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Death to Taggers

A touching, heartfelt treatise on the troubles of 21st century youth

By Anthony Passonno

I live in what I have come to find out is one of the only truly affordable and livable apartment buildings on Seattle's Capitol Hill. When all is said and done, I have lived here for about 6-7 years and in this time, I have seen the rent go up only ever so slightly, from around $350 in 1994, to $475, which I am paying now. For a studio on Capitol Hill, all things considered, this is pretty damned cheap.

The great part about my neighborhood lies in its businesses. My favorite happens to be Bauhaus, a cafe where I pick up coffee every day. 50 cents a cup, and we're not talking cheap swill here. The people are kind of smarmy - lots of folks sitting around typing away madly on laptops, urban hipsters waiting to be seen, young men and pretty women awash in the glow of youthful vitality and the promise of new love.

Nice place, but if you are an intelligent future DICTATOR OF THE WORLD like myself, you'll want to avoid this place like the plague on the weekends, where you could wait in line TEN MINUTES for a cup of coffee. I went there this morning, picked up my coffee, and waltzed out of the shop with renewed vigor, and a confident, manly swagger that tells the world, "HEY WORLD!! YOU ARE MY BEE-YATCH!!! NOW MAKE ME A TURKEY AND EGG SALAD SANDWICH AND GIVE ME A FOOT MASSAGE!!"

I cross the street, dodging 10 year old dot-com millionaires in sports cars, SUV's full of smelly, ugly children and fat, greasy, middle-aged soccer moms, all the while balancing my coffee ever so precariously... a modern day, hipster Zarathustra, waiting and watching, hesitating on the edge, then crossing the abyss in a frenzied state of berserker rage and Wagnerian bravado, until I see IT!!!

SOMEONE TAGGED MY FUCKING BUILDING!!! Godless, soulless, COMMUNIST freak!! What sort of bilious blood flows through your wretched, filthy, evil body that would make you disrespect my home, (and, a nice building), by painting in 5 foot tall letters... well, I just got back inside from trying to figure out what it says, but apparently, only those with limited IQ or fans of Aggro-Metal-Rap(KORN, LIMP DICK, I mean Bizkit) would be able to decipher it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not some neo-conservative yuppie, incapable of appreciating true ghetto art. When I was 13 or 14 years old, I remember going to the library and checking out a book on graffiti, in which there were many wonderfully beautiful and arguably very artistic pieces done on the subways of New York and Chicago. Pieces that were "technically" property destruction and vandalism, but were rife with metaphors on the urban existence and lifestyle, and, thus, far more appealing than the mere scribblings of a mentally deranged teenage gang-banger.

I can understand the youthful need for attention, to let the world know that you are "Mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore", however, when I was a young man, we rebelled by SMASHING WINDSHIELDS, or BEATING ON HIPPIES. Nowadays, of course, you can buy a new windshield for your car, and Hippies, what with the wonder-drug known as Marijuana, are known to have advanced healing capabilities. But the moment a tag is placed upon a bus stop schedule or the wall of a building, there is no turning back. You are forced to look at it every day, if for no other reason than to be reminded that here is a person that, with any luck on the part of the world, will be dead in just a few short years, possibly shivved in the alley, or in a roach motel choking on vomit from a heroin induced stupor.

Screw it, I say, we catch a few of them when they are young, making examples of them. If it were up to me, I would seal them inside small, see-through, boiling vats of their own urine. Take them on a tour through the city, have little kids, as they are wont to do, throw rocks at the vats, and, afterwards, we can have these venomous, degenerate, filthy beasts castrated and raped by midgets.

That is, if it were up to me!

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