Thursday, August 10, 2006


It seems that there is a darker side to the work that the City of Puyallup is doing along the Riverfront Trail. There is still plenty of graffiti. You just have to poke around a bit. The dark side is not the graffiti itself, however, but the way in which the city is making it seem as though there is no graffiti. They have made sure to clean up anything you can see from the trail. That's right: it is all about image. On the back side of the bridge, on the other side of an embankment, on the side of a building just out of purview of the walker, jogger, or cyclist—the graffiti is still there. From those spots, even in close proximity, it is difficult to see the trail. It's Disneyfication with decay!

Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Louise and Uncle Ernie can still take their leisurely stroll down the trail and think they are in a wonderland free of dirt and detritus. The kids that hang out under the bridge—smoking their joints and drinking crap beer and screwing each other, all of which I have seen along the trail—can think they are in their wonderland of grit and grime. As the graffiti states: "Punks not dead."

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