“Two days after Obama got elected, some skinny white boy named Shock with some mad beatboxing skills set up a mic and a sign that read “Free Beats” and just let anyone come up to the microphone to show off their stuff. And as a result, I now firmly believe that this guy should be hired by the city of New York as a public service, just to sit there and give out beats for anyone who wants to rap or sing or play the kazoo or whatever the fuck that hippie chick’s playing.” – from I Heart Chaos
I don’t know what any of it has to do with Obama, but it damn sure was entertaining.
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Photo by The Brooklyn Paper
I love (okay, maybe not love. more like, am kinda into) my local rag, The Brooklyn Paper. Unlike papers with a national distribution, a small paper like TBP can focus on the important local issues like the amazing coin-operated, self cleaning public toilet being installed at Grand Army Plaza, and my personal favorite, police blotters, a rundown of the latest crimes happening in my neighborhood. Not only that, but a local paper like TBP has the privilege of writing with a certain degree of wry sarcasm your national gazette simply couldn’t get away with.
Today’s paper gives the tip-off on a showdown, happening right here in Brooklyn, between a retired cop-turned-author and graffiti “artists” (why the quotes TBP?). Joseph Rivera, a former member of the famed New York City Transit Police Vandal Squad, recently released a book, Vandal Squad, chronicling his experience as part of the unit whose responsibility it was to clean up the city’s 80’s and 90’s era graffiti problem. Apparently, the book doesn’t sit well with some graffiti artists, who cite it as being inaccurate and “lacking in literary or documentary value.” Lucky for us, the criticism won’t be limited to the pages of The Brooklyn Paper. On March 19th, a panel discussion between Rivera and retired Vandal Squad officers as well as graffiti writers Ket, Cope2, and art blogger Stern Rockwell, is being held at the powerHouse Arena.
Though I’m not sure what good can come of a discussion panel like this, I’m planning on going just to see how irate both parties become.
Joe Rivera, author of “Vandal Squad,” at the powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], March 19, 7 pm. Free.