By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Memo to my "Homies": The real crime, in my opinion, with the local graffiti scene ("SEKT and the City," by Jim Schutze, March 2) is not so much that it is a violation of public and private property but simply that it is all so fucking lame and boring. It's lazy, derivative and uninspired. SEKT, CHANT (the artist formerly known as MESS), SOLAR (I wish I was Basquiat), EARL (why my daughter dated you, I'll never understand) et al, you guys know who you are, and so do I--a bunch of white upper-middle-class ghetto wannabes. You're spoiled Arts Magnet dilettantes desperately seeking attention. Still riding around on your Sting-Rays, wearing those ridiculous baseball caps (you're so hip-hop) without an original thought in your life, and you're too fucking lazy to grow up and actually step out and do something with any value. You're like a one-song cover band, playing yourself over and over like the B-side of a top 40 record that no one wants to hear but yourselves. Your jerk-off "art" needs to be flushed down the toilet along with the rest of your jizz. Like all of suburban hip-hop culture, you either need to figure something out that's actually new and interesting or get the fuck out of the way, 'cause at 21 to 22 years old, you're taking up valuable real estate like a bunch of bloated old men. Frankly, while surprised that he hasn't something better to do, I'm happy that Chief Kunkle has taken up the challenge to weed you out. Not because you tag other people's property--but because you suck at it.
He's that good: I moved from the Munger Street Historical District last July. Fled, actually, to a part of North Dallas just south of LBJ. And I do miss the sort-of-interesting graffiti in the old neighb.
I agree that the gang-sign type of graffiti is obnoxious and a constant reminder of the seamier elements of gangsters-in-training. You know, tribal youth marking their terror-tory (sic), validating their street cred. But whoever the guy (or girl) is that does the primitive stick-figure stuff seen in the area, particularly on the north side of Interstate 30, should really think about putting a show together and exhibiting at some of the local galleries. I've even tried duplicating some of it for my own amusement, and it's damn hard to do. (S)he's that good.
Too bad there's no simple solution to this problem. If these kids really want to have their work seen, let's give them a place to do it. Pick one of the parks in the area, put up some plywood fence and have a contest for the best graffiti artists to come and show us their stuff. Prizes for best in show? I bet it would never be messed with...
Ch-ch-changes: Cheers to Jim Schutze for the great story "SEKT and the City." There is a lot of change happening in Dallas. I hear the same stories over and over about old stomping grounds and funky neighborhoods being shuffled around or plowed over to become yet more space for the affluent and SUV-loving sect. The house I live in sits in the ominous shadow of a big two-story McMansion and no doubt will be plowed under soon to make room for another. Deep Ellum is fading or in a state of metamorphosis. Uptown and the area is chock full of retail/housing developments as if in a desperate scramble to make Dallas more cosmopolitan. But some of these changes, for example the downtown parks projects, are very much for the good, I think. I mean, let's face it; this is a very flat, featureless and let's say "geographically disadvantaged" city. It needs all the help it can get. Without all the manmade lakes around here it would look like one big golfing green with some silver boxes sitting on it.
As sad as it is to see some neighborhoods changing, it is inevitable. A lot has been said about Deep Ellum in particular lately. But it is changing because either the music and club scene there is not what it used to be or the kids that need to fuel the scene are largely uninterested and have found other things they would rather do. Simple as that. And I remember when things were good down there. I was down there often to see my favorite bands. But there are still some great bands in this town, and they will surely find new places to play or maybe some old venues will reopen. Change at this rate can't be sustained forever, and the shiny new neighborhoods will lose their luster, and the BMWs will migrate away to other newly sanitized neighborhoods. And like a balloon that has been squeezed at one end only to pop out on the other, unique and artistic areas will sprout up again. With The Cavern booking better bands and Good Records moving down there, perhaps some of Lower Greenville will have its own little scene, reclaiming some of what was lost in Deep Ellum and hopefully set a spark of some sort in this town. And of course graffiti will follow.