Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Graffiti Invades “The Bubble”

 

We fondly refer to our little corner of Paradise as “the bubble,” as we are surrounded here in the Westernmost reaches of the Florida Panhandle with natural beauty, delightful climate, gentle breezes off the Santa Rosa Sound, peace, silence and tranquility, and some of the most friendly people we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. As we watched wonderful places we had enjoyed visiting, like Portland, Seattle, and Chicago and places we had fallen in love with, like San Francisco, be ripped apart by savages and/or soiled by the filth of the decadent and depraved, we cozily comforted ourselves in the “sure” knowledge that, to use a phrase with sinister underpinnings, “it couldn’t happen here.”

We were wrong.

The warnings we heard from so many that you may not be interested in barbarians like Antifa and Black Lives Matter but they are definitely interested in you might well have started making a preliminary showing here after all.

Almost literally next door to our new home in “the bubble”, there is a large wildlife preserve. It is as lovely a place for a nice stroll as one can be blessed with. Recently, a very pleasant walkway was built through the width of the woods, called The Godwin Crossover, in honor of the family which donated the preserve to the local government years ago. It was a most welcome addition to the neighborhood as it affords all who come here who want to experience it and, most importantly, respect –the beauty and serenity and inspiration it offers to one and all.

A sign at both entrances proclaims quite clearly that no “motorized” vehicles are allowed. Sadly, it does not go further and spell out in words specific enough for those who are cognitively challenged that no graffiti was to be applied to the handsome beams and planks of which the Crossover was constructed.

Yesterday afternoon, on a bike ride which took me across the Crossover, I was shocked, sickened might be a better word, to see red spray paint scrawled across the side railing with the name of either one of the street thugs who graced us with their “art” or, probably more likely, an enemy they hoped to implicate in their despicable deed.

To those who may say that my reaction may be what the Bard had in mind when he wrote the words “Much Ado About Nothing” I would answer that those few ounces of red spray paint represent to me that the barbarians are not at the gate, they are through the gate, just as the mob tore down the gate to the private community in St. Louis where Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey had their beautiful home assaulted and by which they were personally threatened with serious bodily harm or worse. I am quite sure that the residents of those suburbs of Portland and Seattle and Minneapolis never dreamed their quiet and contented life of “living the dream” would be suddenly invaded by shrieking hooligans in their street and on their lawns screaming every known obscenity at them in the middle of the night because — as I write this I realize how surreal it is that this is happening in America — they are white.

Yes, I know that folks who live in bubbles should not cast petty little complaints about a little bit of spray paint. I am also painfully aware that this kind of unpleasantness pales in comparison with the myriad of serious, monumental, sea-changing events happening every day –at times it seems like every hour. I do recall, however, a very prominent and highly respected scholar named James Q. Wilson created what became known as the “broken windows policing” theory of law enforcement. That theory, put into effect by then-Mayor Giuliani of New York City, held that the full force of the law should be brought to bear on perpetrators as soon as they start even the pettiest of offenses against the public good, such as, obviously, breaking the windows out of storefronts, etc. Giuliani’s enforcement of what was at that time a very controversial approach to policing is widely credited with the rapid clean up of the filth and disorder which had theretofore ruled mid-town Manhattan. How much better off would the battle-worn citizens and small business owners of Portland be right now had they had a Mayor with that kind of courage instead of the pusillanimous and pathetic excuse of a Mayor they have had through riots which have now been going on for months?

I am sure my reaction of sickness at that grotesque defacement was at least in part a product of the anxiety we all feel about Election Day and the days (weeks? months?) of almost-certain upheaval to follow. The emotion I felt was one of real and genuine apprehension that if these petty criminals could enter and soil, even slightly, a residential area with as close to a non-existent crime rate as possible, as has been observed by many, the outcome of the election will be irrelevant. Either way, we will have hell to pay.

Long ago, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats warned us about days in which all control is lost. The title is The Second Coming, but the third and fourth lines speak directly to us over the century since this was written:

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I confess I am very, deeply, gravely troubled by what may be coming our way. The eminent author Michel Anton, creator of the iconic essay The Flight 93 Election in the days leading up to the 2016 election, chose these words as a portion of the title of the first chapter of his new book about the current election, The Stakes, America At The Point Of No Return:

Be Afraid, Very Afraid

While my life experiences and long journey to this remove simply will not permit me to sound like some triggered little “pajama boy” cowering type and say “I’m afraid”, I am admitting that I am deep-in-my-bones concerned at the sheer havoc we may be facing in very short order.

@susanquinn was spot on with her post A Lose-Lose Election For Americans.

