Beyond Lilygate: Since When Did Filner and the Left Start Caring About Vandalism?

Ryan Purdy Ryan Purdy 11 Comments


Last fall, given the amount of public and private property that Occupy Wall Street burned, destroyed and even defecated on, I began to wonder anew if there were any forms of vandalism to which the left objected.  Alas, Lilygate provided a silver lining. Whatever the intent of the water fighting revelers, some of them destroyed a source of civic pride (the lily pond) within a larger source of civic pride (Balboa Park).  The silver lining? It upset citizens of all political stripes. I found this strangely heartening.  I gather that it even upset one of the founders the Congressional Progressive Caucus–a left wing Congressman running for Mayor.

However, upon further reflection, my hopes for a revival of large scale civic pride triggered by Lilygate have fled from me.  After all, the left has an unusual aversion to George Kelling and Jame Q. Wilson’s Broken Windows theory.  The theory holds vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers—the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility—are lowered by actions that seem to signal that “no one cares.”  Like most folks on the right, I condemn all forms of vandalism  including the destruction (and defecation) wrought by Occupy Wall Street. On the other hand, the left is very selective with its indignation directed at vandalism. If they can’t somehow label the vandalism as so-called “hate speech” or “hate crime,” they often ignore and occasionally congratulate the vandal. In the world of academia, entire “empirical” studies and philosophical ramblings have been devoted to glorifying graffiti not only as art, but also as a key to a “social world.” This recap of a study done by Tulane University students under tutelage of Professor Stephen Ostertag is nearly priceless, judging by Tulane’s tuition:

What is more, Snyder noted how his research on graffiti and graffiti artists allowed him to learn about a social world that existed right beneath his nose, though one he hardly noticed. His ethnography allowed him to discover a meaningful and insightful sub-world in a city he had lived in for a number of years. In addition to its fit in the scholarship on deviance and its constructions, this project allowed students to explore New Orleans in ways they never would have expected. They discovered an entirely new city, learned about competing definitions of art versus vandalism, learned how deviant behavior can sometimes serve as springboards for more acceptable careers (such as tattoo artist, or clothing designers) and enjoyed themselves in the process.

Tuition at Tulane University is $45,240 a year. Tulane students and parents are committing something more akin to arson than vandalism, by setting that much money on fire every year… and they don’t even use a match! But I digress. I don’t struggle with “competing definitions of arts versus vandalism.”  Unlike Professors Snyder and Ostertag, who presumably have little use for John Locke, I believe the primary purpose of government is to preserve property.  As such, last week I was pleased to use the San Diego 311 app to report graffiti right off of Morena Blvd.  A couple e-mail updates and four days later the graffiti (pictured above) was gone.

Locke died in 1704. While he couldn’t have conceived of a phone app to report property crime, I am confident he would have been pleased with it.  As for Professors Snyder and Ostertag, I can’t say that I feel remorseful that I caused interruption to a “social world” and “deviant behavior that can sometimes serve as springboards for more acceptable career such as tattoo artist, or clothing designers.”

Last fall Occupy Wall Street San Diego splattered blood and urine on the coffee cart and hot dog cart which do business in the Civic Center Plaza. 10 News reported the Sotos shut down their hot dog cart business at the Civic Center Plaza on October 28 because they say they were constantly being harassed and threatened by protesters. “We got followed on Park Avenue,” said Pete Soto. “They kept spitting at the truck, cursing us out and we woke up that Saturday and the truck was full of blood.”  The Sotos received a police escort to the fundraiser that Councilmember Carl DeMaio organized for them.  Linda Jensen, owner of the coffee cart did not show at the fundraiser because she was afraid for her safety. The fundraiser yielded about $4,000 for both carts. So, DeMaio cared about vandalism and people’s livelihoods long before it became trendy a couple weeks ago.

Filner, on the other hand, told San Diego City Beat’s Dave Maass: he did visit Occupy San Diego at one point and that he would’ve handled the situation better than Sanders. He says he would’ve engaged with the protesters and would not have maintained a large police presence at the site. “I would not have used the city power to get rid of them,” he says. “I would’ve encouraged them.”  Which part would you encourage Bob, the blood or the urine? Whatever the case, it is safe to say that Filner—who thought there should be less of a police presence at the anarchic cesspool they called a “protest”– would have little interest in stopping Occupy Wall Street vandalism.

