Banksy strikes again!

Banksy has left Louisiana and is headed north, stenciling and skewering as he goes. Here he strings up the KKK outside Birmingham, Alabama.

Banksy does the KKK in Birmingham

Supertouch has the story:

British street artist BANKSY has been on a southern road trip of late, starting in a pre-Gustav New Orleans before moving on to ALABAMA where he paid homage to the great white powers-that-be with his stenciled image of a hung KKK member on an abandoned gas station. Taking matters into their own hands yesterday, irate locals broke out their own spray cans to let the world know what they think of a snotty English street artist pointin’ fingers at their good ole boys. Too bad they didn’t realize that simply cutting out the stencil & selling it on eBay would have been the sweetest revenge.

But like I said on the comments over there, by doing this the thin-skinned knuckle-walkers of Birmingham have given Banksy two news cycles instead of just one, illustrated his point with their own repressive actions, and turned a static work of art into a piece of social-engineered, community-based performance art, with themselves playing the trained monkeys.

Nice work, Birmingham!

And here’s what a local has to say about it. Turns out the owner of the gas station is a black guy who really liked the work:

I went down to Birmingham from Nashville Monday night to check this out…it’s not everyday something like this is happens so close. Got to the site around 11:30pm (not a good idea in that neighborhood that late!) only to discover that the piece had just been painted over. The paint was still drying…I was gutted.

So…we went back Tuesday morning to get a better look. We ended up sticking around for pretty much the entire afternoon. There was a steady flow of the people in the neighborhood stopping by to check it out as well as those tipped off by sites like this. It was really amazing to see the range of responses that this piece evoked. Some people saw it as death to racism…other just saw it as hate. As one local said…”Hate breeds hate”…it didn’t matter to him who was hanging from the noose…all he saw was hate. Overall…it really sparked some great conversations between people who probably never would have stopped to talk if it weren’t for this piece. Love it or hate it…I think the piece did it’s job.

While we were there…we had started talking to and older African-American man who ended up being the property owner. He had seen the image the day before and had come back to take video of the place – only to find it painted over. He understood the painting and appreciated the quality of work…but he had no idea what he was dealing with…so I got to fill him in and explain why so many people were coming by to take pictures.

Long story short…in an effort to protect this image from further damage or from disappearing altogether…I told him he might want to take the piece down himself. Not sure if I’ll get some flack for that on this site…but I thought it was the right thing to do. So…my friend and I ended hanging out with this amazing gentleman for the day and helped him remove the work. He did let us each keep one of the blank grey panels…so I guess I can say I own an original Banksy! HA!

Anyways…I told him I told him I’d help out and try to get an idea of what something like this could fetch if being sold. Any feedback would be great! I’d also be curious to know if anyone thinks there is any restoration that can be done. I’m not thinking there is…but I thought I’d ask.

and pictures of the sad de-Banksyfication of the site.

200 thoughts on “Banksy strikes again!

  1. Pingback: Back to School Martinis and a BLT Links » Ayyyy!

  2. As opposed to Insult-Slinging Xenophobe?

    Banksy’s a self-employed individualist who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps; I’d have thought you’d have respected that. You surprise me.

    If you google KKK do you have any idea how high Birmingham ranks, or why? It’s the perfect image, in the perfect spot, obviously, or it wouldn’t have struck so many overwrought nerves. Sometimes the most frightening view is in the mirror.

    Why does he upset you so much?

  3. Rain– Banksy doesn’t upset me. He’s just a glorified vandal running around illustrating his political opinions on other people’s property while he remains in hiding. He doesn’t have the cojones to stand up like a man and voice his opinions in public, and now this brit is over in this country trying to fan the flames of racism in a predominantly black city. I say find the pantload named Banksy and deport him.

  4. How can you POSSIBLY be more public than that? The owner of the property loved the work; if you can’t look at the side by side images at the top of the page and see the difference between street art and vandalism I’m not even sure we can have a conversation.

    How is a painting saying “The KKK are bad” possibly “fan the flames of racism”?

  5. Rain, Banksy has successfully promoted his image as an outlaw. He chooses vandalism as the vehicle to express his opinions. I admire his work as far as artistry goes, he is obviously clever and talented with his graphics.

    Banksy is talented, but he’s gutless. His graffiti is usually inflammatory, and if he truly believes his own message, why wouldn’t he stand up and present himself?

    Instead of producing stencilled prints and selling them, he chooses to promote hatred of Israel and the U.S. and inspires taggers all over the world. Hell, he pulled an ignorant protest stunt in Disneyland!

    The KKK is a racist organization by their own admission, and I don’t defend them at all. But in this case, Banksy is advertising lynching.

    In the 18th century, Britain had the biggest slave trade in the world, and for Banksy to come to this country to pick at a scab in the heart of the south by vandalizing property with racially inflammatory graphics shows that he is ignorant of history and has an axe to grind with the U.S.

  6. Your Grace

    mmmm … or alternatively mmmm which is mmmm backwards

    How do you know that this was “created” by “Banksie” …

    and are the Artist’s (or perhaps Artiste’s) Graphics/Artistry really that “good” or “admirable”

    I ask in a spirit of forensic & pScientific inquiry

    ScHocking perhaps …. but really rather inSensitive and somewhat in diminished Poor Taste

    – I wish this Eagle had 1% of his (or her) talent, but it’s hard enough to handle a keyboard with these talons, let alone a spray-can

    but is it fair to associate Banksie (or pseudo-Banksie) with Opprobium of the 18th Century Britisch Slave Trade ?

    If yes, perhaps we might be favoured (err … favOred) us with apologies for the US’s part in that trade … and stealing land from our Mexican friends … and from the Queen of Hawaii …. and …. inventing Computers, affodable hoovers/cars/chewing gum for the Lower Orders (errr … Democrat-voters, in the American Argot) etc etc

    Your Grace’s obedient servant etc

    G E

  7. Bunk, I think you’re wrong here. This is well within the traditional bounds of US-style free speech, and I think the artist here is inviting us to consider racism in its own context, isn’t he (or she)? It’s commentary, not necessarily approval.

    If racism wasn’t ingrained in many US states, the McCain ticket would have been trailing by thirty points even before his handlers picked out that crazy church lady for his trophy veep. The Republicans are playing the fear of the darkies for all it’s worth–less obviously than with Harold Ford, for example, but they’re happily playing that violin until the strings smoke.

    Hell–they’ve even used it against McCain himself in prior years.

