeminent control. I just refuse to endorse the hop-skip-jump move you make from saying "I own my body" to "I have a property-interest in my body".

    Also, I would take issue with the notion that "I" and "my body" are commensurate completely, but man-oh-man would that take a long time to explicate. Let's leave it at: the delineation between "me" and "not me" is complicated greatly by the utility of devices (either physically extrinsic or implanted) that extend the projection of my will and the actualization of that autonomy beyond the confines of my physical form.

    Or if you like, we could not leave it at that, but I'd have to follow with a monster post, and it wouldn't be right away. ;)

  • Elemenope||

    Stop getting your metaphysical chocolate in my practical peanut butter.

    I like Reese's.

  • ||

    I conflate nothing. Ownership and property rights are dependent states of each other.

    If you don't have the right to own the only thing you can truly be said to own, then what rights do you have at all? What can you own that is not property? What can you own without the rights to own it?

    These aren't zen koans, you know. Take a crack at answering them in a way that doesn't agree with the libertarian proposition. It will just lead to tyranny.

    I'm going to go play tennis. Nice jawin' with ya.

  • ||

    California IS the union. heh

  • anarch||

    It's the folks who are willing to engage in lethal force over a little paint that makes it imperative for a tagger to go armed (and shoot first).

    Imperative. Love it. Especially the "and shoot first."

    Threadwinner.

  • ||

    I'm sure that you wouldn't have to force CA to secede, just allow it. With the way it looks the rest of the racists and rednecks in the country are just gonna screw it up by voting for another crabby, multi-generational politician for our leader anyway. I will move to any state that secedes or country that won't kick me out if that happens.

  • Rick H.||

    But you can apparently hire some local mural painters (L.A.'s got some seriously awesome street murals) who are respected by taggers enough so that they leave the various Virgin Marys and flag-carrying eagles alone.

    I like a lot of graffiti, but taggers suck, and they don't respect the murals, either. This is because the average tagger has no more artistic sense than a city councilman who orders everything painted beige.

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