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July 27, 2003

Grafitti and The Moving Finger


As a good Libertarian leaning right winger I am a strong defender of property rights, so I’m a bit torn by the pictures I’ve put up below. I disapprove of spray-painting one’s “signature” on walls, buildings and overpasses one doesn’t own. But at the same time, I have to say that the defacement of these two billboards seems weirdly appropriate.

These two billboards are back-to-back on Fairfax Boulevard in Los Angeles. I don’t know if they were vandalized/enhanced at the same time, but it appears that two different taggers were involved.

Say Thank You, Angelina

The first, in effacing most of Angelina Jolie on a “Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” billboard, seems to only be doing something that Ms. Jolie must, deep down, thank him for: obliterating her padded breasts as the visual cynosure of an entire movie publicity campaign.

Say Goodbye, Sindbad

The work of the second tagger is more blunt and to the point. Given the terrible financial results of “Sinbad” to date, I can’t shake the notion that this grafitti is a sort of message from Omar Khayyam to the folks at Dreamworks:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it



P.S. Looking at these ads, don’t you think the advertising agency should seriously consider looking these kids up and offering them a job? You know, get them off the street and really spiff up their visuals at the same time.

posted by Friedrich at July 27, 2003


Looks like impressive work (after one gets past the illegality etc). and it first glance it all seemed to be of a piece.

And consider the logistics. Aren't those billboards lit brightly at night? All night? How long did it take them to tag? And no one noticed? Odd.

Or perhaps the taggers appeared in a spiffy white van and wore neat white overalls and simply loooked like serious tradespeople trying to do their job even if it meant a little overtime.

Now _that_ would make a movie.

Posted by: David Sucher on July 27, 2003 9:05 AM

Good lord, how did the graffiti-ers get up there and do that?

Now, if only that talent and energy could be put to use for the good. Not that I think defacing a couple of billboards is the worst thing a mischief-making young person could get up to...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 27, 2003 2:53 PM

Kids?? I heard these were done by 3 35-year-olds who were laid off from BBD&O two weeks ago and are proving their former employers wrong!! You go, guys!!!

Posted by: annette on July 27, 2003 4:53 PM

I wish someone would do something like that to all those anti-drug billboards I've seen throughout the deep South.

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on July 28, 2003 12:28 PM


I like to say about myself, "I'm a libertarian second and an existentialist first."

By applauding something that goes against your normal set of principles, perhaps you are saying essentially the same about yourself!

Posted by: fyodor on July 28, 2003 4:33 PM


Apparently so!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 29, 2003 1:54 AM

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