    And in places like Alabama, with that unpicked-and-still-festering scab you referred to, it plays like a dog whistle to the party faithful who are willing to watch four more disastrous years under Bush policies, renamed “McCain” policies.

    This isn’t British Empire history–it’s current US events. And if the anonymous artist who did this picture invites some discussion of the pus beneath that scab, then how is that a bad thing?

    Oh, and as far as I can tell, all Banksy’s done with respect to Israel is spray-paint the Middle East’s equivalent of the Berlin Wall. How is that encouraging hatred?

  8. Jeremy Jacobs– Thanks.

    Rain– Should I even bother responding to Metro? I’m willing to provide a short history lesson for his benefit if you like, otherwise it’s prolly not worth my time. Your site, your call, your pal, Bunk.

  9. Bunk, you have my sincere apologies because at this moment I don’t have the time to add meaningful comments of my own, but yes, of course you should respond to Metro if you disagree with him. I’m proud to provide a forum for that debate.

    Jeremy, however, has reduced his inputs on this and other platforms to one-line negatives and I can’t really respond to that, as I don’t think it’s coming from who he really is but rather who he is reacting to some perceived slight. So, in cold internet language, sandbox Jeremy. Answer to Metro and me or others on your own.

    I know you put some thought into these comments, and wish I could but while I’ve been responding to your comments I’ve been interrupted three times. Temporary, but annoying. I saw what you did with Archie and respect that and hope to reproduce it.

  10. Rain– What did I do with Archie? Is he okay?

    Lemme clear the air a lil. Some folks have me pegged as a troll, and I’m not, but I do like to debate folks on facts as opposed to emotion, and sometimes that causes some folks to react to and interpret my comments in ways that I never intended.

    Here’s a recent example. I’m a fan of Little Green Footballs []. Last December I made it through one of Charles’ narrow windows to sign up as an official “lizard,” and it was fun. Fun to joust with fellow conservatives and intelligently discuss foreign affairs. I lasted about four days before I was booted.

    I made one innocuous comment in response to another. Within minutes I was labeled as a troll, a neo-nazi, a palistinian sympathizer, a racist, a jew hater, etc., and was banned from commenting on the website by Charles himself, even as I tried to explain myself. My comment? I said that Israel was lucky that the U.S. didn’t reciprocate after the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked without warning in 1967. No offense meant, just opinion.

    My political beliefs are unapologetically conservative. I admit that when I was younger, more naive and idealistic, I tended to accept some of the liberal mantra that was being taught in my schools, without understanding the indoctrination process.

    I’ve already verbalized my disgust at the socialists that claim to be for the “downtrodden” of my country while they perpetuate the economic failures wrought by previous administrations, especially those of FDR and LBJ. These “social services programs” only encourage folks to stay in the non-productive strata of our great country by paying them to do so.

    If you were an employer, why would you want to pay your employees to stay home? Government social programs do just that.

    Oh Gawd. You got me on my soapbox, bloviating all over my shoes. I’m a little stressed these days, gotta mom with Alzheimer’s, a sister who’s spinning out, two teenagers in High School and I’m in the process of setting up my own office with a pittance of a workload. I’ll lighten up a little.

    Oh yeah… Almost forgot. Metro is full of shit. =)

  11. Bunk

    We enjoy your comments and we especially enjoy disagreeing with you … at least this Eagle goes away better informed

    I certainly haven’t cracked Declining Auncient Parents nor spinning sisters


    Be of Good Courage – teenagers do grow up and become even more magical, especially when repairing parental computers !!!!

    AND don’t think too harshly of the incisive Monsieur Metro, who does have several good points, especially when disagreeing with an Aquilan observation

    I remain your obedient servant etc

    G Eagle

  12. Bunk. The fact that you got kicked off Little Green Freakouts is the most heartening thing I have learned about you.

    Why then, do you still insist on bringing the twisted hothouse logic of that particular cesspool and graveyard of truth to the debate here?

    “Metro is full of shit.”

    Bunk is aptly named.

  13. G Eagle–
    I don’t mind people who disagree with me. As for Metro, I gave into the impulsive temptation to yank his chain, especially after viewing his website. He’s allowed his opinions.

    Please don’t be offended. It was intended as a sarcastic barb after honest civility. (Note the little innocent happy thingy at the end.)

    My point in commenting at all on this fine post is that Banksy is a glorified vandal from England trying to stir up angst in the predominantly black population of Birmingham. You made an illogical connection between Banksy and McCain.

    The right of free speech does not extend to vandalism, no matter how talented the “graffiti artiste” is. Hell I could do what he does. It’s not that hard to make a stencil and spray paint graphics. The real talents in the vandal field use no stencils at all and create amazing displays. But it’s still vandalism.

    To be fair, I admired THIS guy’s amazing work and included it in a post:

    All in fun, Metro.

  14. I note the question as to my well being. I am quite well, considering.

    I do enjoy banksey’s work. I also note that you once again bring FDR and LBJ into the discussion. In a society where there are not enough jobs to go around (economic downturns, jobs going offshore), what is your solution to the problems faced by the jobless? Let them starve? Put them in goal? In a society where there are not sufficient jobs to go around, why are the losers at this game of musical jobs blamed?

  15. Folks, I’ve been more verbose than usual… I’ll work on brevity. I like Jeremy’s minimalism.


    I disagree with your premise that there are not enough jobs to go around. Jobs are not given, they are earned, and in this country everyone is free to pursue their own employment. I started by mowing grass, trying to sell homemade items, offering to clean up dog shit, etc. I didn’t charge $8 an hour for it either.

    When government penalizes businesses with brutal taxation, the business has the option to raise prices and pass their expenses on to the consumer of their product, lay off workers, fold up shop, or moves overseas where there is cheaper labor.

    The solution is simple market economics, combined with lower taxation.

    I stand by my previous statement that when government pays people more to stay at home and collect welfare than the people could get by working for a living, that a lot of those folks would rather stay on the dole.

    Economically, it’s in their best interest, and they’re not stupid. Why work when you can get something for free? That’s the achilles heel of socialism.

    Certainly there are those who cannot support themselves for all kinds of legitimate reasons, and our tax dollars SHOULD and DOES provide a safety net so that we don’t revert to the Poor House/Indentured Servant system that was abolished decades ago.

    Even the borderline mentally disabled hold jobs. It’s a difference between the incapable who can’t work vs. the capable who won’t. I don’t like my money to be confiscated to support the latter. Screw ’em.

