War of words and pictures

It’s been interesting to watch the ongoing tussle between the various taggers and the city’s Gray Ghost over the past several months. As the number of gray blocks has been increasing, so have the efforts by some very inventive and artistic folks to mark back over the gray and/or find new places to erect some color, humor, whimsy and political commentary. Kudos to folks such as those allied with NOLA Rising.

Much of this back-and-forth has been taking place on public or quasi-public turf, such as on mailboxes, utility poles, abandoned buildings and the like. I’ve seen cases in which almost the entire face of Yield signs or other important traffic information has been painted over and rendered nearly invisible by an overzealously applied wash of gray — where the sign would stil be easily readable had the original tag been simply left alone. I don’t get it. Far as I can tell, all these gray blocks do is create a new and clearer canvas to be tagged again. Good.

Now, don’t jump my ass and tell me how we’ve got to crack down on gang tagging so we can get a handle on our crime problem. I don’t pretend to be able to read so much of the sprayed-on squiggles the real gangbangers are into. But that kinda crap is going to continue to happen no matter how many Fred Radkes are hired to paint it over in gray, black, purple, plaid or whatever. And, as a business and private property owner, I don’t want my fence or my front window subject to incomprehensible scrawls. Or blocks of gray, for that matter. But jeez.

All I’m calling for is some discretion. There are plenty of experts (including Mr. Radke, I presume) who know what constitutes a real gang tag and what doesn’t. And I don’t think renderings of St. Louis Cathedral, a cat with a clown hat, an image of the pope or the saying “there’s a seersucker born every minute” (all of which I’ve seen in the past week) constitute a menace to the commonweal. They create color, give a personality to the neighborhood and they make us smile — and there’s too damn little of that around here anymore.

Long live Krabstonia.

41 Comments so far

  1. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 7:23 am

    I was raised in Houston, and one of the few things I can always say New Orleans does far better than Houston is graffiti eradication. The graffiti goes up, and within a fairly short period the Gray Ghost has painted it over. It’s become a major disincentive to vandals.

    I completely disagree that Radke is simply making a canvas or not solving the problem. If you’ve ever been in a city with a minimal graffiti program, you see it everywhere — down every lamppost, on every wall, on every derelict building — and it rarely gets taken care of. Here, there really isn’t that much graffiti. There’s a great many gray blocks, but that’s far better than gang scrawls everywhere.

    On the other hand I agree with most of your premise, that Radke has been overzealous. He needs to stop obscuring street signs to get at graffiti. He needs to take down the bandit signs rather than just paining over them. And he needs to give the Nola Rising people a pass, because what they do is harmless. But those issues are minor compared to the good he’s done.

  2. Frolic (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:07 am

    I never noticed his work until after the storm (guess I assumed the owners painted over the graffiti). I think he’s doing a huge service by painting over advertising that gets tacked up on utility poles. I’m amazed how quickly he paints over them. These signs are the physical equivalent of spam.

  3. Jules (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:44 am

    For anyone who thinks the Grey Ghost is just a harmless, property-defacing eccentric, check the photos here: http://profile.myspace.com/195157875

    This kid got his head split open by Fred Radtke just for photographing Fred in the act of further defacing our city. Radtke has also several times used a handgun to threaten people questioning him or trying to photograph him.

    He is a vandal and graffiti artist– no more, no less– and like every real graffiti artist he is only obsessed with getting his signature/trademark (the grey blotch) up in as many places as possible, and over every other graffiti artist’s. Don’t let the thin patina of establishment respectability fool you.

  4. krewe of krabkakes (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 10:38 am

    fred radtke is a criminal

  5. dr (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 10:42 am
  6. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 11:03 am


    I don’t buy it.

    That post was put up by a tagger; he clearly advocates vandalism in the name of “hip-hop” culture. Moreover, the guy posted Radke’s personal phone number and urged people to harass him even *before* this alleged incident. He’s scum, and while I don’t know Radke from George Washington, he still has more credibility than this thug.

