Representin' the Mid '90s

Dave, man, I knew you felt strongly about the ’90s, but you didn’t have to go and vandalize private property to prove your point.

But seriously, for this week’s I Heart Street Art, I just posted a bunch of graffiti from around the Mission that I was afraid to post here in light of the recent backlash.

Okay, kidding again. For reals though, this week’s post was written with the aid of a powerful dose of Benadryl. Holler if it sucks. Link.

30 Responses to “Representin' the Mid '90s”

  1. Glenparker says:

    Well if it’s your property then yea, it sucks.

  2. 18th at Harrison says:

    Word. What’s up with the repeated homages to graffiti? Its analogous to saying its ok to hit someone if the hitter is someone you like and the hit-ee is someone you don’t. Violence is violence, and graffiti is graffiti.

  3. Junk Thief says:

    Okay, now I am asking myself if all my photographing of graffiti qualifies me as an enabler.

  4. mark says:

    please keep photographing graffiti.

  5. 18th at Harrison says:

    @mark — hit me up with the address of something you own (if you own nothing, then you’re mom & dad’s address will suit) and I will do you a double favor — I’ll tag & photag for ya!

  6. mark says:

    if only i had property in the city!

    you can’t photograph graffiti, you can’t photograph cops . . . seriously, what else is there to take pictures of in this city?

    i wasn’t trying to make a point for or against graffiti or vandalism, but i think we should feel free to photograph whatever we want without feeling bad about it. graffiti is graffiti, taking photos is taking photos.

  7. Monty says:

    Mark – The difference is the tone of how the photos are posted. The graffiti posted on this site is generally saying “look at the cool graffiti in the mission” rather than “another asshole causes a homeowner to waste a saturday morning.” Some on another thread made a point about how the site mentions violence/shootings in the Mission, so why is graffiti off-limits? Well, that’s not a good analogy as the posts about violence are not represented as “look at what’s hot in the 94110.” Comparing photos of graffiti to photos of police shooting civilians on the Bart or *potentially* being out of line on 16th is comparing apples to oranges.

    In short, I doubt anyone is objecting to taking photos of graffiti. What concerns most people is presenting graffiti as cool on a widely-read and respected community resource.

  8. zinzin says:

    “widely-read and respected community resource”.

    you go allan.

  9. mark says:

    i actually think the editorial tone here is pretty fair. if you want to start a blog and put pictures of graffiti with captions like that, like a wall of shame, you should totally go for it. but i don’t think this blog has some kind of ethical obligation to only post negative stuff about graffiti. it’s a blog, not a news organization.

  10. mark says:

    better yet, you guys should get c.w. nevius to start a blog where every post he’s just complaining about how shitty something or someone in san francisco is. “what’s with all these goddamned homeless people?” “someone shat in front of my mansion!” “let’s tear down that historic building pronto!” “do we really need two bridges?” et cetera.

    it would be great for all the perpetually pissed off homeowners of the city!

  11. zinzin says:

    @mark – why are you hatin’ on homeowners?

  12. mark says:

    i’m not hating on homeowners, although i have trouble getting really weepy for anyone fortunate enough to be able to afford to own in the city. i’m seriously glad they can afford condos or houses or whatever. i just don’t think they’re the oppressed underclass of san francisco that some homeowners seem to want to think. i also don’t think they have some exclusive right to decide what goes on in the city, as other homeowners seem to think. i’m not talking about all homeowners, obviously.

    i’m just tired of everyone being so negative about every last thing in san francisco.

    i happen to like living in the city.

  13. zinzin says:

    i agree it’s easy to be bitchy & negative on a blog. i’m certainly more guilty than most.

    you obviously have an understanding of how hard most folks need to work for their piece of the rock in the city…much less the mission. it’s really fucking expensive….and graffiti is a hit direct to the pocketbook of a property owner. so the bitching & moaning isn’t entirely surprising.

    that said…far as i can tell, it’s renters that rule the city, not homeowners. with more than 60% of the city in the hands of renters…my view is, they’re calling the sots for the most part.

  14. 18th at Harrison says:

    My god this thread is so civilized. Manna from heaven civilized. I guess what got me going was the salute to the “ribbity” graffiti on a hand crafted sign near where I live. It was this perfect little sign that an artist made, that added to the neighborhood, and some ass wipe tags it and voila! Its “featured” here as though its anything but an obnoxious act of destruction. And who’s whining about living in the city? Not moi. I love it here, and I fight for the things and people and places I love. I choose to live here, and choose to really have a thing about people who swim in and disrespect the place instead of adding something of value. On a side note, has anyone else noticed the seemingly weekly uptick in the vivacity of our own 18th street? I mean good lord, what started with a bakery, a food shop and a pizza place is migrating swiftly toward of all places, east. From Dolores to Sanchez is still pretty much same old same old, but in the other direction its just on fire. I personally hope that this trend continues. Its become the best pedestrian corridor in the city if you ask me.

  15. G. says:

    I don’t know why the property rights conversation is surrounding this particular piece. It’s obviously done on some temporary, particle board, structure that was sloppily painted at best.

    Further, most of the posts on Mission Mission showcase graffiti on either temporary or public surfaces, not homes. And let’s remember, this is Allan’s take on the Mission and he has called out graffiti that he isn’t down with – like the piece on the car turret.

