I have two readings on this:
One, is that the FBI and its people are just doing their job. Part of that responsibility involves running down shit all day long. Constructive shit and bullshit.
The constructive shit is ID'ing & keeping track of people who are, well, dangerous. Yeah, I know, who's to decide what dangerous is? It's a pretty damn fuzzy line. Dangerous to me isn't possibly dangerous to you (literally and figuratively) - witness the misguided soul at the coffeehouse who apparently thought reading the 'wrong stuff' constitutes a crime. I don't blame these poor folks - they're like my elderly parents who are plugged into FOXNews 24/7 and go to sleep frightened pretty much every night.
But surely most reasonable people agree that someone needs to be looking out for the kinds of individuals in our society who've always been here who are plain crazy *and* have a propensity to act out on these urges through violence.
Secondly, someone needs to be looking for, God I hate using this Fox word, terrorists. Make no mistake Marc, you *were* being interrogated. The street-level FBI guys spend all day, every day talking to people and they are probably fucking good at it. They're looking for the aforementioned standard everyday crazies, as well as the possible terrorist types who have already condemned America for real/deserved or imagined transgressions and are now simply looking for ways to strike at our society.
My guess is that they knew exactly what bucket you fell into after talking 5 minutes with you - the rest of the date was just them going through the motions to cross all the T's and dot the remaining I's.
The second reading is more disturbing (at least to me) and it has to do with 'Thought Crimes'. That's when an element of society intentionally attempts to chill ideological dissent through intimidation. That's why the Librarians (bless their sexy souls..) attempted to go all medieval on the Bush administration's ass a few years ago for legislation that A) compelled them to give up reading records of their patrons (US citizens reading publications in a public library), and B) prevented the librarians from talking about it (I think this legislation still stands today, btw). Anyway, it's this thought-crime aspect of America that's more disturbing to me. If I may mangle a metaphor, a successful marriage [citizens to their country] needs to continually be subjected to at least a little stress , else it becomes a pretty flabby union.
Long live dissent - it was the thing that made us great once and may yet again.
@Questionman - Yes, of course I see street stuff that sometimes makes me smile. From the classic 'Bush' modified stop signs to just odd little 'out of the way' musing's that are [sometimes] slyly villainous.
But that doesn't change that fact that a 2 mile circle around CHA encloses pretty much nothing but childish shit and I so much want one of these guys to be caught and put in jail for at least 6 months. It's just immature masturbation out there for all of us to see that we have to put up with. It's not art. Said another way, this is the work of selfish children who've just learned the word 'no' and keep repeating it, over and over, mindlessly. Except we have to hear it. But we don't - we can put them in jail.
Yeah, if there were a way to partition it, I'd be in favor of such a proposal, but it wouldn't work. If they obeyed the rules their work then wouldn't have street 'cred' - they gotta be rebels man! Just like the lines of little iconoclasts outside The Masquerade every weekend - everyone of them identically dressed in black.. At some point they'll realize they're being manipulated, not by Verizon but by other forces. But I'm off the point here.
I love a lot of Atlanta, but graffiti like the City Hall shit is just a big 'fuck you' to everyone here.
Way to *go* Wheatley! Reward the perp by putting his name up in lights (Q -Will we see an anonymous 'profile' soon, probing his early 'influences', his views on social inequities and perhaps a peek into his future projects? oh please, Please! we can't wait!).. It's obvious CL's been doing a great job of keeping this particular pot stirred in print - trying to have it both ways, sometimes 'Tsk-Tsking' the troublesome little tikes who are trashing our city, and at others times, incredibly, calling them 'artists'.
A relentless promoter like CL prospers only when it succeeds in getting and holding the public's attention and participation. The rightness or wrongness of an issue is apparently irrelevant to you. I would ask you to examine your motivations and your position on Graffiti in Atlanta do the right thing. Try to make Atlanta a better place by working to improve our public spaces. Those who work with paint cans under the cover of darkness steal from all of us, and CL's profitably cynical ambivalence just makes it worse.
It is my wish that some 'artist' go over to the CL offices tonight and create some art on the Creative Loafing's doors and windows. Then these artists should go to the CL staffers neighborhoods and create some art on the fences immediately around their homes, then deposit some art on the street signs around their homes, then create some art on the mailboxes around their homes. Then we will see their commitment to 'public art'.
This is a false conversation they're having in the media. Graffitti is a misery that modern society has to live with, but we don't have to like or condone it, and we sure as hell don't have to quietly stand by and let Creative Loafing try to legitimize it.
"Graffiti atop City Hall East: Cool or uncool?" What a truly bizarre article title CL. It makes me question your editorial judgment. I'm waiting on another deep think piece from you next week like, "Throwing Beer Bottles at Passersby from Cars: Fab or Unfab?"
Of course it's 'uncool' - more precisely it's a big 'Fuck You' to most residents of Atlanta. There's so much to love about our city, but the ain't one of 'em...
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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