How many bright, wise, learned, accomplished, competent, skilled men and women have said throughout history, especially contemporary history, “It can’t happen here”?

It can and will, if “Things fall apart” and “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 17 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Depressing but beautifully written @jimgeorge. That graffiti, in some ways, is just as bad as burning down cities etc because the graffiti is what gets us to that point.

    • #1
    • October 19, 2020, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim,

    A very good warning in this post. We all should take heed. A general lack of respect for property, personal or public, is a sign of anarchy. For 4 months we saw a relentless assault on property and a bizarre defense of this behavior by those supposedly in authority. The total wreckage was estimated at 2 billion dollars of property damage. Much of that damage was to black neighborhoods and black-owned businesses. This made the ridiculous claim that it was all about making Black Lives Matter a manifest lie.

    This was about hate alright. The hopeless crazy haters who despised those who build up society making it a good place to live. In their rage, they destroy what they are incapable of creating. The racism thing was just an excuse.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • October 19, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  3. Doug Watt Moderator

    What you describe in your post is an example of “Broken Windows” policing, and why it is important. I know that I’ll get some pushback from not only the Left, as well as from some libertarians.

    Some police departments will assign officers to photograph tags and place them in a binder for future prosecution. Depending upon the cost of removing the tags they can become a felony. I know of two officers that confronted a tagger after he spent around two years in the state pen. His tags were reappearing and they paid him a visit and told him that he would be on his way back to the state pen if they paid him a second visit.

    I’ve worked city parks that were becoming a shooting gallery for heroin addicts. Discarded needles, and taking control of a park. Proactive police work is not pretty at times, but it is necessary to protect the community, and the right of taxpaying citizens to use the parks they are paying for and enjoy.

    • #3
    • October 19, 2020, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  4. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Graffiti is terrible. It signifies disorder and decay and giving up. I don’t blame you at all for being so upset. I hope it is cleaned up soon so that order and serenity can be restored.

    • #4
    • October 19, 2020, at 4:09 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I’m so sorry, Jim, for the assault on your beautiful environment. I never could figure out, either, why the broken windows policy went out of favor. I was doing work with police departments when it became popular, and it was definitely more than what they would call the “flavor of the week.” When areas began to be violated, law enforcement had to act, and quickly, as @dougwatt says and knows so well.

    I don’t think you are petty in your reaction at all. These factions are determined to violate our spaces whenever they can. It will get worse. I suspect here in Polk County we will see it too. My heart is with you and your family.

    • #5
    • October 19, 2020, at 6:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m so sorry, Jim, for the assault on your beautiful environment. I never could figure out, either, why the broken windows policy went out of favor. I was doing work with police departments when it became popular, and it was definitely more than what they would call the “flavor of the week.” When areas began to be violated, law enforcement had to act, and quickly, as @dougwatt says and knows so well.

    I don’t think you are petty in your reaction at all. These factions are determined to violate our spaces whenever they can. It will get worse. I suspect here in Polk County we will see it too. My heart is with you and your family.

    Broken windows policing went out of favor because a disproportionate number of the miscreants have skin of a darker hue. Modern leftists always assume that those judged guilty in such circumstances have been judged by the color of their skin, when in fact they have been judged by the content of the character revealed by their misdeeds.

    It is black supremacy, a strange phenomenon as the bulk of its adherents seem to be of a lighter hue.

    • #6
    • October 19, 2020, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. Nohaaj Coolidge

    I don’t know. And yet I do. 

    During my travels, I have been shocked and astounded by the prevalence or lack of graffiti in certain cultures.

    In China, I do not recall any graffiti. In Mexico, it was on every public surface. 

    In some areas of Europe, it is seems to be considered high art, where graffiti takes on more of a mural affect. 

    I liken graffiti to tattoos. In our culture, both are becoming so main place, that their existence no longer evokes an image of disrespect, revolt or anarchy, but of mainstream happenings. I don’t have tats, nor do I tag public places. In the former, you can do whatever you want to your own body. In the latter, we have as a society, lost our respect for property and ownership, so tagging a public or private surface no longer has Bad (as in in judgmental good vs bad behavior) connotations. Just someone expressing themselves… We are not allowed to judge. (ref: critical race theory).

    Move along, nothing to see here besides the red paint. 

     

    • #7
    • October 19, 2020, at 8:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Sash Member

    I have been hoping that the riots were manufactured and the reason was the election, and that when the election was over the rioters would go home. I have two more weeks before that is tested.

    • #8
    • October 19, 2020, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Kelly B Member

    Can you clean it up? Seems like I recall that part of the broken windows approach was not to let the windows stay broken for long, so that a new break looks abnormal. If the wood is unfinished, a battery operated belt sander should do it. 