    Besides, if the charges were credible, why hasn’t Radke been arrested? I’d say it’s more likely that these guys attacked him for painting over their graffiti.

  7. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 11:08 am

    I’m amazed how many people are comfortable with the idea of New Orleans looking like a gangland paradise. There is nothing redeeming about graffiti, and painting it over is *not* graffiti itself. That’s a stupid and flimsy rationalization if I ever heard one.

  8. Jack Ware (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    I think its odd that this even merits argument but I can see why. The problem is that tagging or putting up graffiti is against the law. But so is being a vigilante. So if you agree with the graffiti flunkies, it’s freedom of speech or art or some shit. And if you agree with the vigilante then you’ll say he isn’t a vigilante but rather a community activist. Fact of the matter is all of these arguments are right since its a subjective decision of where art becomes vandalism.

    My take on it is that either side needs a better hobby. If the graffiti artists want to do something creative then rebuild a neighbor’s fence and have that gray box guy paint the fucker. Really the thing I don’t like about it is that both sides are self-serving.

    Keep in mind I make these statements being a huge Banksy fan. But then, I haven’t seen anything this creative and meaningful and professional around here. I don’t think the gangster scribbles are some kind of style – I think it’s the product of illiteracy spelling things out phonetically, and poor penmanship. I am not impressed.

  9. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    Jake Ware,

    So if you agree with the graffiti flunkies, it’s freedom of speech or art or some shit.

    Well, they’re clearly wrong. It’s not protected speech anymore than burning somebody’s house down is. You’re destroying property. That’s a dumb argument.

    And if you agree with the vigilante then you’ll say he isn’t a vigilante but rather a community activist.

    Well, he isn’t really a “vigilante.” He’s sanctioned by the City of New Orleans (or at least the NOPD) to clean up graffiti on public property, and he gets permission to do so on private property unless it’s derelict, in which case the owner is required by law to clean it up in 30 days anyway. Radke himself spearheaded that law.

    Moreover, he has an open, legitimate organization behind him. He’s not some punk in the dead of night or a street gang. Comparing the two is, frankly, quite silly.

    My take on it is that either side needs a better hobby.

    Well, folks like Radke won’t have anything to do if the vandals stop defacing property. It’s like saying that the local crime watch needs a better hobby — well, sure, and they’d have one if there weren’t any crime!

    And how exactly is Radke “self-serving?” He doesn’t get paid for this, or marking territory for some street gang, or painting his name on overpasses and posting it on the internet. His recognition is purely incidental to his work, and although I’m sure he likes getting identified for his grey paint, there’s a difference between basking in the glow of a public service and getting a warm fuzzy from spraypainting your name on the wall of a Blockbuster.

    Again, I’m just amazed that somebody could try to compare painting over vandalism with vandalism itself. It’s fine to criticize Radke’s overzealousness for the reasons I cited above, but faulting what he does in general is silly and wrong.

  10. Craig (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    Lord, I DO love a lively discussion.

  11. termite. (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    it’s like watchin’ ping pong. :D

    Geaux Saints! yeah yeah..i know.. :/

  12. J.B. (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    Lord, I DO NOT love Fred Radtke.

    Count me among those who would far rather see stencils, art-stickers, cool painted squished cans nailed to telephone poles, and yes, even (gasp! shriek!) spray-painted graffiti than big ugly grey blotches. Even if I don’t support the defacement of people’s houses, etc. I find the grey blotches look WORSE in almost every case than what they are covering up. They are larger, uglier, more depressing, and make whatever they’re defacing look worse than it did with just the graffiti.

    I also disagree that graffiti is what’s making New Orleans a “gangland paradise” or what makes it resemble one. I am not particularly pro-graffiti, but I am solidly anti-grey-ghost. Taking the discussion into hyperbole: one could dislike Saddam Hussein without approving of the Iraq war.

