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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rant du jour

Heh. This is too good not to share as well.

Some of you may have read in The Australian or elsewhere that Canberra Liberal MLA Steve Pratt has been taking matters into his own hands about that social scourge, GRAFFITI. Quake in your boots, kids.

Steve decided to pull a media stunt and call a few journos together to document his Courage and Wisdom as he put on some rubber gloves and scrubbed off some apparently offending matter under a bridge near the Woden Cemetery. Since then the media have been having a fun time exposing that the offending piece was actually a legitimate piece of community art.

I will add to the fun by adding that the artist in question was our blogging comrade, byrd, whose graffiti skills are pretty damn special. Unfortunately at the moment his site seems not to have its archives intact, so I can't check to see if he's got a pic of the offending mural.

Actually, I just checked again then, but I can't really tell which is the one. What I do know is that byrd got permission to have regular spaces around Canberra, and he used them well. Here is one of my favorite blog posts, showing an underpass in Kaleen:

byrd

He does a design and then plays with it over time, like in this case where he changes the tattoo on the girl's arm regularly.

byrd's been living in Qld for the last 18 months, but he is on his way back to live in Canberra, so maybe we can stage a media stunt to reinstate the piece. Great exposure for his work!

At the moment Pratt (it's such a great name, isn't it? Does all the work for us) is doing everything he can to weasel out of the media spotlight, including having a dummyspit about the fact that he researched the spot with one government department -- roads and bridges -- and not another -- community art. Well, as far as I'm concerned, that is the root of the problem, because people like Pratt and his ilk [a] can't tell good spray from bad and [b] don't consider anything out of a frame art. It's sheer bad judgement on his part, and there's really no way around that fact. I mean, does this (what you can see under SP's scrubbing) look like a mosh of tags to you?

pratt


Apparently he will be charged with vandalism of public art. I say HOORAY to that. Especially when you see part of the grossly offensive original (thanks to Zoe, who went through the byrd archives with a fine-tooth comb):



*update* Local debates/commentary about it here and here.



[cross-posted at Sarsaparilla]

14 comments:

TimT said...

Pratt by name (etc, etc, etc).

meli said...

Oh dear. Hey this reminds me of a book I'm reading at the moment - Milan Kundera's 'Slowness' (not one of his best, but still). It's all about politicians and others 'dancing' for the media - pulling all kinds of stunts to get attention and sometimes getting it spectacularly wrong. This could be an episode from it. He looks so serious (and so awkward) with his little scrubber...

Zoe said...

Here's what we lost.

Best bit was Pratt offering to pay for a trophy or something at the frisbee club's end of year do. They told him he could contribute to the costs of getting it redone.

Mummy/Crit said...

...to the tune of $3000. Has he even apologised yet? The guy is an arsehole. I was so pissed off when I read about it yesterday and knew quickly that even if it wasn't sanctioned, it was legitimate artwork. I didn't realise it was one of byrd's...

Dean said...

Ah, so it was a byrd piece. I'd been wondering if it was or not. Cheers Duck.

What I couldn't believe was how spineless the ABC radio interviewer was with Pratt. All he had to do was ask for proof of the complaints Pratt was saying he'd been getting. But no, it took a caller to get that question asked. Grr.

Speaking of frames, I really should get byrd's piece I bought at that going-away show framed lest a rampant MLA barge in and pour white-out on it...

Mindy said...

I also thought it might have been Byrd's work. Pratt really did make himself look like an idiot. I cheered when the guy said Pratt could help pay to have it re-done. Just beautiful.

Bernice said...

Isn't this the pratt held hostage in Yugoslavia in 1999? on spying charges? a man with a Masters of Liberal Arts? Its sort of like a reverse Ern O'Malley really. Deputy leader of the party too...how come the shadow Minister for Emergency Services have time to piss about doing this sort of cheap (stupid, crass & appalling ignorant) stunt? & wouldn't a criminal charge of property damage raise the real issue of his suitability for such an important fine upstanding role in IT all?

Ampersand Duck said...

Yairs to all that, Bernice. Sometimes I wish we hadn't tried so hard to let him out of internment...

Mikey_Capital said...

Pure gold. I heard it on JJJ's hack and laughed and laughed

geoff said...

Excellent, a classic pollie faux pax.

Anonymous said...

what an outrage, a liberal polititian acting out a moral impertus contrary to both public opinion and the law. Whos actions are expossed as flawed and groundless, who then refuses to step back from their initial position...
by

chosha said...

I wanted to feel sorry for the guy, given that he was supposedly cleaning off graffitti and had checked to see if he could. But having seen your last pic of what he scrubbed off, I have to say that the guy is obviously an idiot if he looked at that and thought his time would be better spent getting rid of that instead of ugly, pointless tags. Prat indeed.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Is the prat dressed up for a photo op or a bit of manual labour?

Surely I'm wrong to think I can see razor sharp creases on those freshly washed and starched jeans, but if so I hope he was wearing a tie.

Like my old mentor at MI5 once told me, you can always judge a spook by its cover.

Ampersand Duck said...

Heh. Yes, BB always calls him 'spyboy'.

And yes, Chosha, some people are their own worst enemy, aren't they?