  16. Bunk, just a quick note: not everyone IS free to pursue their own employment. I can tell you for a fact that if you report self-employed income when you are on Welfare you will immediately lose benefits while they audit your case, regardless of whether or not you have earned enough in your first month to self-support. That may or may not be official policy, but it is what actually occurs on the ground. Consequently, this has driven most of the people with any entrepreneurial spirit to cheat the system by working under the table until they are well and truly doing much better.

    And the average small (1-person) business takes more than twice as long, and three times as much money to get going as stated in the business plan. The number one reason new businesses fail is undercapitalization during the initial six months. I’d give you a link, but the article I wrote is subscribers-only, alas.

    So, obviously, self-employment is limited to those who have funds saved up to support themselves and their dependents for six months. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I’ve seen this in action.

  17. Also: you are, of course, not allowed to work on your own business while receiving benefits. The only exception of which I am aware is those receiving disability II class benefits in BC, which allows you to keep what you earn, up to a certain amount. That’s a plan I support, because it gives people a reason to work in the first place and allows them not to starve while they do it. You shouldn’t penalize people for trying to get off assistance.

  18. Hi Bunk:

    Sorry–communication gap. I don’t interpret the addition of an emoticon or an “lol” to negate the spirit of the prededing text, but I’m glad to see you meant it in civil spirit. Thanks for that. And for the more nuanced expression of your economic beliefs.

    You do realize, though, that RC may be really disappointed that this hasn’t erupted in flamewar? Long may her disappointment continue.


  19. Okay,okay. Flame war. Just for rain. My heart’s not in it, but here goes;

    Metro, you’re so lame you harvest dried toothpaste globs for breath mints. You couldn’t outwit a medium sized dollop of eyegorp. You have to study all night just to pass a urine test. You can’t even spell WTF. You have a prescription, renewable forever, to treat your coprophagia.

    Can I go now?

  20. Hwoore – these eloquent Racoons are best not offended – just think what Bunk might wRite, if really cross

    The great F E Smith was an English Barrister around the First World War – he became Lord Birkenhead, Chairmn of the Britisch Olympic Committee in 1924 (featured in Chariots of Fire)

    He was a Fearless Advocate – he could & would have braved even her Grace La Marchionesse Keira RegenCoaster in an unHappy Mood, before the Gin Supplies had an opportunity to have a suitably softening effect …. or even Monsieur Metro, Champion of that enDangered Species – the Tree OktoPus – when confronted by the Palin Phenomenon

    A Judge said “Smith, you’re being offensive”

    Smith’s retort “Well, the difference between us is that I mean to be”


    G Eagle

  21. High praise and well said. And since it’s friendly:

    Bunk, you have a face made for radio, a voice best suited to silent film, and a brain which could possibly, given sufficient time and adequate tuition, learn to out-think a bowl of brussel sprouts.

    Overall, I feel that the fact that Mother Theresa told you to “Get £µ©λed” sums it up nicely.

    Not to worry though, you’ll always make a fine living on what you take out of blind mens’ cups.

    Duty done, signing off and heading for the tub.

  22. Metro “…. you have a face made for radio, a voice best suited to silent film ….”

    …. AND this is from a distinguished-looking man seen somewhere round this place in an Outdoor Tub accompanied by an EMPTY beer bottle, while focusing (errr in North-Amerikan “fo-cussing”) a rifle to deter the local squirrels from too closely approaching ….

    …. It is unclear whether this was before or after his antique Mo-Ped had expired ….. only to be ignominiously rescued by a passing Christian-Creationist Lorry ….

  23. @Bunk–So they’ve finally house-trained you?

    @Eagle–those weren’t creationists, they were hillbillies. Mind you, I can understand the confusion …

  24. Metro, for the benefit of Rainco’s ratings, let’s continue our civil discussion, since we’ve both had potty breaks. (Did you put the papers out on the floor yourself or did you make your “significant other” do it?)

    So tell me. What kind of animal would you choose to be if you could think logically?

  25. Bunk

    Is Monsieur Metro too shy to discover to us a regret that the Good Lord had not made him into a Polar Bear – Seals are said to be better eating than dismembered Tree Oktopodia

    This Eagle wouldn’t know … more into Salmon and illicit Cheese

    … but of course there is that nice-looking American Polar-Bear Lady-Shootist – this does reduce the glamour of being a P-Bear

    AND NOW that someone has so rashly told her about the Bush-Doctrine which seems to have given the AmeriKans a taste for cross-border raids into Pakistan, would the Metro P-Bear be safe just across the British Columbia frontier, in the innocent pursuit of pSalmon


  26. Oh–sorry, are we still down here?

    @Bunk: You mean you don’t even know about the illicit cheese?

    And in response to your question: I’ll answer that if you tell me whether that nasty infection has cleared up yet.

  27. I’ve been offline a bit.

    Just coming in late to say how flattered I am that you’ve named your best feature after little ol’ me.

    C’mon … this is supposed to be a civil,polite flamewar.

  28. rain– Are your stats on this post adequate? I suspect the next phase involves Metro’s nosehair, and it’ll just be a downhill slide from then on. ‘Bout time we move on to bigger and better flame wars. =)

  29. Yes, I think we can move on now. I’ve got a new laptop, courtesy of some friends, so hopefully once the grafting surgery is complete there will never be a reason for me to be offline. People tried to talk me out of it, but I wasn’t using my lap for anything anyway.

  30. Fantastic work!

    I think the key reason banksy chooses to stay anomynous is not because of his wish to escape the reponsibility for his actions, but doesn’t want to disappoint his fans/hold influence over the meaning behind his work with his own appearance and stereotypes attatched to that. Do some research and you’ll see he’s said as much in an interview.

  31. I know the real reason this post is so popular is the quality of the flamewar!

    Actually, today this post has three times as many hits as the next-most-popular post, which is about the Britney Spears sex tape rumour. Good to see the world’s getting its priorities straightened out, however temporarily.

  32. @Bunk – Do you presume to know the true intentions of an artist? Nay, a criminal? How can one see clearly the mind of a man so thoroughly removed from one’s own?

    Truly, the artists of our time are nothing, if not a mirror for the times which hath spawned them?

  33. My view is merely that while Banksy is most certainly a criminal, I see a distinct separation between criminality and immorality. Simply because what he does is against the law, does not mean that what he does is wrong.

