Blog post and photos by John Hoff,
I wasn't quite through picking on "SHOCK," though, and I thought I'd continue my critique of him...
On the last weekend I spent with my son, Alex, during our 5 weeks of summer visitation, we went on a little excursion to random places and I told Alex, "Keep an eye out for SHOCK's tag. I need a picture."
My son always takes these "lookout" missions seriously, at least when he thinks the mission is fun and he's into it, like when we go on "shoe patrol." Alex will watch intently for something and not break his watchfulness until that thing is found. So it wasn't very long before he found SHOCK's tags, including the one pictured above.
Tell me how this is art. Tell me how this is meaningful. This overgrown child scribbles his self-inflicted nickname on, well, everything. Currently, he is (quite arguably) the most prolific tagger in the Twin Cities. And here's why I bring that up...
The authorities have clearly made a decision to ignore taggers and concentrate on bigger crimes. And this makes economic sense. But the taggers have obviously figured out the lack of police priority, to the point they are happily documenting their crimes on the internet. So here is what I suggest:
Every year, or maybe every six months, or (during times when budgets aren't so tight) every three months, the authorities should figure out which Twin Cities tagger is both overly-prolific and well-documented on social media and GO AFTER THAT PARTICULAR TAGGER TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OUT OF HIM. (It might be helpful if various do-gooders made a point of tracking down the identity of the taggers via social media and just present their evidence to the police, social-media vigilante style)
This will send a chill through the tagger community. They will figure out it's best not to brag about your deeds on social media. They will think, "Better not to be TOO prolific, better not to overdo things." Perhaps they'll make a tactical decision to concentrate on the rail yards and STAY AWAY FROM THE REST OF THE URBAN LANDSCAPE, the part under the control of city authorities.
Driving the taggers away from the use of social media will help break the cycle which creates taggers. Clearly, social media contains "tagger propaganda" which encourages children of about my son's age to become taggers themselves. But thank God I never have to worry about my son. I never need to think, "When I come home, will Alex be away with his tagger buddies, wearing his pants below his ass and listening to emo bands like Hawthorne Heights?"
On a happier note, here are some photos of that excursion with my son who is NOT a tagger, NOT an emo and, God willing, never will be.
Contributed photo, xoxo
At a small Asian deli in Frogtown, I got some cheap chicken wings, only to be surprised by some kind of noodle stuffing. How did they even get those noodles INSIDE the chicken wing? Naturally, Alex wouldn't try this dish. Actually, my son is willing to eat a small bite of almost any new and exciting food...if somebody will pay him a dollar.
A low-cost "exotic foods excursion" never fails to turn up something interesting and amazing. Here is a can of artichoke drink. Ah, cool refreshing artichoke drink. You're probably wondering what it tastes like? Well, it tastes similar to the white fungus drink sold in the same store, only not as sweet. I prefer the white fungus.