Ah, but there might be a way we could interest Filner in Occupy Wall Street vandalism. He and his consultant Tom Shepard could dream up a cockamamie way to blame a DeMaio family member for it. Then, and only then, would they care about vandalism again.


Comments 11

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  2. Ryan, spent a great deal of time at the SD occupy. Both in Slab city and San Diego. I was trolling for Homeless Veterans. Vets that Stand Down shunned.

    That aside, the real blood at SD Occupy was the Pink Matter on the Plaza walk. Cadaver crews worked 24 hours non stop. They never did the seating area at the coffee shop.

    There is your real story. Even the LAT was snooping around Slab City.

  3. Mr. Purdy – thanks for tying all of this together in a neat and tidy package. In France, you are not allowed to cover over graffiti as they think it’s ‘art’ too…they would not like the 311 app but I sure do!

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    Michael Erl: Thanks for the kind words. Also, I would be interested to learn more about that which you are referring. Any links?

  5. This story is total tripe. You act like the movement for occupy was nothing more than homeless people getting beaten. You act like the presence of the VIOLENT police officers was warranted and you act like CARL DEMAIO is NOT connected to KEN ST. PIERRE (The still “missing” ORGANIZER of the Water Gun Fight) who is a contributor to the DEMAIO campaign and a former employee and good friend of Jonathan Hale (Carl DeMaio’s “family”). This is disgusting. If you were any kind of journalist you would be asking questions about why our police force, Mayor, Todd Gloria, and multiple other City Officials who knew about this event took no preventative measures to ensure the safety of the public and Balboa Park. Instead you write a smug article that highlights graffiti and how useful the 311 APP is. Honestly this is TRASH plain and simple and anyone who thinks otherwise is probably in the same IQ bracket as a chinchilla. This is what I just “love” (note the sarcasm) about “journalism” (and I use that term loosely) today…instead of investigating and coming up with a REAL story, people publish their fanciful opinions and call it newsworthy. Welcome to SAN DIEGO…Where everyone’s head is bigger than their pocketbook even though they would never admit it. Truly Truly disgusting.

  6. Post

    Ms. Right: Thanks, and I did not know that about France. Reason #5,001 to mock France. Sad the beliefs of American academia are not different than France though.

    MJB: Was it something I said?
    Apparently so.

    Have you tried the San Diego 311 app MJB? No? It’s awesome. Thank me later.

    MJB, I thought the “VIOLENT” (your word, sure as heck not mine) SDPD just makes things worse in crowd control situations. So the SDPD made OWS worse, in your opinion, but would have made the Balboa Park fight better? Fascinating.

    As for your merit-less yet hackneyed theory that “connects” DeMaio to the organization of the water fight — it bores me.

    Next topic: journalism. I am not a journalist, for the record. I think the primary difference between a journalist and a blogger these days is that bloggers just don’t pretend to be unbiased. Bloggers simply do the work journalists won’t do.

  7. Ryan Purdy:

    First of all I don’t put things in CAPS to make what I am saying “right” I do it to stress a point considering this is written word and not spoken word.

    Secondly I would like to know just how the occupy people were being “belligerent”? Maybe you think sitting and “occupying” a space is considered belligerent but I didn’t see any of them being hostile or aggressive. A matter of fact the only people I saw being hostile and aggressive were the SDPD. Pepper spraying and hitting people who are doing little more than gathering for a civil protest hardly seems like “professional” demeanor. Nor does standing with riot gear on and playing on your smart phone. Waste of tax payer dollars. All and all the fact that you link the OWS protests to “urine and blood” is totally bogus. You make it sound like it was nothing but homeless drunks down there when in fact there were homeowners who had been foreclosed on, college students, everyday working people and yes the occasional bum. It’s not a crime (or it didn’t used to be) to protest, so why treat people like criminals? Our country is in shambles and these people had the dedication to go day after day to protest what is going on in our country…only to be pepper sprayed, beaten, and arrested for exercising their right to peaceful assembly. For a bunch of belligerent people they sure were crying and trying to get away from the police and their brutal methods. I’m sure you’re one of those people who thinks the government is here to protect us, and that everything they say and do is in our best interest. If I’m wrong with that assumption please feel free to correct me.