    Nor, does the law specifically deal with the muddy area of morality, rightness and wrongness per se. Rather, the law is a matter of facts, what is permitted and what is not. It is in the very nature of art to not be contained by such rules. What is the point of art with a revolutionary message (in the sense of having the intent of starting a revolution, and not being revolutionary in concept alone) that is cleanly packaged and sold within the means of legal distribution?

    Vandals and vigilantes like Banksy must be pursued, caught, and tried legally for their crimes. Vandals and vigilantes like Banksy must also do all that they can to evade capture and continue their crusade against the established order. Neither side can ultimately prevail.

  34. SoIn–

    What Banksy does has nothing to do with morality, although he may think it does. He’s an overrated vandal who has already gotten the attention he craves. Compare him to Keith Haring. Haring grew up and figured it out. Banksy still hasn’t.

    Looky, I have no problem with these talents:

    Your comment that vandals like Banksy “… must also do all that they can to evade capture and continue their crusade against the established order,” reminds me of Brando’s line in “The Wild Ones.”

    A reporter asks biker Johnny Strabler, “What are you rebelling against?”
    Strabler (Brando) replies, “Whattaya got?”

  35. I would like to suggest that perhaps there isn’t anything for Banksy to “figure out”, and things simply are the way they are. Reverse graffiti is masturbation, after all – what’s the point if it does no harm?

    Are you saying you don’t mind art (or creative vandalism) so long as it doesn’t actually have a lasting effect on its surroundings?

    Is Banksy overrated as an artist? Sure. He’s got no real talent to speak of. Any idiot with scissors, cardboard and spray paint can make stencils.

    I don’t defend Banksy any more than I defend Bush. Which is to say, that I defend neither of them. I do however defend the right for people to do what they think they have to do in order to make a difference for themselves or the world around them.

    Also, now I need to go and watch The Wild One again…

  36. Banksy is no coward, I’m sure you would not have the guts to come up with a piece of art depicting a strong political view and pop it up for the public to see. You are the coward.

  37. Bunk Strutts,

    Banksy always asks for permission before doing any work to private property. So that goes to show what you know.

  38. I’m not actually sure that’s true. He’s put up pieces on private property (like the Gitmo installation in Disneyland that Bunk points out) without permission, and he he’s put them on public land without permission as well. When he was in LA he was doing an overpass and some street guy walked up and said “I know who you are, you’re that Banky!” and that’s when he knew he was getting TOO famous.

  39. WoW

    There is a God …. and he’s on this Eagle’s side

    A Parcel of Illicit Cheese is just arrrived !!!

    … AND no Junior Eagles to share it with


    This Eagle isn’t going to share it with the More Deserving across the Pond – puir Bankers, having to leave their Jobs clutching their pathetically MODEST severance cheques … errr checks in the North-Amerikan Argot

  40. SoInc–

    You made some decent points.

    Most art, including graffiti,IS mental masturbation until the artist can sell it. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong. In Keith Haring’s case, he quit the criminal stuff, and now he sells it for big buckos, bucko.

    If the art does no harm, fine. Graffiti “artists” don’t paint their own property, though. That’s the difference, and it’s a point that seems to be lost on the graffiti apologists.

    You also admit, and I agree with you, that Banksy is overrated. Kinda like carving pumpkins. Every Halloween, folks come by and ask where I bought the stencils that scared their kids, and I have to explain that I do ’em freehand. I’ve done hand-plotted perspective drawings where folks have come to me to ask what computer program I used. Woof!

    I have no respect for amateurs who use stencils. They have no significant talent of their own, including Banksy.

    You went scooters when you attempted to make a Banksy/Bush connection, though. Way off topic.

    Sam Lockart–
    You know nothing about me, and your assumptions are based upon ignorance. My “graffiti” is entirely legal and is known world wide.

    Steve– FAIL.

    rain– I Lubs You Porgy! I’m gettin’ some odd traffic offa this one, too! Lemme know if’n y’all want me to continue the cat-n-mouth game or shut it down. I’ll walk. –Bunk

  41. That’s par for the course with our dear G. Eagle.

    Bunk: why quit now? This thing is currently getting (no lie) 1000 hits per hour. It’s great to see Banksy outpulling Britney Spears as the top post on my blog.

    Now, to your points about street art and Banksy…

    Where do you think the stencils come from? Have you seen a hanged KKK dude stencil at WalMart lately? It’s a technique, not a pejorative, and the artist is no less an artist for using tools. Photographers can be more than mere documentarians as well, and they don’t even build their own tools.

    Keith Haring never did quit street art, nor did Basquiat, right up till they died. They just ALSO did stuff on canvas for huge amounts of money. I’ve got a great piece on Haring in Vanity Fair from the late Eighties where he talks about it.

    Banksy is also often invited to do his art; that was the case with the Grotto in Bethlehem this past year. And he can stencil MY walls anytime!

  42. rain–

    Again, we’re in agreement, just looking at it from different angles. My point with Banksy is that he’s not as artistically talented as folks think, and that he’s intentionally trying to stir up trouble in places that he doesn’t belong.

  43. “In the 18th century, Britain had the biggest slave trade in the world, and for Banksy to come to this country to pick at a scab in the heart of the south by vandalizing property with racially inflammatory graphics shows that he is ignorant of history and has an axe to grind with the U.S.”

    Well I’ve just checked my calender and I don’t want to be the one to tell you this, but it isn’t the 18th century any more. Actually, it’s quite a bit beyond that. There is no British slave trade, so what would be accomplished by taking pot shots at issues that no longer exist I don’t know. Conversely, the KKK are still going in the United States and racism is alive and well as (one of) the dark underbellys of the country. Arguably that’s something that should have disappeared 200 years ago too but hey, people suck.

    The artist is well aware of issues in his home country, that’s where he started and where the vast majority of his criticism has been placed. Why that invalidates criticism of other countries or why criticism of other countries “where (a person) doesn’t belong” is an unfair thing to do I can’t imagine. There are countries in the world where criticism is *only* permitted by outsiders.

    Frankly, yours sounds like the insular attitude that drives xenophobia and racism and bends the intellect to the lowest common denominator.

    The only aspect of your comments that I passed over that I agreed with or even appeared to make sense is that it is rather cheeky to go across someone else’s country stamping your identity on the place. It is. However, since a picture in a place or two is about as harmless as it comes and at least a substantial proportion of people can appreciate the value of it, I wouldn’t class it as any concern.

  44. My point is that he’s highly talented, highly successful both politically and artistically, and within his moral, if not legal, rights. He does deliberately choose places of soul-killing ugliness to “desecrate” after all.