    • #9
    • October 20, 2020, at 4:58 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kelly B (View Comment):

    Can you clean it up? Seems like I recall that part of the broken windows approach was not to let the windows stay broken for long, so that a new break looks abnormal. If the wood is unfinished, a battery operated belt sander should do it.

    That is the sort of thing the government will send the police to arrest you for. 

    See, they don’t want order, they want us terrorized.

    • #10
    • October 20, 2020, at 5:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Front Seat Cat Member

    Jim – at least you’re in Florida where law enforcement and Gov. DeSantis are a lot more no nonsense than out West. That being said, I hear you and I am stunned at what has happened to our country in so short order. When I watched Glenn Beck back in 2010-2011 when they filmed the anarchists in Greece, he said it’s only a matter of time – same symbols, graffiti, people shooting up in broad daylight (homelessness – the walking dead), riots, fires, hurling things at police. He saw it. I didn’t believe it would happen here.

    This is bigger than the U.S. – it’s happening globally. I tune in to Dr. Robert Moynihan’s Vatican Pilgrimage tours via Zoom each week and a priest that presents on Wednesdays keeps saying, “Clearly there is something going on.” They can see and sense this is not business as usual. The defacing of not only monuments (to erase our memory of history and replace it), but religious sites shows something else.

    Refuse to be fearful. Know that God is in control – stay close to your faith, even if its on line. Moynihan said ‘we are going through a period of purification and we have to go through it.’ Read the letter than Archbishop Vigano sent to President Trump:

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/24/archbishop-vigano-trump-faces-biblical-challenge-a/

    • #11
    • October 20, 2020, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. EODmom Coolidge

    As @frontseatcat says – refuse to be fearful. But I feel less fearful than sad at the purposeful destruction of a serious work of art: living by the rule of law. I don’t think you are an overreacting pajama boy. I think you are a realist accepting what is plain and advertised by its advocates: there are those who want to revert to a less civilized time and rule by power. I’ve been as comfortable as anyone else living my whole life under the protective shield of the rule of law and I never ever expected that it would not be there. Civilization has to be defended every single day and it seems now the defense will require more substantial action (by the average person) than we’ve demonstrated for the last say 80 years – since the last overt onslaught. But it’s always there. You’re not wrong @jimgeorge. It’s sad. 

    • #12
    • October 20, 2020, at 6:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    We left California in 2017 to get away from traffic and what looked like coming disorder. We still go back to see kids and grandkids, or did until last spring. We are planning to go back next weekend. Our daughter’s birthday is the 30th but we told her we don’t want to be near Los Angeles that close to the election. She lives in Santa Monica and there have been riots and looting not far from her home. The other kids are in Orange County, which is safer but not safe enough. My younger son’s daughter has been accepted to U of Alabama and the parents will move as soon as he can retire.

    • #13
    • October 20, 2020, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Broken windows policing went out of favor because a disproportionate number of the miscreants have skin of a darker hue. Modern leftists always assume that those judged guilty in such circumstances have been judged by the color of their skin, when in fact they have been judged by the content of the character revealed by their misdeeds.

    They were judged guilty because they did it.

    Broken windows policing isn’t just about broken window, or graffiti, or any other crime in particular. It turns out to be as I once heard an NYPD officer relate, that some of the turn-style jumpers have warrants for car burglary, or mugging little old ladies, or what have you.

    • #14
    • October 20, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. Doug Watt Moderator

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Broken windows policing went out of favor because a disproportionate number of the miscreants have skin of a darker hue. Modern leftists always assume that those judged guilty in such circumstances have been judged by the color of their skin, when in fact they have been judged by the content of the character revealed by their misdeeds.

    They were judged guilty because they did it.

    Broken windows policing isn’t just about broken window, or graffiti, or any other crime in particular. It turns out to be as I once heard an NYPD officer relate, that some of the turn-style jumpers have warrants for car burglary, or mugging little old ladies, or what have you.

    Yes, it should come as no surprise that individuals that cannot obey the little laws have no problem disobeying the bigger laws. Everyone starts somewhere before they start hitting bigger felonies out of the ballpark.

    • #15
    • October 20, 2020, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Quinnie Member

    I share your disgust. I despise graffiti and senseless vandalism. In my city, many signs over our interstates have been “tagged”. It never fails to sicken me when I spot them.

    • #16
    • October 20, 2020, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Buckpasser Member
    BuckpasserJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We are no longer “Slouching towards Gamorrah”. We are on the bullet train……Unless we’ve already arrived at the final destination.

    • #17
    • October 20, 2020, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes