I grew up in the inner city where graffiti was as common as billboards on Sunset Boulevard.
Graffiti was plastered on buildings, bus stops, freeway signs, bridges, churches, government buildings- the more outrageous the location, the greater pride the "tagger" experienced.
Gang members marked their "turf" (a misappropriated horticultural word) with their gang names and personal nicknames to proclaim their "ownership" and dominance over a neighborhood.
So when you see rampant graffiti in an area, consider yourself warned: you are standing on hostile ground.
When I was a teen, my family moved to a "graffiti-free" neighborhood in the suburbs.
No gangs, no graffiti.
In fact, if anyone even tried to "tag" a wall in this neighborhood, the graffiti was removed the very next day!
I felt safer living in the tree-lined suburbs of the Valley, north of Los Angeles.
The concrete jungle was behind me and I embraced greener pastures in a neighborhood where pride of ownership was expressed in well maintained yards and "deviant art" from spray cans was not tolerated.
So much for waxing nostalgic about my neighborhood…
There was a tree that caught my eye at the local shopping center the other day.
No, I wasn't captivated by the tree's sculptural form or graceful foliage.
There was nothing about the tree itself that impressed me but there was something about it that seemed familiar.
I got in my car and drove towards it.
As I got closer to the tree , I saw strange blue markings on the trunk.
My heart sank when I realized that the tree had been defaced with graffiti.
It pissed me off to see this tree marked and branded by a thoughtless punk!
Did this vandal not understand that a tree, unlike a concrete wall or billboard, can not be stripped and painted over?
A tree is a living organism and will not be "owned" by an uncaring thug who tattoos his name upon it's skin.