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One tastefully completed bathroom wall. One lamp. One frame. One muted tone of paint. And one insignia which I?m thinking was not part of the original vision. Outright vandalism or public character? While part of me hates this lack of respect for others property, a shred of me appreciates these flares of individuality for the extra cycle my mind's forced into while it plays an adult version of Where's Waldo or What Does Not Belong game.

Perhaps I just don't understand this form of expression. Maybe it possesses some greater purpose that is beyond me. I am oftentimes staggered at how artistically gifted some of these taggers are, but mostly I'm just dumbfounded at the inane nature of their scrawled outburst. Other times I feel as though the city should employ them, the skilled ones at least, in attempt to brighten the otherwise blighted patches of urban landscape. If such a program were started, I would apply. My resume would be lean though. I have not defiled the side of a rail car or hung precariously from a fire escape to tell my message in some bloated Fat Albert font and I have not, in marker, written my Arabic looking symbols on the side of a public phone. But my work ethic would be sound and I would dress above average and take on the unwanted project where others are skittish. So perhaps I could win a spot on the team through a solid chin-up, Johnny Hustle demeanor.

AUG2001

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