In the eye of the beholder

Letters to the Boston editor, December 19, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 17, 2008

I just finished reading your article "Graffiti Wars." I thought it was really powerful and a great source of information about Massachusetts's policies for "vandalism." I love graffiti — it has been a part of my urban experience since 1988, when I was born in Boston.

Graffiti is human expression. Seeing graffiti doesn't require a $15 membership. Understanding graffiti doesn't require some snot-nosed curator at some museum or gallery. Graffiti is free from all of the bullshit constructs of "Art" — the art that "NABB devotee Anne Swanson" has been indoctrinated with in order to receive her fine-art degree.

If Starry Night was somehow recreated on the CITGO sign, would anyone complain? Or what about Picasso's Guernica sprayed on some random Commuter Rail wall?

While reading your article, I was saddened to hear about the lock-ups of writers and how doggedly they were pursued by the police. I understand their motives, and also why graffiti is considered to be vandalism. Private property is, after all, the law of the land here and the police have to uphold it.

My concern, however, is why some people can't see the beauty in graffiti. I'm looking at this picture captioned "Graffiti's Most Wanted," which shows CAYPE's work, among a few others, and it is intricately beautiful! I'm sure shifts in perspective would make a world of difference. If beauty really was in the eye of the beholder, would writers be vilified or praised? Would free-thinking individuals be viewed as lunatics or geniuses?

Kaia Niambi Finn

Full disclosure and closure
This past week's "Don't Quote Me" column should have had ADVERTISEMENT as a header. I read through that entire piece of bullshit PR before getting to the disclaimer where you disclose that, hey, guess what — the company that owns us owns From top to bottom, this shoddy piece of journalism was fanfare for WEEI, offering dissenting opinion only in the last column, and then only in the last three paragraphs. You should be ashamed of your media coverage. The "Don't Quote Me" section, as I'm sure you know, is supposed to be a section where you call out shitty journalists. Hopefully next week you'll feature yourselves.

Matt Wasielewski

ADAM REILLY RESPONDS Mr. Wasielewski has his facts wrong: the Phoenix and don't have the same owner. As I noted in my disclaimer, g8wave (a mobile-marketing company owned by the Phoenix Media/Communications Group, which also owns the Phoenix) has a business relationship with (which is owned by Entercom). If I'd wanted to boost this relationship with some free PR, though, I wouldn't have described's presentation as "incoherent," or included a quote panning Glenn Ordway, host of WEEI-AM's ratings driver The Big Show, as a "blowhard."

Text of the week
Recently we asked our readers to text us the best show they've seen lately. Here's what one person had to say:
cashed fools bluesidelic funkacyde at great scott this wednesday. By far the most original music being birthed out of boston right now. Get on them.

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  Topics: Letters , Media, Crime, Glenn Ordway,  More more >
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