    I don’t feel Radtke makes a positive contribution; I feel he is a destructive, unhinged and obsessed egomaniac, no better than any other vandal and significantly more dangerous to the communities he is painting in than the average graffiti artist.

  13. Ann (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 4:33 pm

    What exactly does being “sanctioned” by the NOPD or the city entail? Does it give him legal authority to paint grey blotches everywhere? Does he have a permit he can pull out to show people who question him mid-blotch? Is he in the employ of the city? Or are the cops simply turning a blind eye to his actions? Because, if it’s the latter, technically he’s a grafitti artist as well. (I’m asking in all sincerity, Owen. But exaactly is he to the powers that be?)

    I personally think some grafitti is art – the use of color, shape – it’s inspiring. There is a stretch on Sam Cooper here is Memphis that always has some nice peices on the back of some abandoned warehouses. The kids and I look forward to passing them, to see what’s new. UM actually invited some grafitti artists to decorate the construction fence on campus this summer. Much more cheerful than whitewash and WARNING signs.

    I know that some grafitti is gang-related, but surely the cops/city know what is what and can selectively paint over when needed. It’s not like they have any other, nore pressing things to do. (that’s sarcasm, BTW.) I also would rather see creative expression than grey blotches – but I’m a bleeding heart, pinko-commie tree-hugging stifled artist/muscician with no real talent of my own.

  14. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 4:42 pm


    Ok, you’d rather see gang signs and other spray-painted graffiti than a simple grey splotch (a neutral color). I think that’s pretty nuts.

    Every city has a graffiti-eradication program, and virtually none consistently use matching paint. This is because the overwhelming national consensus is that it’s better to have discolored blotches on walls and streetlights than gang names and the like sprayed everywhere. You are in an extremely small minority in favoring the graffiti. Very small.

    I also find it very odd to say that graffiti doesn’t make the city look like a “gangland paradise.” Who do you think is doing most of the graffiti? What do you think happens to it if it isn’t painted over? The answer to the first question is gangs, and the answer to the second is that the graffiti multiplies. Graffiti, then, logically makes the city look more visably like it’s full of gangs. I hardly see how this can be disputed.

    Radke runs up a popular nonprofit. He has the support and cooperation of the police. You, on the other hand, act like he’s worse than graffiti vandals because he goes around painting over ugly gang graffiti. I’ve tried, but words cannot describe how ridiculous that viewpoint is.

    BTW: You’re not “particularly pro-graffiti?” That reads as lukewarm support. Do you actually support defacement of property?

  15. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 5:01 pm


    According to the Times-Picayune, Operation Clean Sweep, Radke’s nonprofit group, is “supported by the city and Police Department.” I don’t recall where I saw it, but I’ve seen a police captain quoted as saying he has the endorsement of the NOPD.

    This guy is legitimate. His group gets funding from local buisnesses, including a recent $20,000 grant from Harrah’s New Orleans. He’s also worked out an agreement with the Vieux Carre commission to use a different color palette in the French Quarter. Other neighborhoods could do the same; all he needs is the paint.

    As for your apparent affinity for graffiti, I’ll simply repeat that I’m dumbstruck by the lack of outrage over this problem. It really does make neighborhoods look terrible and gang-ridden. Maybe that doesn’t bother this crowd, but it does most people. It’s also illegal; these “artists” are destroying property. Getting angry at Radke, well — that’s just as misplaced as it gets.

  16. Jack Ware (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

    I wasn’t really taking a side Owen, maybe I didn’t make that clear. And I meant self serving on Radke’s part in a Socratic sense. Anywho, the sanctioned thing is an interesting foil. The taggers tag and are painted over, not by the establishment, but by a civilian with no authority, which the taggers no doubt resent from what I’ve read. So they tag away. And he grays them out. Seems like a perpetual situation. I was trying to think of other perpetual situations that may be at least tacitly sanctioned by the nopd. Retaliatory gang killings comes to mind.

