Haven’t we all been to beautiful places and asked ourselves, “How could I deface this?” Whether it’s throwing a Starbucks bubble-cup into the La Brea Tar Pits* or putting out your cool yellow American Spirit against a fig tree downtown, Americans like to play with trash, especially when that involves getting rid of it quickly in places where one doesn’t live.
Unfortunately, some garbage gets deified as edgy, radical art.
And you get things like this. No, really, people are scrawling graffiti on ancient trees and spray-painting rocks that modern California’s ancestors inscribed. Good to know.
But as the reporter points out, most normal people are outraged, high-school kids are helping fix the problem, and “‘the rash of graffiti at Joshua Tree National Park defies the trend at parks nationwide, where vandalism has been on the decline over the past decade,’ said park service spokesman Jeffrey Olsen.”
Also, here is a cool book (written by a retired UCSB prof) about why Americans like rugged land so much.
*Well, into the brush at the tar’s edge. But still. The man had on clean shoes and expensive jeans and even though there were dozens of other visitors around, nobody–myself included–said anything. I still kick myself for that.