Politics can be fun, sometimes.
The City government of San Francisco was cutting the budget a few years ago to make more room for union pension payments. The cost of maintaining trees on public sidewalks stood out as a visible target. About $30 million in salaries to trim and care for street trees, became the target. So the City passed a law that all trees on the sidewalks were to be cared for by the property owners nearest the sidewalks.
The City then proceeded to mark with white paint spots and lines all sidewalks that were cracked because of the tree roots. The bureaucrats then sent notices to the property owners to fix the sidewalks and maintain the trees.
One close friend who was long since retired and in her 90s got the notices from the City and found she had to pay $15,000 for a new sidewalk. She was pissed. There were thousands like her. After about 5 years of this abuse of citizens, the citizens put a measure on the ballot to make the city responsible for all sidewalk trees. It passed overwhelmingly.
The photo on the right is a piece of art making fun of the former City white spots, gone wild. Art as protest.
The second photo is a rock outside a Japanese restaurant. When it was first put there, a few months ago, it was a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. .Then dogs and street people began peeing on it and the bottom had to be painted to facilitate cleaning.
Most recently it has been tagged on the unpainted top part.
I consider ‘tagging’ to be anti-art It is designed to make the object it is on ugly. Like new buses and new subway cars. Taggers are the people who want the world to be ugly. I know it is hard to believe that there are such people but it is hard to believe that we have over 1.5 million people in prison for killing, robbing and raping their fellow humans.
There are people called graffitists who paint images on public places. Some are good, some aren’t. I don’t put them in the same category as ‘taggers’. Taggers are like dog owners who seem internally content to leave their dog’s poop where the dog left it.