    Now I know at least one person is going to say that’s a silly, extreme example. But it is a good way to test the logic of an argument to say in the most extreme cases, does the argument break down or is that somehow different.

    Wanna argue the nopd doesn’t tacitly sanction retaliatory killings? Ask yourself if the powers that be don’t give a big sigh of relief when someone they were clearly never going to catch is gunned down. When’s the last time someone was arrested, convicted, and put in prison for a retaliatory murder in Orleans parish? I honestly don’t know and that’s weak because when has any murderer had that happen to them in Orleans? lol.

    And Owen, I’m just picking the side you didn’t – believe me, I don’t feel strongly about either side and frankly, think both sides are wrong, but that’s probably why I don’t participate in either.

    Incidentally, my neighborhood association had a graffiti clean up day on Saturday. I didn’t go cause I was busy – not out of principle. But does a neighborhood association doing it in their own area make it better or worse or no different at all? Man, I love me some questions with no clear answer!

  17. Craig (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

    Man — this is more fun than stirring a stick in an ant mound.

  18. krewe of krabkakes (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    oh owen… obviously you are sitting in your apartment… devoid of a woman… waiting for replies to get angry about (yeah, i went there).

    the only point is that radtke is painting over things that could be easily taken down or buffed off.
    Fred is just as much a (as you would say in a HILARIOUS term) “gang banger” as the taggers. The grey is his mark. just because he does this under the guise of a community activist doesnt make it right. if THE OWNER of a building wants the graffiti removed, they will do it themselves.

    the fact is, that fred BREAKS THE SAME LAWS that the “street artists” do.

    y’know what… i think i’m gonna go paint purple over all his grey just to take his signature away.
    i bet that will make him really angry because he’s doing for notoriety just as much as anyone else.

    also, i think that a tag of a cat in a party hat or a drawing of rex, king of carnival telling you to “smile” is FAR from a (as you would say) “gang banger” tag.

    it is also funny that you called us “thugs”…
    can i call you “honky”?

  19. Craig (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 7:01 pm

    …so what about signs posted by neighborhood residents (such as the “turn down da rap” sign in Laureen’s previous post)? We used to have a “slow the $&@# down” sign in front of our house, until it was accidentally torn down by a St. Patrick’s Day float earlier this year. Is this graffiti? Or handwritten signs marking intersections? Personally-erected stop signs at dangerous intersections? This is really the proverbial can o’ worms in this city these days.

  20. kapaali (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

    Most of the graffiti I’ve seen Radtke paint over ain’t that great. Some of the graffiti I’ve seen he’s painted over was amazing and it’s a damn shame that he couldn’t see it and leave it alone. It would be nice if we had some sort of sanctioned area where graffiti was allowed and encouraged, the more artistic the better–but then the whole revolutionary vibe of it all would be gone. When I was in Amsterdam, I saw graffiti everywhere and it was all pretty much amazing stuff. It’s too bad we can’t have that here; it would be nice to have a livelier, more real street art presence. Those big blotches of grey that aren’t even uniform? They suck.

    He does need to lay off NOLA Rising. That’s some good stuff right there, and it’s obvious that they’re doing it as a community art awareness thing for the love of NOLA and all that.

  21. JAUG (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    Since Fred gets public aid, public money there should be a public view of complaints against the graffiti and against Fred. Where are the public records? Shouldn’t there be a place to see these? Does Fred keep a log of what he does with my tax dollar. Is there a way to keep MY tax dollar out of his hands?

    For those that think it causes no harm in graying, look is that a stop sign, can’t tell cos its all gray, only it’s shape gives it away!

    For the business owners that call Fred, fine, you don’t like it – no problem, but for the business owner that DID NOT call Fred – he’s pissed cos now his beautiful business has a big gray square on it instead of some colorful stencil.

    Fred has been BANNED from the French Quarter because he refuses to color match!!!

    Been under I-10 by Carrollton lately, a veritable SEA OF GRAY!!

