Heather Mac Donald on celebrating graffiti barbarians:
MOCA’s practice of removing graffiti from its premises represents cutting-edge urban policy; too bad its curatorial philosophy isn’t equally up-to-date. Graffiti is the bane of cities. A neighborhood that has succumbed to graffiti telegraphs to the world that social and parental control there has broken down. Potential customers shun graffiti-ridden commercial strips if they can; so do most merchants, fearing shoplifting and robberies. Law-abiding residents avoid graffiti-blighted public parks, driven away by the spirit-killing ugliness of graffiti as much as by its criminality.
[As Steve Martin once put it, "Those French have a word for everything."