As I’ve previously written, I’ve got a soft spot for vandals with a creative streak.
During the “Urban Cowboy” craze after disco died in the early 1980s, a country-western bar called The Hot Spur opened in my hometown of Libertyville, Ill. My high school buddies and I thought it was pretty funny when someone spray-painted an “M” on the end of the bar’s name. Pretty adolescent humor, but funny nonetheless.
Now comes word out of Raleigh, N.C., that police have charged a 21-year-old college junior with larceny and destruction of property, both misdemeanors, for another incident of creative vandalism.
According to the AP, Joseph Carnevale chopped up three stolen orange and white traffic barrels to create a massive sculpture of a roadside monster thumbing a ride.
Carnevale saw the 10-foot sculpture as “street art,” but police just saw vandalism.
In cases like this, police or the courts should let the offender pay for damages and maybe a small fine.
I’ve described “creative vandalism” as graffiti or other property damage designed to elicit a smile or a laugh. It’s more like a practical joke, a witty statement or a clever stunt than malicious property damage.
Photo from The Smoking Gun.