    There is very LITTLE gang graffiti in town and where that is – well let’s just say FRED won’t go there as most of us won’t!!!!!!!! Do you even know what gang graffiti looks like? It is NOT colorful, it does NOT say a name, it does not look anything like a TARD, a SYH, a SKELETONCAN, a Harsh or anything that has BEAUTY associated with it.

    This is gang graffiti: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1327/632578893_d6abf02bb2_b.jpg

    I believe Fred could SERVE the city better by pulling down the adverts off telephone poles or helping a needy family PAINT their house!

  22. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:01 pm


    oh owen… obviously you are sitting in your apartment… devoid of a woman… waiting for replies to get angry about (yeah, i went there).

    Well of course you did, because you’re an ass (for the record, I have a house and I’m married).

    the only point is that radtke is painting over things that could be easily taken down or buffed off.

    That takes much more work when you’re talking about removing graffiti all across town. The choice isn’t between it being buffed off or painted over — the choice is between painting it over or letting it stay.

    Fred is just as much a (as you would say in a HILARIOUS term) “gang banger” as the taggers. The grey is his mark.

    Again, yeah… That’s stupid and nobody buys it. There is no moral equivalence, as I’ve explained. You’re comparing trying to cover up graffiti with perpetrating it.

    the fact is, that fred BREAKS THE SAME LAWS that the “street artists” do.

    No he isn’t. He has permission to pain over graffiti on public property, and he seeks permission with store owners on private property. Granted, he no doubt often isn’t able to ask permission, as with derelict properties, but they’re already in violation of the law anyway. Again, there’s simply no comparison. Blind assertions aren’t arguments.

    y’know what… i think i’m gonna go paint purple over all his grey just to take his signature away. i bet that will make him really angry because he’s doing for notoriety just as much as anyone else.

    I doubt you’d be a blip on his radar. Besides, you don’t know what motivates him. I think it’s civic pride, but even he gets an ego boost from it, I don’t really care.

    also, i think that a tag of a cat in a party hat or a drawing of rex, king of carnival telling you to “smile” is FAR from a (as you would say) “gang banger” tag.

    I agree. Take it up with Fred.

    And BTW — if you’re slapping up stencils without permission, what’s your gripe with Fred? In your world, aren’t you on the same moral plane?

    it is also funny that you called us “thugs”…
    can i call you “honky”?


  23. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:03 pm


    I know there’s a fine line sometimes. From what I’ve seen, Fred should lay off Rising Nola. It wouldn’t even be inconsistent, since he already lays off the “turn down da rap” sign and homemade street signs.

  24. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:17 pm


    Since Fred gets public aid, public money there should be a public view of complaints against the graffiti and against Fred.

    I don’t think he actually gets public money. I think he relies on donations and private grants.

    Fred has been BANNED from the French Quarter because he refuses to color match!!!

    No he hasn’t. He AGREED to color match if the Vieux Carre Commission would supply the paint, which they have.


    Been under I-10 by Carrollton lately, a veritable SEA OF GRAY!!

    Um… Underpasses are *naturally* gray. Besides, it’s an underpass. It doesn’t have to look great, you just don’t want to see graffiti everywhere.

    There is very LITTLE gang graffiti in town and where that is – well let’s just say FRED won’t go there as most of us won’t!!!!!!!!

    Very little gang graffiti? Here? What city do you think this is?

  25. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:21 pm


    You might like graffiti artists, but they’re breaking the law. Moreover, I personally hate graffiti. I don’t like the giant ego-boosting letters, even if they’re colorful. If people want to commission murals, that’s fine. Graffiti artists have no right to vandalize private and public property.

    And I’ve been to Amsterdam. The graffiti makes it look dirty and ruined. Graffiti is even placed on historic structures and walls, with no regard for the history.

  26. Owen (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

    Jack Ware,

    The difference is that Fred Radke’s group is openly supported by the city and the police. They aren’t just looking the other way; they support him.

