I was sitting in one of my classes and noticed there was something on my desk. I looked at it while trying to figure out what it was and noticed it was a very bizarre-looking disco ball. It had me wondering how many other pictures could I find. I saw pictures drawn in permanent marker in the bathroom stalls and some things carved into the benches on the patio, presumably by a lead pencil. I get up from my seat and head to my next class, the day felt like forever and I was dreading the upcoming math test I had. As I was going home, I spot a stop sign that looked as though it had been continuously hit by something. Later on, in the week, I see an old building with broken windows.
At this point, I was genuinely curious about why people deface property that did not belong to them. Is it the desire to draw attention? boredom? is it driven by a political ideology or is it simply misguided playfulness? I sat down with my Starbucks Frappuccino and opened my laptop to do some research. As I clicked through many links I found one that seemed legitimate and —boom!—found myself intrigued. I read that vandalism of property can often result in immense financial losses, depending on what you deface of course. Damaging of property usually occurs At higher rates in urban areas like New York, this is because the individual can act anonymously.
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Many acts of vandalism are misdemeanors, so maximum penalties may include fines and up to a year in the local jail, however, vandalism that leads to very serious damage to valuable property is a felony. Defendants charged with a felony can face more than a couple of years in state prison and face significant fines. You could report defacement of property to the police, but there is not much they can do considering there is not usually solid proof of who committed the heinous act.
A common type of vandalism you can expect to find is graffiti. Some simplistic, others filled with color, like a unicorn, threw up on it. You can see graffiti on the side of an ancient building, on the sidewalk, which is kinda weird, and even on some public trash cans. As I mentioned before, this is all mainly seen in urban areas. Around me, I don’t see much graffiti, but there is this one location that is absolutely filled with it. People go there to take an unnecessary amount of pictures and post them on Instagram. Honestly, I think it looks really cool. It is a seemingly abandoned-looking area, but it has been turned into something beautiful, as beautiful as a bunch of random squiggles can be. It’s like putting a glossy coat of sealer on a painting, it makes it look fresh and vivid. I don’t condone vandalism at all, but I’m saying if I had to be okay with one form of it, it would be graffiti. If you were to spray paint the tower bridge in London or the Hagia Sophia In Istanbul that’s a completely different story as those are historic pieces of architecture. However, if you really wanted to spray paint an old building that has been run down for over a century to the point where it looks like it’s going to collapse any second, go ahead as long as you are cautious enough to not get caught.
So, if you are feeling bold and daring enough to graffiti something, at least make it worth your while and do something interesting. Instead of doing the basic Superman logo try something unique. Some suggestions include A big purple star with Dr. Phil’s face on it, an armadillo wearing a cowboy hat, a sponge-bob playing the flute while in a Cadillac…you get the idea. Just don’t go around doing this at school or at your local museum.