Friday, June 11, 2010

Spray Painted farewells for fallen skateboarder

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Spray-painted farewells for fallen skateboarder

Now, far be it for me to dump on people who are grieving, but two things have come to mind as I listened to news reports and comments made on John Gormley Live.

The first thing was how the deceased died. I'm sure he was the greatest kid in the world, and I'm sure that he had a lot of life goals to get through, but regardless of all that, he made an error in judgment that got himself killed. Simple as that. It happened twice within a month of my own graduation, and to be quite frank, it was the same story. A kid that did something stupid and got himself killed. It could be part of the reason why we came up with the idea of a tax on oxygen... but I digress.

The second thing that came to mind was the grieving process being undertaken. Now to be quite frank, I could REALLY care less how many friends this kid had. I can understand that these kids are grieving, however. Some of it at any rate. I can understand congregating at the place where the accident happened, especially if there are too many friends to fit in the kid's house or somewhere similar. I can understand turning the place into a shrine, replete with the standard crosses, teddy bears, or whatever else turns their fancy. What I object to is the spray painting and graffiti. Especially spray painting expletives as part of the graffiti.

I may be a real jerk about this. I've heard the argument that he liked to create graffiti art, and so it's fitting. I've heard the assertion that the graffiti will keep getting replaced every time it is removed. I've also heard the argument that this is how the students are choosing to grieve. And I call bullocks on all of these points. I don't care who you are and who friggin' died, graffiti is still defacing public property, and it still (last time I checked) is against the law to do so (something about VANDALISM, perhaps?).

So in the end, I can only say this to all those kids who are grieving right now... I empathize with you, I really do. Like I said, this happened twice in the month before I graduated. But to use your grief to vandalize and deface property in the name of your deceased friend really doesn't honour him. It dishonours his memory. If you really think it honours him, then I suggest doing the same "art" on his parents house and property and see how much THEY like your grieving. It's only fair. If you don't think that's a good idea, then I suggest you find another outlet to pour your energy into - perhaps a memorium at your school?


  1. You know, this one's a toughie but only because of the social conventions surrounding legitimate grieving and the feeling many of us are all too familiar with when we lose a loved one. A cold and rational look at this situation will render opinions much like your own and I don't think that's unfair.

    I don't think it's right to see these kids told to go away and grieve some other way but certainly they should be made to understand why they should do exactly that of their own volition. It's terribly difficult to tell a grieving person what to do and for good reason I think. They have lost something that absolutely can never be replaced or even partially compensated for. A human life is a unique kind of spark that can never be replicated once it's gone.

    Should they be forced to st9op defacing public property? I struggle to say that no I don't think they should be. I really think they should have been engaged in dialogue earlier on with school resources that apparently weren't made immediately available to them. It's now incumbent upon the local community to provide some kind of alternative outlet and dialogue for these kids because forcing them out of their current grieving process will only serve to damage these kids over much longer a term than any public road will ever last.

  2. Like I said... we went through this twice the spring we graduated. Both kids were popular. Both were hit with what I would call the oxygentax. One of them got drunk (underage) and then got hit by a train on the way home from the bar that night. Doesn't mean we congregated around the spot on the train tracks where it happened and spray painted graffiti on the railroad cars. It comes down to common sense and the "polite" society.