  45. 1000 hits per hour? Damg! Maybe I outta say something REALLY inflammatory! METRO! GET BACK HERE NOW! WE NEED YOUR ILLOGICAL GOADING! PROVE THAT BANKSY IS HETERO!

    Hope that helps, rain. Let’s see where this babozo toboggan wants to go, and I’ll help you run it into the ground.

  46. ChunckyLaf–

    Unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity to re-edit my previous comments, otherwise I would have deleted, or at least edited that one, as it’s obviously too far off topic. I happened to be reading Thomas Sowell’s book, “Black Racists & White Liberals” at the time, and I kinda shot from the hip. He’s got an excellent summation of the history of slavery. Fact is, the USA abolished it before Britain did, and would have done so 100 years earlier if the King of England hadn’t forbade it.

    Your last paragraph is right on the money, my friend, although I am annoyed by Banksy’s irrational and unnecessary rabble-rousing. How ’bout I walk about your town painting pictures of lynchings?

  47. “Yippee-Ti-Yi-O! Getta Long Little Dogies!
    Gotta Thousand and five, we ain’t done with this tome;
    Gonna Get us a Million if it takes us forever;
    An’ the Flame War be lit til the last one goes home.”

  48. I just gave an interview where I stressed that flamewars are great for hits. What better proof could there be? In another hour or so this will be the most popular post on my blog ever.

  49. Well first, I have to say that I have gotten as much from the comments section, as I have from the photo, bravo. Thus, I feel compelled to open my big mouth.

    Bunk: “Lemme clear the air a lil. Some folks have me pegged as a troll, and I’m not, but I do like to debate folks on facts as opposed to emotion, and sometimes that causes some folks to react to and interpret my comments in ways that I never intended.”

    I would issue to you that forming your debate around your -opinion- that his work is talentless or that he is a coward would not be quite as in stride with debating the “facts” as you would like. I, as well as most here understand your point of view, but please, you are no martyr for truth. Your arguments have been solely based on emotion. Why shouldn’t they be? This is a very emotional piece of work.

    My opinion of this whole mess is fairly simple, and I believe stems from a previous argument. To say that an artist trying to invoke a revolutionary thought of mind is operating outside the law, is just redundant. And to stay in focus here by bring up an argument in relation to the far reaching past; something about tea, a harbor, and Native American garb is wanting to force its way out of my mind.

    At any rate, I like his work. He may not be the Picasso of our time, just like the Grateful Dead was not the Mozart of an era, however his art is pretty damn good. He may or may not have a deep seeded reason for his expression, but far be it from anyone to try and psychoanalyze such an individual. Of course there will be die hard fans of his -or any artist for that matter- proclaiming him to be the Messiah of cardboard and paint, but it does not change the overall message of this piece. Nor does it degrade any of his work.

    And yes, I did just reference the Grateful Dead.

  50. Your Grace

    Salve [after dark = Bonsoir]

    I flatter myself that I agree with Magister Wotsin-aNayme on so many things

    However, when about to digest a Postal Package of illicit Cheese, I venture to register a gentle divergence of approach

    – well-fed emotion has great attraction over facts, especially if you’re a trendy-lefty Gordon Brown supporter

    BUT how does one reduce the burden on the UK National Health Service occasioned by cholesterol-induced narrowing of the arteries from excessive indulgence in fromage

    I appreciate this may not be an anxiety in the USA which doesn’t seem to have a Health Service except for Rich Folk like Mr Shrub & his Friend Mr MacAuncient

    The BBC News suggests Dark Chocolate

    Transmitte me sursum, Caledoni
    et Vale

    [Beam me up Scottie
    and Au Revoir]

    Yr Grace’s obedt servt etc

    G E

    Sorry to ask but can you explain for a dim Limey what “Yippee Kai Yay” means

    … I didn’t follow the following word, but perhaps in a Blogge Eruditissimo visited by so many Ladies Children and other Animals, perhaps one should not enquire too deeply about the word … or is it 2 words

  51. Do you not read Bojo’s blog, yo? JUST SAY NO TO ILLICIT CHEESE! Even English cheeses!

    Speaking of whom, it’s quite trendy these days to be a right-wing Bobo Tory. You know Bobos?

    The derivation of Yippee (or is it Yippie?) Kai Yay is lost to history, but it was popularized by that great American hero John McClane (The Right Man for The Wrong Time) in the Die Hard Movies, of whose campaign to lead Upper Mexico more can be read on his website.

  52. This comment column is turning into a complete pigpen! It is time it was returned to the original premise, and that is that Banksy is one of the most brilliant commentators on modern life. Something you deadheads should acknowledge before you move into morality and other such subjects which are totally foreign to the Republican psyche. After the current obscenity of paying off the causators of the current financial difficulties no one will be at all surprised when the working man’s dead! Dead set, we may all have to go and sing the blues for Allah. We’ll all be completely in the dark before we go to heaven.

  53. Comments calling Banksy a coward and a criminal only show ignorance. I assume you’re from the South and don’t like anyone inspiring indpendent thought. Banksy wants the work to stand on it’s on and inspire you to think. There is a reason why he doesn’t come out and take publicity, and a reason why he chooses controversal subject matter. Sreet art has been around much longer than “graffiti” and most would distinguish the difference, even if the state dooes not. He is not inventing the wheel, he’s carrying on a tradition of questioning and challenging the status quo. Our for father’s did the same thing, and we praise them as heros. Pull your head out.
    I apologize to everyone else; it seems my country is being overrun with morons who are perfectly content to bury there head in the sand and bomb anyone who questions them.

  54. As a final note before I move on, I would like to say that the mentality surrounding Banksy seems to rest upon this edge, “I don’t support graffiti/vandalism/street art/spray painting hoodlums, unless their work happens to coincide with my own personal or political point of view. Then it’s fine. Anarchy in the UK!”

  55. Please excuse the interruption, but I feel that I must thank most of you for a very amusing thread. Eagle, I still need to know more of this “illicit cheese”. And forgive me raincoaster for the second mention, but I must argue with Wats’ comment about the Dead and Mozart… Sugar Magnolia trumps Die Zauberflöte.

    However, I must call out Kyle for his ignorant comment degrading Southern culture. There are always exceptions, but I know few gentleman (or gentlewoman) of the South that don’t enjoy spirited debate. We are not the closeminded, uneducated racist culture that some the world perceives. I’ve lived here all of my life and if the KKK still exists (and I do expect it does), it has absolutely no impact on society now. Zero. I’m not denying that it didn’t once have a huge impact, but that is a historical discussion.