    Next I would like to address the 311 APP. Yes I have used it. Yes it is handy. No I do not think you deserve a pat on the back or should feel proud because you got one piece of graffiti removed. Maybe you should try bettering your community in ways that don’t use a smart phone or computer? Eh but that’s probably asking far too much.

    As far as the water fight goes, you can spout the same crap that the Mayor, Todd Gloria, and the SDPD all spouted about it not getting out of hand last year so they didn’t see any reason to monitor it this year. Well here are the facts: They new over 1,000 people would be in attendance; They knew that the fountain it was supposed to take place at was set to be under construction the date of the water fight; They had all received phone calls from concerned citizens about it possibly getting out of hand, Yet they all did NOTHING. As much as they are all going around demanding people take responsibility, none of them have taken responsibility for their negligence. As far as what the SDPD would have done if they were there…who knows? I guess we will never know. Their very presence may have kept people from destruction, or they could have gone around pepper spraying and beating people for no reason. Like I said I guess we will never know, and maybe it’s better that way…it still doesn’t dismiss their negligence.

    Now on to DeMaio. I am not trying to “link” him to the water gun fight. I am however linking him to Ken St. Pierre, organizer of the water gun fight. Yes Filner jumped the gun and told DeMaio to denounce the wrong person (also keep in mind when talking about the event SDGLN was the only publication to use the words “WE HAVE” before describing the event which would lead ANYONE to believe they had organized it. They still will not address why they used these words even though they are claiming they had nothing to do with the event). Ken St. Pierre is good friends with DeMaio’s partner which was evident not only through him and Hale organizing multiple GLBT events but through Ken St. Pierre’s Facebook page (which like Ken St. Pierre has abruptly disappeared). The bottom line is Ken St. Pierre is a campaign contributor to DeMaio, is friends with DeMaio and still has not been apprehended, or come forward. THESE ARE FACTS. Just like it is a fact as soon as Ken St. Pierre’s name was mentioned in the media both Todd Gloria AND Carl DeMaio immediately issued statements saying that they were not affiliated with him in any way shape or form…but public record suggests otherwise. It is also a fact that Ken St. Pierre has not been mentioned since…not by the media, not by police, not by any city official…as I said he seems to have “disappeared” of the face of the planet. I suppose you are going to tell me this has absolutely NOTHING to do with DeMaio and Jonathan Hale (or whatever name this felon is going by these days) and their BLATANT connection to the organizer of the water gun fight Ken St. Pierre. As I said previously…Filner missed the mark, but honestly not by much and if Diva DeMaio saw any chance to sling mud at Filner he would seize it like he has all ready so many times.

    Like I said before…this is the real news…this is where the real questions are. Not some fiddle faddle about some 311 APP and what a great citizen you are for using your phone for more than sexting or choosing which restaurant you are planning to have lunch at today. My advice to you: Leave the blogging to middle aged soccer mom’s and people who actually do their research before giving their “opinion’. As far as going where journalists won’t this is little more than regurgitated opinions from UT and SDGLN combined into “your opinion”. Once again I have a strange feeling you are someone who believes everything people say…but only as long as you agree with them, otherwise it’s not worth the effort because…you have blogging to do and graffiti to notify the city about!

  8. @MJB

    Do you care that everything you post is wrong? Both factually and morally? Or do you just enjoy typing fictional diatribes because the tiny man in your tin foil hat made you do it?

  9. MJB needs to go back to making coffee. Or perhaps he had too much. Having been an “up close and personal” witness to the same left wing lunatics in Seattle during the WTO years ago, the methods remain the same. Dirt bag, union thug, badly educated Socialist felons pretending they are political refugees. Breaking windows, throwing feces, applying graffiti to walls, pledging allegiance to barry sotero (that is recent), are all part of the tedious mediocrity of leftist protest.

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