I heard loud banging outside late last night. My momma bear instincts kicked in, so I decided to check it out. To my surprise, I saw two guys dressed in black with heads covered. What was in their hands was not the typical burglary, they were carrying a six foot construction sign. I watched them effortlessly carry it away. I saw this morning they managed to take a second sign off the pole, but I think my curiosity of the commotion scared them away. It is just laying on the ground now.
I probably was the only person to see this crime, and I guess I am partly responsible for not reporting it. After a few moments of reflection on why a person would even think to do this, I started laughing hysterically. I thought of the faces and confusion the next day when the sign will be known as “missing”. I wonder what the two guys will even do with this huge construction sign. Will they hang it up in the dorm room to show they can stick it to society? What is their motivation?
After looking it up on the net, I found this activity to be quite popular. Now the consequences of the theft is not funny as a city, it is our tax dollars that pay for these crimes. It is estimated the replacement of a sign costs anywhere from $100-$500. Again, what else could the city be spending money on that could benefit society? Also, when people are taking road signs such as “stop signs” this is not a smart idea-I found many “how to steal signs guide” warning not to do this. One knew of a driver who was killed by someone’s prank and they were charged with manslaughter. I do have an appreciation for art, and different expressions of art. But when this expression harms others, it is not a game to me.
There must be another way of expression. This reminded me of modern graffiti artists, which I have a deep appreciation of this type of art. For example, Banksy is known for being a great communicator of his opinions and demonstrating his dislikes. The idea of political art is provocative to me, and is an avenue that I would like to explore.
It seems that people are desperate to have a voice in society. If it means stealing, tagging, or sending subtle messages- they want someone’s attention. Why is there such a strong need to defy the law? Are people in the US generally upset with government, and so we retaliate. The discontent and disrespect for authority is a contagious disease that many are catching. How can people express this discontent without putting others in harms way. Ultimately, it will always offend. It was always cost something. Is it worth it?
- Banksy Transforms Migrant Road Sign into DREAM Crossing (alternet.org)