    Back on topic. I personally liked Banksy’s work, but agree with Bunk that this is still work done by a criminal and intentionally placed to stir hatred. Had it been hanging in a gallery, I would appreciate it much more. That’s the right venue, not on someone else’s private property.

  56. Pingback: Ronnie Brown » Blog Archive » Banksy On Tour

  57. Perhaps Banksy should practice his work in his native country. It was the British who brought slavery and racism to the new world and everywhere else they imperialistcally went to conquer.

  58. Just back from a delicious nibble of illicit cheese. And wondering–is a Bobo anything like a bonobo?

    This is beating out the Britney Sex Tape Trailer? Well then, allow me to continue contributing to the general uplifting of the intellectual tone … Or as Bunk would have it whilst politely admitting that his own first comment was over the top, my “illogical goading”.

    On a side note: I don’t understand where you’re getting your facts. The British Empire abolished the slave trade in 1833 (even earlier in England itself). The United States did so in 1865.

    So arguing that the King forced the American colonies to keep slaves seems a little odd. Particularly when the King didn’t have much of a say in matters post 1776 or thereabout. On the other hand, the South’rens were so anxious to hang onto a slave economy that they went to war over it. And the scars of that particular conflict have a lot more to do with what Banksy’s done here than the slave trade ever did.

    I don’t have any opinion on Banksy’s artistic talent as far as actual strokes of the spray can are concerned. However, he has a gift for visceral imagery that sparks comment (otherwise we all wouldn’t be having this conversation and pumping Rain’s hits). I don’t see how this is “unnecessary rabble-rousing.” He’s started a conversation, no more, no less, about present-day issues.

    In other words, he’s made art.

  59. I had read that Banksy asks permission of the property owners, maybe not all the time but still.

    Being a bit of an artist, I’ve have to say it’s sad to see people saying that art should be in galleries and should be made for profit in order to be appreciated. Some people are content to work without compensation, the discussions/acknowledgment of their works being enough. Graffiti is a very old art genre and to dismiss it as bunk is childish oversimplification.

    Also, Metro’s right. Britain had the Slave Trade Act of 1807 and then the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. France even abolished it earlier in 1794 (even though Napoleon tried to revert to the old status quo in the Caribbean). I find it hard to believe that such an oft-quoted guy like Sowell doesn’t know basic history.

  60. I have several questions:

    Have you ever been to B’ham? Did you know the city is predominantly black? How do you know the race of who painted over it? What part of the city is it in?

    Did you realise this is in B’ham?
    And, right next to this is Kelly Ingram Park. I suggest you look at some images of the memorials in this park before suggesting that the citizens of the city are not prepared to examine the history of their city from 50 years ago, or before you resort to calling people derogratory names and stereotyping an entire population.

  61. 1) Banksy’s talent is undeniable. Anyone who does not admire his work does not have very good taste for art or their values will not allow them to acquire such appreciation.

    You would be just as foolish to try to point out a painting in the MoMA that didn’t belong there. Shut up, stupid dog! The world need more art, not less!

    2) Vandalism is a red herring that people use to try to ruin Banksy. Freaking out over the perceived wrongness of public murals will not hold up to scrutiny.

    Such criticism always fades in the bright shiny light of truth.

    3) Criticizing racism does not make you a racist. I say racism is alive and well and we must not waver in our fight against it, and you reply that racism is only a problem because I keep talking about it.

    Never mind the inescapable evidence all around us proving you wrong. Once again, you would only have to be moderately honest and open to realize what a fool you are.

    Try to travel more, maybe to places where you might not usually go to because you are afraid of all the dark people.

    4) Banksy is not a coward. That you would call him a coward shows your own fallacy.

    Hey tough guys!

    Give your real name and address on every post. Fill out all your online profiles accurately and completely. Make your avatar a picture of your passport photo. Give out details of where you work, where you school. Give out real info on your family.

    Why not? What are you? Scared? Cowards, always hiding in hopeful anonymity, never sure when and how some nutcase will try to destroy you?

    Do it, tough guys, or STFU about Banksy trying to improve his environment in just about the most peaceful and artistic method one can think of without risking too much.

    5) Cave-people wrote on walls, too. Your unbalanced view of what private property means is a personal problem that you must overcome.

    Private property is useful in certain situations. Good for society, maybe, given certain restraints.

    Humans are not property, right? Even kids?
    Owners of private property do not have God control over it do they? They can’t murder you if you touch it, right? If a kid throw a flower on your stuff, can you kill him? Sue him?

    Get over this bestial urge to own and possess everything…can we finally admit that we don’t own our wives and kids? Know balance, love humans, have empathy and altruism.

    Give people enough space and freedom or they will go crazy and take it…so take your pick: tolerance or strife. Peace or war.

    I will war with anyone who demands war. I want peace with anyone who is willing to sacrifice for it. Pick a side. Are you an agent of peace and reconciliation or are you an agent of war and extremism?

    You would be insane to single out Banksy as a problem, given how many life or death crises we have on any given day. You are only showing us your ugly side.

  62. Ummm, “destroy Ignorance” – I cannot find your pic, avatar, profile or even your home phone number – But I did enjoy your rant, despite its unfocussed rambling and very poor spelling. btw, what colour are the moons on your planet?

  63. archiearchive:

    You’re rather silly, aren’t you?

    Just how poor is my spelling that you feel the need to mention it?

    Of course I value my privacy. I respect Banksy’s as well, as a matter of principle. But if one supports the war, I expect one to fight in the war, hypocrites. (if my sarcasm is lost on you, I’m sorry that you lack the English comprehension skills to understand)

    I think taken as individual points, they compare rather well in most online forums, especially this one.

    Most important, the obvious and shallow way you attack my credibility and completely ignore any of my central points make you pretty much a Troll here. As in, not worth the electrons to consider and the scourge of the net, hated by all.

    That is all. Sorry you chose the regressive side. Best of luck. Hope it works out for you and yours.

  64. The weakness of your defence is not helped by the “Oh dear, you misunderstood my sarcasm” argument. Do you actually understand the English language or do you just sort of smash keys and hope that what comes out makes sense?

    Alas, your intelligence qualifies you more for the primordial soup than for the “master race.” Recognize your limitations. Then shut up.