  27. krewe of krabkakes (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

    this is my last one:
    dont bother replying because im not gonna read it.
    fred was rebuked by the city council YEARS ago–
    gained any civic knowledge lately?
    –obviously not.
    the NOPD now has him on the list of people to watch for.
    ask me how i know. (oh wait, i wont read it because i’ll be on the streets!)
    also… i dont recall ANY of the business or home owners i know uptown telling him to JUMP THEIR FENCES to paint.
    and unlike “certain people” who like to talk: i’m going to be out on the streets ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING.
    fred radtke is being stalked and baited.
    he is a criminal.
    he ruins peoples property before it can be fixed.
    we know where he lives.
    we know what he drives.
    we know his schedule.
    we know his habits.
    we know what he drinks.
    we know how much he masturbates.
    we know.

  28. Kapaali (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 1:47 am

    To each his own, Owen. I find it interesting that you would say Amsterdam looked dirty and ruined, especially coming from New Orleans where we have dirt and ruin down to a science. Even with the graffiti Amsterdam is one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever seen and the graffiti I saw there was some of the best art I’ve ever laid eyes on. I guess you’re one of those people who doesn’t see graffiti as art and sees it merely as a nuisance that should be painted over. It’s your loss.

  29. J.B. (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 3:14 am

    Wow. Personally, if anything I was involved in or any course of action I was contemplating led to my having a specific awareness of how often Fred Ratdke does or does not masturbate, I would take that as a clear sign that I was making the wrong life choices.

    I wish I could put a big grey blotch in my mind, to cover that disturbing image.

  30. Owen (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 7:23 am

    I think everyone can now see that, regardless of what you think of Radke, this “krewe of krabkakes” of quite disturbed. I mean, Radke might go to lengths to paint over graffiti, but I haven’t heard of him stalking anybody, which is a much more serious crime that *anything* involving graffiti.

    It’s just me, but you might want to ban anybody who speaks openly of stalking people from your comments.

  31. Owen (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 7:30 am


    I’m not just one guy; most people regard vanadalism as a nuisance. I don’t know of any jurisdiction that doesn’t penalize it. Very few people consider it art.

    As for Amsterdam, maybe you saw some graffiti that I didn’t, but it all seemed pretty typical to me. Some of the names were done 3-D and in color, but when you’ve seen one of those you’ve seen them all. The majority I saw was the same ol’ same ol’ poorly done, self-aggrandizing nonsense you find anywhere.

    I didn’t think it was especially clean, either. Vienna and Zurich are quite clean. Amsterdam was more in the same league as London and Paris, which aren’t very clean.

  32. Kapaali (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 8:31 am

    Okay, Owen. I just think we’re seeing with very different eyes, but that’s okay, I suppose.

  33. Ann (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 10:07 am

    Some interesting tidbits concerning the historical and cultural value of graffiti:

    “The only known source of the Safaitic language, a form of proto-Arabic, is from graffiti”

    “Errors in spelling and grammar in this graffiti offer insight into the degree of literacy in Roman times and provide clues on the pronunciation of spoken Latin.”

    “political groups and individuals may also use graffiti as a tool to spread their point of view. This practice, due to its illegality, has generally become favoured by groups excluded from the political mainstream . . .who justify their activity by pointing out that . . . a “ruling class” or “establishment” control the mainstream press, systematically excluding the radical/alternative point of view.”

    “Graffiti art is now on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.”

    As I said before – not that I advocate defacing of public property, but not all graffiti is bad graffiti and it is generally held in academic circles to be of great value.

  34. Owen (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 10:47 am


    No offense, but dropping a crucifix in a jar of urine and taking a picture of it is “generally held in academic circles to be of great value.” The kind of nonsense modern academics regard as “art” has become a running gag in our popular culture, and for good reason.