    To conclude, graffiti does serve a purpose in all forms. It reminds homeowners that they are subject to the cultures they live in. Your home is not your castle, and especially not the outside. The Mission is a gritty neighborhood and that’s why property values are lower. People who own property in the Mission paid less because there is graffiti and crime, people in Pac Heights paid more because there isn’t. They even pay more in property taxes to have to fund the programs that police vandalism. I’m not for graffiti on homes since most of it sucks, I’ve had to clean it off my rental unit numerous times, and I don’t think people should get fined for not cleaning graffiti off their homes. But I do accept it as part of the fabric of the neighborhood, like sickly and diseased pigeons, and often enjoy some of the nicer graf art done on public property.

  16. Glenparker says:

    “Your home is not your castle” maybe be true for Cuba but not for the United States.

  17. jimbeam says:

    Hey, did you pay taxes on your property? Do you hold the allodial title?

    Your home isn’t your castle in the US. Deal with it.

    Also, the graffiti is generally posted in a neutral tone. Some people appreciate graffiti, some don’t. I don’t think anyone is changing any minds around here.

  18. zinzin says:

    while the notion of “castle” may be misused, i think that G’s tone is saying more like: “if you live in the mission, you need to accept your house getting tagged as part of our rich tapestry”….

    with perhaps a bit of “you uptight homeowner who wants to limit freedom of expression by not liking tags…why don’t you go live in Pac Heights if you don’t like the mission as gritty as i like it”.

    so while i agree with jimbeam that some folks like graffiti and some don’t, and while i think glenparker’s comment was reactionary…

    the notion that any mission resident (homeowner or otherwise) cannot take pride in their own home, in the way that they wish to take pride in it, and perhaps even strive to make the neighborhood a bit more to their liking, seems a little small minded.

    and the anti-homeowner sentiments…i just don’t get it.

    but hey, maybe G & jimbeam & glenparker were saying something completely different, and i totally misread all 3 posts.

  19. jimbeam says:

    No, I think you got what I meant.

    I think it’s good when people take pride in their homes and their neighborhood. I’ve yet to see any houses tagged up in the Mission (at least ones that aren’t currently unused) and I think it would be pretty lame if “Pussy Juice” showed up on the front of your house Zin.

    I think the difference comes down to the rest of the property/areas/sidewalks in the neighborhood and what we think is appropriate for those surfaces.

  20. zinzin says:

    heh. for some reason, the tags on my wall (and block) almost always say “MS13″…which for me is kinda worse than “pussy juice”.

    far as houses tagged…quite a few along 19th between SVN & DP.

    but 19th is apparently the divider between red & blue turf, so it’s not entirely surprising (with a tip of the hat to G & our rich tapestry).

  21. Glenparker says:

    How about I express my artistic abilities on your car or bicycle? Would that be ok? I promise to make it real artsy and cool.
    So because I live (and was born) in the Mission I just have to accept acts of vandalism? Please give my your address so I can come over and vandalize your shit in the name of art.
    And why yes, I do pay taxes on my property; imagine that.
    If you do not see houses tagged in the Mission then you are blind. It’s fucking everywhere.

  22. mark says:

    yeah man, that will teach em. if someone doesn’t get all weepy about your castle being tagged, or doesn’t happen to agree with you about the (obvious) things that go along with living in a city, then you should go tag their shit! this ain’t cuba, it’s the u s of america man! you got the right, man, it’s totally ethical!

  23. Glenparker says:

    Funny but I’ve lived most of my life and never had to bother with tagging but now all these asshole “artists” have moved to SF and suddenly hey man it’s the neighborhood just put up with it.

  24. jimbeam says:

    Dude, people tagging MS13 and scribbling on houses are, most likely, not kids who have recently moved to the mission and consider themselves artists. We’re talking about two different things here.

  25. zinzin says:

    i’d say there’s plenty of tags from both camps:

    gang kids (“ms13″, “norte”, “sur”, etc)

    and “art” kids (“spray”, “orfn”, “count chocula”, etc.).

    and likely there’s a camp of kids that doesn’t fit either above stereotype (and damn them for not fitting).

    if we’re talking about the scrawl (and “art”) that’s shown here on MM, it’s the latter 2 camps for sure.

  26. Glenparker says:

    I agree Zinzin. Although I do have a problem with gang members tagging private property I realize they do it to mark their territory and that I can sort of understand. But these punks who spray what they think is cool or artsy little doodles on private property deserve their asses kicked and a one way ticket back to the suburbs of New Hampshire.
    I’m not sure who would be your third group.

  27. zinzin says:

    yeah. i get it. and i don’t disagree.

    that said, while it’s a huge pain in the ass to paint over tags, i’m trying (believe it or not) to focus my energy – both good & bad – on bigger issues in the hood.

    i’ll take a few tags any day, over pimps & ho’s & drug dealers dragging their asses up & down my block all day & all night.

    right now we have all of it. we’ll see what we can do…

  28. jimbeam says:

    Hahaha, that’s just awesome. You’d rather have gang tags in your neighborhood than non-gang tags? Even when you consider what gang tags indicate? I thought you guys were all about cleaning up the neighborhood.

  29. zinzin says:

    um, no. i wasn’t making a distinction between tags “a” and tags “b”.

    i’m saying i’d rather have a few tags – regardless of provenance – than overt & tolerated street crime.

    also….”cleaning up” the neighborhood – as i am sure you know – isn’t going to make gangs go away. the issue there is far deeper than a “clean up”.

    pimps & ho’s…i am not so sure.

  30. jimbeam says:

    And in honor of today…

    Legalizing drugs would definitely help deal with the underlying reasons for gangs.

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