No value in “tagging’

This week's editorial criticizes the graffiti artist who tagged Port McNeill this weekend.

Art can be found in a lot of places besides high-toned galleries and small-town gift shops.

The England-based street artist Banksy has earned critical acclaim for his subversive works of political and social graffiti, even to retroactive preservation of what began as unauthorized works.

His art is both visually compelling and thought-provoking, even if not always welcome by the owners of the buildings he chooses for his “canvas”.

California protester Jeff Olson also sought to spark dialogue when he scrawled anti-bank messages on sidewalks in front of several big-bank branches in Southern California. Despite the fact he wrote his protest in washable sidewalk chalk, Olson was hauled into court on multiple vandalism charges before being found not guilty by a jury earlier this week.

What happened in Port McNeill over the Canada Day weekend, however, is something altogether different.

The tagging in spray paint of numerous buildings, both public and private, was not only wanton, but repetitive and uninteresting.

Its only message was an expression of contempt for  community. Its imagery, a willful stain on the fabric of society.

Sure, a bank and credit union were hit, but the mostly indecipherable tag bore little resemblance to Olson’s  chalked “No thanks, big banks.” And why the medical clinic? The school? The tourism centre?

If this was a protest, it was a protest against all facets of life on the North Island and the people who live here.

Good luck rounding up support for that cause, pal. The only dialogue you’ve sparked is a wholehearted agreement that you be caught and made to pay.