Saturday, July 09, 2011

Best ever graffiti prophylactic: 'We're going to get this kid a job'

After the conviction of a prolific graffiti artist "Evero," Dallas graffiti czar John Barr came up with a solutions oriented suggestion that may do more to reduce graff than anything else (given the relatively small universe of truly prolific street writers): "We're going to get this kid a job," he announced, after serial graff offender, "Evero," aka Everling Wills was sentenced to six months in jail by Judge Teresa Hawthore. Wills, now 20, had a string of graffiti convictions as a juvenile before his current bout with the law. "Since his arrest," reported the Dallas News, "signs by fellow artists to 'Free Evero' have popped up on bridges around town."

Notably, at least two different opinions were offered in court regarding Mr. Wills' artistic talents. "“That’s not art, that’s vandalism,” was the assessment of the prosecutor. But the Judge Hawthorne begrudgingly granted that "Wills has talent, the judge said as she examined portraits submitted by his attorney. 'You can make a living at this,' she said." That was also, apparently, the graffiti czar's assessment, reported the News' Diane Jennings:
Going to court could turn out to be a good career move for Wills. Attorney John Barr, who has mounted a campaign to clean up graffiti in the city and has been dubbed Dallas’ “graffiti czar,” said the judge’s sentence was appropriate. “The point is that the kid’s got a lot of talent and doesn’t have a lot of support,” Barr said.

Dallas needs to develop alternatives for expression and ways to develop self-esteem, Barr said.

“We’re going to get this kid a job,” he said.
Wills was sentenced to six months in jail, though if he violates his probation Judge Hawthorned promised to sentence him to four years. Which do you think would be a better, long-term preventive to keep Mr. Wills and his friends from writing on walls in Dallas? A long stint in jail, a four-year prison sentence, or strong probation on the back end and a job? The latter sure costs less, if Mr Wills will accept and take advantage of the opportunity. As always in such cases, you can offer folks a chance but can never make their choices for them.

BTW, you know how else you can apparently make a living at in Dallas? Cleaning spraypainted trashcans. Reported the News, "Prosecutors told the court it cost the city $66 per trash bin to clean them." I keep trying to imagine what combination of products and labor might amount to $66 per trashcan cleaned, and a reasonable calculation eludes me. Further evidence, if more were needed, that Grits has chosen the wrong line of work.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grits you are wonderful. You've got your bloggers agonizing over whether vandalism is art. I say take it a step farther--have them start agonizing over whether or not home invasion is performance art. If anybody could pull that off, it would be you.

PirateFriedman said...

" I keep trying to imagine what combination of products and labor might amount to $66 per trashcan cleaned, and a reasonable calculation eludes me. Further evidence, if more were needed, that Grits has chosen the wrong line of work"

Find a way to get bonded. Get workers compensation for you and all your employees. You also might need umbrella insurance. Try to get a minority to partner with you in the business so you have that edge.

Anonymous said...

Told him once. Told him twice. Told him countless times afterwards. Do not deface other's property. He still does it. Well, he needs a job. He needs to be working in the Huntsville fields wearing white and pondering why he decided to ignore warning after warning after warning after warning after warning, etc.

Leejay said...

RE 12:31 Or just make it a work detail for graffiti offenders serving "county time" for related offenses.

Anonymous said...

Wow ....a griffitti artist convicted in texas ,maybe the judge who convicted this guy should of been the judge in casey baby killer case ...just a thought

cheenna said...

I like the idea of giving the kid a job and a chance. Can't imagine him going in anywhere and writing on an app past experience of spray painting walls, submitting a portfolio and walking away with a job. He becomes a productive citizen, pays taxes, develops self esteem and becomes a good citizen.
Much better than locked up with us all paying the bill and him becoming more disillusioned, learning God only knows what other new tricks from the hard core. Ones needs to think this thru ... not always is lock em up and throw away the key as the answer. Those that are locked up for victimless (yes, victimless, sure he paints the side of your building but in a lot of cases, this is an improvement) generally do not change their lives.

Anonymous said...

Absolute nonsense to the average population. Why the h*ll would someone want to do that. Well, it’s a risky non rewarding practice for the true artists. Not to be confused with the unattractive gang bus that is recklessly scribbled with no thought.. We leave our marks in the darkest alleys, abandoned buildings, under rocks or wherever it seems appropriate. Not to get publicity, not for territory markings but for someone who will see it later and... Think about it. Whether they Hate it, love it, or are ultimately or confused by it. They noticed it and thought about it. That’s what creates motivation for the "tagging". It’s an expression. We have hundreds of advertisements shoved in our face everyday, but non permitted freedom of expression is a serious crime........WOWZER

PirateFriedman said...

I don't want to missquote Grits, but from reading his other posts I think he believes defacing government property should be less of a crime, or perhaps not a crime at all. But defacing private property should be always be sactioned.

I agree with this idea. Granted, I'm a libertarian, and I don't have the same reasoning. But if you really are a conservative and you hate big government, why should you care aout protecting government property at all? And even worse, why should you want to pay tens of thousands a year to keep these kids in prison?

Talk said...

66 bucks a trash can? Hell you can go to Lowes and replace the thing for 35 bucks!!!

Anonymous said...

Many people are willing to go along with whatever trashy trend comes up. They see no problem with government buildings being sprayed and tagged. The have no problem with moving closer and closer to a Road Warrior society.