Feathered Bastard

Tag You're It: The First Pics of Phoenix Light Rail Graffiti

This tagger ain't no Basquiat, but then again, it's only a tag...

As was recently mentioned in a report by my colleague Ray Stern, the Phoenix PD has released images of some of the first graffiti ever on the Phoenix Metro Light Rail. And for this historic occasion, wherein the PMLR gets its graff cherry busted, I'm happy to provide you with pics of the tags in question. Other images may involve instances of "scribing," or scraticing a tag into plexiglass. The PPD spokesman I talked to, Sgt. Tommy Thompson, didn't seem to know if the tags on the plexi below were scribes or not.

I like the contrast with the word "Obey" to the right.

According to the cops, the graffiti occurred December 28, 2008, around 7 p.m.at the Central and Encanto Rail Platform, and was done by two Hispanic males, aged 19 to 20. I'm not posting the pics of the suspected perps, because: 1) it's just graffiti, it's not like these two kids killed or robbed anybody; and 2) mama didn't raise no snitch. But suffice it to say that the electronic file released by the Phoenix PD is instructive, as there's a buttload of camera footage, from several different angles.

For taggers, it's all about getting up.

Word to the taggers, unless you're hooded or wearing a freakin' ski-mask like MCSO deputies hunting illegals in Sheriff Joe's recent west Valley sweep, the bulls will capture your image, and likely, you. So now you know, and what you do with that information is your business.

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Feathered Bastard is generally pro-graffiti. I'm not advocating vandalism, but on the other hand, I didn't vote for this dumb Light Rail, and I could care less if it gets tagged the eff up. In fact, in my view, that would make the MLR look better to me, and make it look as if it's running in a real city. 

Is this scribed into the plexi? Hard to tell from the photo.

It would be better if the Light Rail folks turned the choo-choo over to some dope PHX graffiti artists, like DOSE, ASEK, SERP, and WEIS, who could turn those sterile trains into things of beauty. They would also police their own work, and kick the ass of any tagger writing over it. The inane scribbling tends to go waaaaay down when established writers such as those in Forever in Control, the art collective that currently reigns supreme here in Sand Land, are involved.

As it is, if the suspected taggers get popped, they're looking at a possible felony charge of criminal damage if it takes more than $250 to buff their tags. What's here doesn't look like it'll go over that amount, but it could go higher if they've done more. Which they most probably have.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons