Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rant: Down the sh**hole we go

Definition, Vandalism: willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others

They can't even leave the sidewalks alone. Photo: Jeremy Doucett, Flickr ccl
Just got back from a walk with the dog. I live in the "old" South End of Halifax. It's not the part with all the fancy homes or mega-rich people. Sure, we're close by, but mostly it's people who are just getting by like everyone else, and who moved here for the lifestyle. You know, relative peace, quiet, public transit and safety. We're not dripping with money and privilege. Most of us drive old cars and live in draughty, old houses. 

Photo. BigA**SuperBlog
Flickr ccl
Well, on my short walk of maybe six blocks, I had to walk past so much graffiti it made me sick. I can understand, but not condone, graffiti on light poles, or Canada Post boxes or even businesses, but almost All of it was on private homes. Maybe YOUR home.

This "art" has been on a dramatic upswing in the past few weeks. I'm out twice every day with the dog. I've seen it growing. We've always had our share of this trash before, but it's dramatically escalating very recently. 

An example of a brother/sister union speaks
If you haven't read the last issue of The Coast magazine, the first letter to the editor, from one Brad Vaughn, defends — defends!! — this activity. He calls himself an anarchist. I have another "a" word I would use for him. His "missive" is in response to an earlier letter decrying graffiti, specifically in the North End, but it is a city-wide problem.

In part, he writes: "By creating visible signs of law and order's breakdown we can keep property values in the north end low—what yuppie wants to live in a neighbourhood full of graffiti? Further with our open defiance of private property, the police, et cetera, we hope to inspire others to realize their own power."

Photo: BigA**, Flickr ccl
How altruistic he is. "Open defiance of private property"? What well articulated bulls**t that is. If you damage, mar or destroy property you are a common criminal, a vandal, and should be treated as such—to the full extent of the same law you wish to show is breaking down.

What a load of horse pucks
Can you tell I'm a bit angry? Our neighbourhood is one of older couples, retirees just trying to meet their taxes, young families, and students. We're certainly not bursting with yuppies. Is there even such a thing anymore? What is he? Stuck in the 90s? Perhaps he should read newer books.

If you wander around defacing our property, we should hunt you down and do the same to your, or your mother's, or grandmother's house. Then see how you like it. My feelings are quite succintly summed up in a reply to a similar situation posted by "Mike" on The Coast website several years ago (2007). And I quote:

Where was my slingshot??? Photo: WhindomEarl, Flickr ccl
"My place got hit again earlier this week. What I'm going to do is watch the police reports for arrests made against people who were caught spray painting. Once your court date has been set, I'll be in attendance. Then I'll know your name(s) and what you look like. The rest of your private information such as residence can easily be found. Don't be surprised if your place gets destroyed or torn up repeatedly. I suggest all residents of the city to do the same. Then all these punks, young and old, will learn a lesson in respecting other peoples' property."

Where's your friendly councillor?
Where is the city on this? They've had a graffiti by-law in place for several years. It doesn't seem to be working too well. To read more about the stellar efforts of our elected officials, go to

Did you know in Halifax it's the homeowner's responsibility to clean up this crap or they can be fined? The property owner can receive a fine for "graffiti" that was placed there by people with absolutely no respect for others, or presumably even themselves. Right. OUR cash spent to clean up someone else's "hate for society." Ahh, City Hall, how do I love thee?

At least HRM will give you a "graffiti removal kit," but the elbow grease (and the danger of dragging your hump up onto your roof in the case of the picture above) is all yours.

When's the next municipal election?

There was a new "tag" this morning, right at the corner of the block where I live, about 6 feet wide by 3 feet high, on the side of a private house. I do not want to live in a slum, but it's increasingly looking that way. Councillors? Mayor? Cops? Where are you?


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