Lyndon Hood: Graffiti Tagged For Destruction

Published: Fri 15 Feb 2008 04:46 PM
Graffiti Tagged For DestructionSatire by Lyndon Hood

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The Government today announced its response to the fatal stabbing of an alleged tagger by an alleged Auckland businessman.
The plan to ban spraypaint sales to under-18-year-olds was welcomed by stationers and permanent marker manufacturers everywhere.
The proposed new crime covering graffiti and tagging has been applauded for making criminals of people who were already breaking the law.
To emphasise the horrors of tagging, the Prime Minister described it as "wilful damage". The minimum sentence for the new crime will, apparently, be higher than that for wilful damage. Presumably this is because of the inherent moral evil of paint.
In furtherance of the legislative principles at work, we can also expect bills increasing the penalty for littering by an order of magnitude and banning chewing gum.
The new law will also progress the Labour-led government's campaign to introduce cool new words into the statute books. 'Tagging' in the new bill will join 'blog' in the Electoral Finance Act. During the year we can also expect an amendment explaining that 'n00bs' may not practice medicine.
We can also forsee tidy-up legislation for the original bill, to create a new crime of supplying a minor with art materials.
Some have described the proposal as unfairly targeting youth, but this ignores one important point: kids can't vote.
The current proposal will, we assume, only be opposed by taggers, legitimate under-18 users of spraypaint, lovers of avant-garde calligraphy, proponents of the Bill of Rights, and the Green Party. As such it is likely to succeed.
If it does, it's even possible that the law might work. We may remove once and for all the ugly blot on our cities caused by graffiti from the outside of the ugly blots on our cities caused by developers. And the youth will find other outlets for the creative impulse behind tagging.
Such as breaking windows.

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