Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Color Me Confused"...and a Bonus!

Apparently the mad graffiti artist struck again in downtown Florence Sunday night. This time hitting his favorite target i.e. that long stretch of prime piece of cement that runs half a block down Tennessee street. As I sit here trying to figure out exactly what message the artist was trying to get across (Trump’s holding a gun, throwing paper at dead children in front of a school...I’m not an art major or that good at puzzles. I just don’t get it.), two points seem to jump off the page and hit me in the face right off the bat:
  1. These murals have been popping up in this same spot for as far back as I can remember and I’ve lived here for 42 yrs. This is the first time I can recall the images ever getting negative coverage by the Times Daily let alone broader sources of news such as WHNT 19. If anything the wall has been celebrated for being a historic symbol of free speech. You could practically hear the Florence elite shouting “Look how artistic we are!!” The only difference is this week the image is somewhat controversial (I think it is anyways...honestly I have no clue what the message means). My point is this; are we saying that graffiti is okay as long as we all agree it’s pretty and has a positive message? Are there degrees of graffiti that only belong in certain places around the city? Is this most recent image better suited for the Railroad Bridge where only yoga instructors and those wanting to rid themselves of their underwear will see it? Downtown deserves a better class of graffiti!!!
  2. Where were the police while this was going on? Have you seen the size of the wall this image covers? How long could this thing have taken to paint? Was it one person or did a hoard of aerosol spraying teens descend upon Tennessee street in the wee hours of Monday morning? I get not every street can be watched around the clock, but we are talking blocks from the police station. Not one cop drove by and thought “Hey why is that guy painting dead children on that wall?” or rather did someone notice and think “I wonder how are they going to top last week’s I HAVE A DREAM mural?” If this can be done without anyone calling the police then what’s to stop all out anarchy from taking place?
Honestly I don’t care what the image is, freedom of speech should cover the obscene and the un-obscene. If last week’s homage to Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t offend those driving through Florence or pop up on the police’s radar, why should this latest message mean anything more or less? If the City of Florence really cared anything about stopping this crime, they would have done something about it the morning after the first drop of paint ever touched that wall. What you will hear this week from local officials amounts to nothing more than a piece of tape they hope will cover the mouths of those who claim to be offended, but are actually just looking for something else to gripe about.



And the A.D. answers a reader's request:

While like others in the community I’m concerned anytime the subject of child molestation is brought up, I do believe that people deserve second chances. There was only ever one perfect person and he gave his life so we could live ours. People make mistakes but nothing is unforgivable in the eyes of the Lord. That’s not to say that should a murderer or in this case child molester were to move in to the house next to me, I wouldn’t be deeply concerned to the point I may move. My grandparents lived directly behind a McDonald's at one point and were constantly battling rats, roaches, and often woke up to the sight of a homeless person sitting in their backyard. If we feel there is a need for these types of services whether it be a prison, a retail store, or in this case a place for people to receive their second chance; then we must also accept that a certain amount of discomfort should come along with it on our part. I would challenge local officials to do their jobs and keep our community safe. 

As far as my occasional posting, just because I’m not writing doesn’t mean I’m not working to help and encourage others when and where I can. I’m always available to answer questions.


  1. On the "graffiti" wall, you are spot on. I thought exactly the same thing, nobody including the police were willing to stop the artist until they realized it might be considered offensive. It had a message; my take was if the artist had left the gun out of Trumps hand it would have been a perfect reflection of what is being done about mass shootings in America. Stop gap fixes. And make no mistake, it was art. Whoever did this is a talented artist. Censorship has no place in art and especially what is liked or disliked in political circles. But from what I can "decipher" from the TD article (which is ALWAYS a challenge) the city is passing an ordinance that only requires the property owners permission for graffiti art to be displayed. I wonder if they actually had it in this case? As you said, this particular wall has been painted several times. What it sounds like is: "We love what you do as long as it is something we agree with." Censorship is alive and well in our "so-called" progressive little city.

    1. Totally agree about the artwork being extremely good. We've never tried to paint a mural, but are sure it's not easy.

      Yes, where was the police? Do the graffiti artists use a scanner to determine whereabouts of local cruisers?