The Myth Exposed Part 2

Boston likes to think of itself as a liberal city. As a matter of fact, Massachusetts as a whole loves to think of itself as a liberal state. We take great pride in it. We beat our chests about it, and always vote democrat. We make up our own rules and generally thumb our noses at the rest of the country who see us as a bunch of left wing zealots. But hey, we were the first state to allow gay marriage. Take that America.

So why is the headline of this weeks column called the myth exposed you ask? The it the headline because this whole liberal state thing is just that, a myth. Case and point, on my way to work last week I was reading a article in the Metro (yes I read it) about how the anti-graffiti campaign fight was going. Truth be told I haven’t seen a lot of graffiti in the last few years, not anything new anyway. Fact is tagging on private or even public property can get you a hefty fine, or even put in jail. This whole uproar or war against graffiti started a long time ago, when a few citizens got their knickers in a bunch when graffiti artists began to tag private property.

While I don’t condone the profanity-laced stuff or tagging headstones, couldn’t there be a better way to solve this problem than throwing people in jail. How about a taggers park where artists can tag to their hearts content? After all isn’t graffiti art? A form of self-expression? Besides I happened to like the Andre the Giant tags, and if we are so liberal, wouldn’t we be ok with a taggers park?

But no, some of us are just a bunch of stuffed shirts when it comes to self-expression. Some of those stuffed shirts are the Graffiti NABBers organization based in the Back Bay, whose chairperson Anne Swanson would be just all aglow if no one ever tagged in Boston ever again.

I guess I shouldn’t really be shocked by this. Some Back Bay folk seem to be a little stuffy when it comes to their neighborhood, and more than a little full of themselves. Just one walk down Newbury Street and you’d be hard pressed to think of Boston as a liberal city. This was also the street that still really doesn’t want SCN vendors there.

So tell me Ms Swanson, what did the graffiti artists of America, and Shepard Fairey in particular, ever do to you or your NABBers? For those of you who don’t know, Fairey was the artist who did the Obama hope sign. He also is the person who did the images of Andre The Giant, which he was sued for. Our friend Ms Swanson is very proud of the fact that her group was the first to stand against Fairey and his renderings. REALLY? Proud of the fact that you shut down someone’s right to self-expression. Sounds like a load of you know what to me. So I guess we’re not so liberal after all. Self-Expression is a right, not a crime. What’s next, taking away a journalist’s right to his or her own opinion. That’s a form of self-expression too.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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