Thursday, July 28, 2005

Is It Graffiti? ... Or Free Expression?

A few weeks ago, I noticed a bunch of gang graffiti at Pennsylvania and Wyoming, a few blocks from my house. Attributed to a gang from the 3200 block of Iowa, it was in black spray paint.

It was on two buildings and - the nerve! - on the newly placed street barricades (euphemistically called "flower pots", they're really sections of sewer pipe) that make Pennsylvania a dead-end street.

I called my alderman, CSB, and 241-COPS, on that Friday morning (July 15th). By Monday, the graffiti had been removed from a brick wall, and painted over on the barricades. The painting of a wood-paneled former storefront took a little longer, probably because some wires got crossed between my call to CSB and my alderman's service request, but even that was completed by the following Friday (July 22nd). Kudos to Operation Brightside!

Now for my dilemma:

This morning I noticed a bunch of chalk writing on the exterior of a brick two-family at 3223 Texas, across from the Garfield Elementary School playground. I didn't explore what was written on the side of the house, but on the front of the house it said "God is Good! All the Time!!" in huge letters scrawled in white chalk, stark against dark red brick.

I was a bit amused by this, and confused as well. It probably does not warrant a graffiti call, since it would probably come off with soap and warm water. However, doesn't it violate some ordinance or property maintenance code? Or at least the signage regulations?

In any event, it was a surreal sight, indeed. In this era of ascendant fundamentalism, I'd almost expect to see such random displays of religious zealotry more often than I do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Substitute Allah, Buddha, Joe Pesci, or any of the other deities for God and I bet someone would have called for the graffiti team.