I’m amazed by some of the letters to the editor I see in the newspaper. I know there are always weird letters to the editor in every paper, but at least some of them look like they were written by someone intelligent. You may not agree with the writer and think he’s kind of out there, but you don’t finish the letter and shake your head.
This letter, on the other hand is just odd. This was sent after the paper published stories about a guy getting charged with vandalism after spray-painting messages on bridges and buildings downtown. So, take it away, ditzy!
Spray-painting sparks discussion in the city
ANDREA K. BENNETT
(Aug 8, 2006)
Dear Editor – Re: ‘Local activist accused of spray-painting downtown wall’
(Guelph Mercury, Aug. 3).
Shock, shock, horror, horror. Free speech finds its avenue via spray paint.
When the newspaper persists in writing these irresponsible articles, linking local activists both implicitly and explicitly — without real cause — to serious crimes that have been committed in the area, it’s no wonder that some folks take to more direct forms of expression.
In context, the two stencils make perfect satirical sense. I like the stencils and spray-painting that show up around town; they spark discussion and they’re often esthetically pleasing. This in marked contrast to the grey- and blue-striped wall now located at the top of Northumberland Street.
In short: living in this town with our overstaffed police force and undernewsed daily newspaper gets more restrictive and frustrating day to day.
Andrea K. Bennett
Ok, I think I can pick my jaw up off the floor. Irresponsible articles? They were, um, printing the news. A guy got charged with vandalism, they wrote about it. That’s what a *newspaper* is supposed to do. They didn’t dream up his name and theorize about what he might have done. They said, “Hey folks, here’s the guy who police have charged with spray-painting those messages downtown.”
Next, there’s this whole bullshit about linking activists to serious crimes around the city. I don’t think the author of the article had to say one word. Our friendly neighbourhood graphic artist did it all himself. He wrote the words “eco-terrorist” which had also been written by other people who, months before, had set fire to some stuff. Isn’t it amazing how good the mind is at playing connect the dots?
And who gives a rat’s ass whether she thinks it’s asthetically pleasing? Those walls aren’t her property to spray-paint! If she likes the stensils so much, she can paint them on her own door. Then, and only then, would she have a right to cry if they arrested her for it.
Finally, she thinks this town is restrictive? I dare her to go to Singapore and spice up their downtown with beautiful stensils and see what kind of response she’d get. I know that’s extreme, but I doubt she’d find a city that’s cool with people vandalizing property. There are few places that have grafiti walls available for people’s messages. The city’s downtown isn’t a big grafiti wall. He put grafiti on it, so he was wrong. That’s the whole story, and all these people’s whining and moaning about the newspaper’s coverage is making it into a bigger story than the paper did.