Divide And Conquer

The reporter didn’t correct himself, forgetting to mention that the wall that Banksy addressed actually divides Palestine from itself *not* just Israel from Palestine.

The Palestinian population and its leadership are essentially unanimous in opposing the barrier. A significant number of Palestinians have been separated from their own farmlands or their places of work or study, and many more will be separated as the barriers near Jerusalem are completed. Furthermore, because of its planned route as published by the Israeli government, the barrier is perceived as a plan to confine the Palestinian population to specific areas.They state that Palestinian institutions in Abu Dis will be prevented from providing services to residents in the East Jerusalem suburbs, and that a 10-minute walk has become a 3-hour drive in order to reach a gate, to go (if allowed) through a crowded military checkpoint, and drive back to the destination on the other side.

In any event, Banksy went to town with his unique style:


He followed up the street art with a more traditional painting of Jesus & Mary unable to get to Bethlehem because of the Israeli wall:


The Life Span Of A Perspective


SOHH.com, Jane Bolden
Ecko Responds to Vegas Mayor’s Thumb Chopping Suggestion…

[…] Last week, (Marc) Ecko, chairman and founder of Ecko Unltd., approached Mayor Goodman about his comments via a letter titled “Re: Taggers, Thumbs and Graffiti Art.”

“You recently suggested chopping off tagger’s thumbs and subjecting them to public canings and whippings,” Ecko wrote in the letter obtained by SOHH. “Your comments garnered national attention. I heard them and reflected upon your frustration and anger. You may be surprised to learn that I share some of your concerns about public defacement and vandalism. I simply believe in a different approach.

“First, graf should be celebrated and encouraged, not demeaned or attacked,” he added. “It is art. It is expression. It is a form of social commentary. It provokes thought and debate,” Ecko continued. “Second most graffiti writers—whom you apparently perceive as being a threat to civilized society—are legitimate and talented artists. Some are entrepreneurs who aspire to design fashion brands, for example, like mine. Many are just searching for an outlet to express their creative energy and establish a name for themselves.”

Ecko concluded the letter telling Mayor Goodman that he would like to meet him next week. “I will be in Las Vegas May 8-9; I’d like to meet you. I’d like you to show me the artistry of your City, while we discuss the finer points of graf and your anti-graffiti ordinances. I’d like to teach you how graf can be a positive form of artistic expression… We can auction off whatever we create, with the proceeds going to the Las Vegas charity of your choice. We can show the people of Las Vegas that graf art, properly created and distributed, is a powerful and effective tool of change.” […]

I do understand why property owners don’t care for graffiti, and why law enforcement (and Malcolm Gladwell) believe that tagging leads to the creation of a social climate susceptable to crime, but I also understand the desire to tag.

Graffiti, in all of it’s various forms, is a complex form of social expression — part peer pressure, part artistic endevour, part shot of self-esteem, part communication. And while a great majority of graffiti doesn’t speak to me personally, when it does, it blows me away — both exposing and reinforcing perspectives and creativity that I might never have become exposed to otherwise.

Look, graffiti artists know that their tags and creations aren’t permanent forms of expression. Tags in the real have a longer average shelf-life than a conversation at a pub, but less than as an expression on canvas. Property owners and municiple government have every right to remove graffiti from their property, yet that legal right is partially what fuels the intent of the artists / taggers themselves. It’s a complex issue.

That is, if you even believe it’s an issue… let alone one to chop thumbs over.

UPDATE: Australia Talks Back covers these very issues.

Tag! We’re It! Part III

I tag like a 15 year-old kid in the South Bronx with a box full of Krylons and a yard full of freshly sandblasted cars.

I tag like I just got jumped by a handful of punks who made the mistake of letting me follow them to their trailer park homes adorned with freshly cleaned aluminum siding.

I tag like I get told who I am, what I’m supposed to believe and how I’m supposed to act on a daily basis.

I go all city, hoping that one day, the vehicles I’ve touched get stitched together to form a complete sentence.


I tag because I saw you leave your mark and it was dope.

I tag because I know how to freeze, watch TV and (kinda) avoid the kissing bugs.

I tag because the words I drop in time will find a way to form a cohesive rhyme.

I tag because the world may be getting smaller, but it’s damn sure not coming together.


I tag your name, your spot, your position, your mood, your frame of mind when it’s too hard for you to see it for yourself.

I tag the expected terms of modern constructs.

I tag the post-modern undercurrents of miscellaneous descriptors.

I tag my tags so that when structure is forged out of chaos, you’ll know how to find me.

I tag so that it’s me you won’t be looking for.


When I tag, I’m regurgitating the meal I’ve caught for the chicks in my roost.

When I tag, I feel one with the universe of the collective unconscious.

When I tag, I can see the pillars of control quaking in their foundation.

When I tag, I experience therefore I understand.

When we tag, anything is possible.


Tag! We’re It! Part II
Tag! We’re It!