    And sure, the Brooklyn Museum can do an exhibition on graffiti quite easily today because it isn’t the problem in NY it once was. That’s because an enormous amount of tax dollars have been spent graffiti proofing public walls and subway trains.

    As a consequence, taggers have started resorting to using acid to burn their graffiti into various public surfaces. It’s exactly as unsafe and destructive as it sounds.

    As far using graffiti for political statements, well, the question then becomes how far do you want to go? Should radical pro-lifers feel justified in spray painting “baby killers” all over every planned parenthood building? Radical political groups use graffiti because their fanaticism causes them to disregard all law and authority. That’s not a net positive, regardless of what certain academics think.

  35. Ann (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 11:01 am

    Your examples prove Jack’s previous point, as well as that of Kapaali, that yours is a subjective analysis of graffiti, as is mine. I see the value in graffiti, while acknowledging the drawbacks. You only see the negative aspects. To use a cliche’, I see the glass as half full, you see it as half empty. Nothing wrong with that. But you should at least concede that those of us who disagree with you over the validity and value of graffiti are entitled to our opinions as much as you are to yours. We are not condoning violence, or degradation of our communities by doing so. We have repeatedly said as much. You have skipped over those portions of the posts and instead focussed on minutia. To use another cliche’, you can’t see the forest for the trees. We appreciate its positive attributes. You don’t. Agree to disagree, but please stop disparaging us.

    I think Amsterdam is beautiful. Paris as well. Never been to Zurich – it’s a little too Calvinist for me. I have to go tag some chalkboards now. :-)

  36. DanF (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    All this hootin and holarin over a lil bit of paint. Geez people, don’t we have more important things to get right than this?

    Screw it, let me go be an ostrich

  37. Kapaali (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

    “No offense, but dropping a crucifix in a jar of urine and taking a picture of it is ‘generally held in academic circles to be of great value.'”

    If you’re trying to make a statement about religion and its effect on your life, your culture and the lives of others, yeah, it is of great value. Not everyone gets it, obviously, but it’s still art and will still have value to someone, even if it’s only the artist.

    But hey, we’ve got enough to discuss here without bringing Jesus and pee into the fray. ;-)

  38. Robert Sutton (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

    Jesus fish swim perfectly in this discussion.

  39. termite. (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

    I knew sooner or later Robert S. was gonna put his $0.02 worth on the Jesus factor.


  40. Laurie (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

    You mean we still have traffice signs?!


  41. reaction (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 2:55 am

    I think one reason that people are tired of radtkes grey is that it hasn’t lessened the graffiti one bit. He has had laws passed that if you have any markings on your property he deems graffiti that you have 5 days to remeove it or face stiff daily fines unless you have him grey it out. There are no legal walls in this town for kids to paint on because he has done all he can to link graffitii to crime and gang activity. Has any of this stopped the spread of graffiti?
    Seems I see more and more every year and it seems like a game he now likes playing with kids.

    The real kicker is that he was able to get it so that if you want to paint any type of mural on an exterior wall of your property you have to get a permit from the health department and the fee starts at $1,200. I have actually tried to talk to him about this by calling up his hotline(his cell #) and trying to see what could be done since we were trying to get a group of art students to paint a picture on a wall that didn’t even face the street. His attitude was one that made me think he is a little off his rocker and if you see the compulsion with which he spends all his free time painting the town it’s not surprising. His tone was pretty agressive and he took the attitude that he was responsible for the laws so his views were the only ones right.

    I believe the definition of insasnity is to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result and thats what his solution is. The graf kids aren’t going away, another one takes up the can everyday, and he hasn’t stopped private property from being destroyed, just made it so that you can’t read what was written but just as ugly. One of the things I have learned by watching his spots closely is that they continue to get painted over by him and then tagged so that it never stops because it has become something personal between him and the taggers.

    Rmember he has now been doing this for a decade and there is still tags going up everynight so there must be a better solution and I don’t think it will happen with him so it is time for the city to send him a cease and decist letter so that better minds can try to figure something out.

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