  65. Destroy Ignorance: You are ignorant…

    “1) Banksy’s talent is undeniable. Anyone who does not admire his work does not have very good taste for art or their values will not allow them to acquire such appreciation.”
    Although you expect everyone here to appreciate you opinion on his work, you seem to be lacking the ability to think in a two-way street mentality. Its goes along with the old saying “Everyone is entitled to an opinion, as long as it is the same as mine”.

    “2) Vandalism is a red herring that people use to try to ruin Banksy. Freaking out over the perceived wrongness of public murals will not hold up to scrutiny.”
    If being called a vandal is going to ruin his art, I would say you have a thin grasp on his overall message. If this piece of work was not portrayed as vandalism, along with many of his other pieces, most of what he does would be one mute point after another. Its not just the pretty picture that makes the art, but also the intentions behind it.

    “3) Criticizing racism does not make you a racist. I say racism is alive and well and we must not waver in our fight against it, and you reply that racism is only a problem because I keep talking about it.

    Never mind the inescapable evidence all around us proving you wrong. Once again, you would only have to be moderately honest and open to realize what a fool you are.

    Try to travel more, maybe to places where you might not usually go to because you are afraid of all the dark people.”
    Alas, I though you were going to make a nice, decent, and well thought out point; then you had to keep going. Unfortunately your persistence on try to make others out to be fools only works when your argument is fool proof. You see, you are so upset at the way people are misjudging the artist here, as well as yourself, but you seem to be doing the same by assuming the individual you are arguing with does not travel, and is never around groups of different ethnicities. There are many societies, cities, communities, or what have you that do not have a problem with racism, regardless of the ethnic population. To assume that someone avoids African Americans because they don’t project or witness day to day racism is slightly befuddling. It could quite possibly mean their community is beyond that. And yes, by trying to force people to see the racism that may not be there because they live in a progressive society is very counter productive.

    “4) Banksy is not a coward. That you would call him a coward shows your own fallacy.

    Hey tough guys!

    Give your real name and address on every post. Fill out all your online profiles accurately and completely. Make your avatar a picture….

    Why not? What are you? Scared? Cowards, always hiding in hopeful anonymity…..

    Do it, tough guys, or STFU about Banksy trying to improve his environment in just about…”
    Once again, you may had a point there, but you just kept going, and the end made yourself out to be thoughtless word-slinger. Issuing a challenge to an individual to remove their anonymity, while maintaining yours, is just silly. Maybe you will say something smart next to redeem yourself.

    “5) Cave-people wrote on walls, too. Your unbalanced view of what private property means is a personal problem that you must overcome.”

    “Private property is useful in certain situations. Good for society, maybe, given certain restraints.”
    I hope your idea of private property at least defines what those two words actually mean. Hmmm, lets see, we’ll keep going.

    “Humans are not property, right? Even kids?
    Owners of private property do not have God control over it do they? They can’t murder you if you touch it, right? If a kid throw a flower on your stuff, can you kill him? Sue him?”

    Your use of the extreme to try and illustrate a point seems to be a prevalent characteristic throughout your post. Unfortunately, all you are doing is stating the obvious. If an individual kills a child for throwing a flower, I would have to say that individual was simply going to kill a child anyway. It really does nothing to strengthen your argument (whatever that is at this point)

    “Get over this bestial urge to own and possess everything…can we finally admit that we don’t own our wives and kids? Know balance, love humans, have empathy and altruism.”
    Did you really just try and tell someone to know balance, love, have empathy and altruism, after that post?! You are on opposite ends of the spectrum my friend, way far gone to even begin to try and follow you. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and see what you have to say next.

    “Give people enough space and freedom or they will go crazy and take it…so take your pick: tolerance or strife. Peace or war.

    I will war with anyone who demands war. I want peace with anyone who is willing to sacrifice for it. Pick a side. Are you an agent of peace and reconciliation or are you an agent of war and extremism?

    You would be insane to single out Banksy as a problem, given how many life or death crises we have on any given day. You are only showing us your ugly side.”

    Well thats the last time I try to give someone the benefit of the doubt…


  66. Wats, thanks for returning. I’m too lazy to rise to trollbait, myself, but if you enjoy it you’re welcome to go for it along with Archie.

    As I said before, it’s great for hits! Now somebody go wake up Bunk!

  67. Yes, and some fun it is, too. You can always tell the brittle ones that are sitting there with their thesaurus software, thinking themselves masters of all they survey.

    In their mom’s basement!

  68. Of course rain, It’s always nice finding a comment bored with such an astute balance on intellectual debate, as well as good ol’ fashioned flame wars. Now Im just waiting or ignoramus to reply….

  69. Post’s calming down, alas. Hot, bubbling virality always brings out the scum.

    I sent it to Boingboing and Gawker and Gridskipper, so let’s see what they do with it, if anything. It’s been all over Stumble, Buzzfeed and Reddit already. Would anyone care to Fark me?

  70. Pingback: Sidewalk Chalk Art Master « Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Soda

  71. Ah, thank you. More beever, more betta.

    I’ll do that, just as soon as I master the technology for making screen shots. Should be a nice juicy OGMD post up by tomorrow. Went out to a geek networking thing today and had tee many martoonies.

  72. Rain–

    Screen shots are easy. Shift, PrtScr(upper right key above Insert), then open up lame-o MS Paint, click new, click paste, then save as .jpg. Crop with whatever photocropper you got.

  73. @archie
    Hmmm, this could be fun; much like a ship fools. I came to this blog running from a fire on a mountain, and Im glad I found a friend of the devil, and a haven in this shady grove. Although the dark star outside tells me I should be going to bed, how can I resist being part of the eyes of the world. Perhaps I will stay awake to say good morning to the little schoolgirl, then crash midday to get ready for one more Saturday night. Or I could say a short prayer to Saint Steven, and then I can bid you all goodnight. Maybe I’ll confer with my Uncle John.

    …. how many was that?

  74. @ Wats Ina Naim, the execution will probably take place around the next spawning of the Shoggoths at the mountains of the moon. We have until then – – –

    Not that I am worried – I already have a touch of grey. The wet one will simply say, “It’s High Time He’s Gone!”

  75. I heard a rumor that After the Flood there’s gonna be a revival of the remnants of the Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. Geezer rock, including Micky Hart, Bob Weir, Greg Allman and Butch Trucks. No word on Dickie Betts, yets. (Jerry and Duane aren’t expected to show up.)

  76. @Bunk

    Sounds like such a good time. I wonder if the Pepto and Geritol is going to be laced, or if they plan on ending the show around 7pm so they don’t miss their Lou Dobbs and mashed pees back at the home.

  77. What he did and where he did it took a great amount of courage.
    I really like his work.
    Not just for what it says and how he says it. But it’s darn good art as well.
    If he wasn’t pissing people off, he wouldn’t be relavant.

  78. howdy – i read all the comments before posting; you guys are weirdos…


    a person named Jeff made the most salient comment and was completely ignored for it.

    so – Have any of you been to the ‘ham? it’s not exactly the kkk capital of the world these days. try kennesaw, georgia.

    banksy’s “statement” is about thirty years out of fashion.

    peace from the bay area, ca


    “bunk” – that crap about welfare is also lame by about thirty years. conservatives such as yourself have been the majority for 26 of the last 28 years. get over it already.

  79. “If it weren’t still touchy, why would people respond?”

    try walking into an alabama synagogue and painting a swastika. nazi germany was a long time ago but that action would still draw responses.

    interesting – white supremacists are not necessarily even klansmen these days. certainly not in the UK, hey?

  80. martin,
    I’m not sure what you fascination is with 30 years… but I would love to address you idiocies.

    Bunk had a more than valid point, regardless of whether or not you think it is out of date. Also, keep in mind, that this conservative mindset has -not- been the majority over the past 26 of 28 years. I hardly, and I am sure many other, think the current republican or the previous administrations have been in the least bit conservative.

    What you might have been referring to is more of a Libertarian mindset. How hard is it to accept that people don’t want their tax dollars used for unjust reasons? Telling someone just to get over that either means you don’t pay taxes, or you are not aware of how they are spent (or you are not a US citizen, which still doesn’t excuse such a travesty of thought). There is nothing wrong with helping someone get a pair of boots so they can pull themselves up by the straps, but coddling lazy individuals not only eats away at our paychecks, but in the end hurts these milker-of-society even more.

    Now that I got that out of the way, to compare Banksy’s work here with walking into a synagogue and painting swastikas is just remedial. What point would you be trying to prove by that ya dope, makes no sense. There is big difference between invoking a political and social exchange on a topic (that although may not be present in some societies, is still prevalent in far too many places), and invoking the imagery of a genocidal maniac. I would like to hear you try and make your point again, but try doing it without pushing the extreme, or at least make it relevant. In the end though, Banksy accomplished what he wanted, he got people talking.

  81. Wats–

    Ditto that. The Democrats controlled Congress (read domestic spending) for 40 years until the Republicans gained control; while apparently shell-shocked at their victory, the Republicans squandered that great opportunity by acting just like Democrats. Unfortunately GWB forgot that he had veto power over the grossly negligent spending bills.

    The ongoing war in Iraq and Afganistan, regardless of whether one accepts or dismisses the premises for going to war in the first place, is not relatively expensive compared to the bloated domestic programs. We pay for a prepared military whether at peace or at war, i.e., whether we use the military or not.

    The Dems have control of Congress again, and the worst thing that could happen to our country would be to have a socialist president with a socialist majority in Congress. Might as well rename our country the United Socialist States of Repression.

    Bank to Backsy– If he’d stenciled an image of Hitler on a wall of the Reichstag, or in a Jewish neighborhood in NYC, would that be accepted as another great work of art “just to get people talking?” Naw.

    Challenge to Banksy: Stencil an image of Mohammed on an exterior wall of the British Embassy in Riyadh. Betcha get shipped home to Britain in boxes.

  82. Well see, you might as well had a point there… if this piece of work was stencil of black man hanging on the wall of a gas station in the south. Unless of course you are putting slaves and Hitler in the same boat… sorry, couldn’t resist.

  83. Wat– Regarding your 1st statement, to me it is the same thing, inflammatory. Regarding your second statement… there is absolutely no comparison. I was speaking of deliberate inflammatory imagery. Like “Piss Christ.” Juvenile ignorance at its worst, just to get people ticked off, and then to walk away laughing at the fire.

  84. “The ongoing war in Iraq and Afganistan, regardless of whether one accepts or dismisses the premises for going to war in the first place, is not relatively expensive compared to the bloated domestic programs. We pay for a prepared military whether at peace or at war, i.e., whether we use the military or not.”

    bunk is an apt moniker.

    we’ve likely surpassed a trillion already in iraq, and a few billion of that just went into thin air. gone.

    the rest went into the coffers of a few ‘lucky’ companies that were given no-bid contracts and no oversight. no laws, even.

    i’d put up with welfare for quite a few years to come compared to the complete waste that is war-profiteering.

    back to the article – still wondering if any of you have ever even seen the southeast in your lives. i spent thirty years there.

    whaddya know – there’s that number again.

  85. “We pay for a prepared military whether at peace or at war, i.e., whether we use the military or not.”

    i’d wager that you’d say that we’re not an imperialistic nation.

    and btw – i meant ‘you guys are weirdos’ in a good way. i wouldn’t have bothered joining the conversation, otherwise.


  86. Martinchile–

    No, the U.S. is not an imperialist nation (you won that bet with whoever was foolish enough to bet you) and you’re making up some serious numbers. A TRILLION A YEAR in Iraq?! You obviously have no concept of the number.

    All I can say is “pheeew!”

  87. It is a Truth universally acknowledged that the USA is NOT an Imperialist Nation

    eg the US were content NOT to annex the left-overs on their own North-American Continent :

    CANUCKISTAN – too cold & too many Canuckistani tribesmen

    MEXICO – too many Mexicans

    CENTRAL AMERICAN STATES – and what about the Panama Canal)

    G E

  88. Bunk,

    If you are going to base an argument off of a comparison, its does have to be a real comparison. You can’t just pass it off as a flame starter, then expect to have your point still stand.

    And no, a stencil of Hitler would not be a great work of art, no one can seem to get the stash right…

    As far as a trillion a year, you are right that is completely off. Its 10 billion a month, so 120 billion a year. The overall amount congress has put on the war from 02-08 is 1.3 trillion (which might be where the confusion is). At the current rate of 120 billion a month, and the latest date for withdraw at the end of 2011, its going to be about a 2 trillion-2.5 trillion dollar war(seeing as the cost per year has been steadily increasing).

    Of course that is not taking into account a change in strategy like another Together Forward I and II, or another surge, which would raise those numbers. That is also not taking into account what the actual withdraw will cost. I have heard the figures for a withdraw range anywhere from 50-100 billion, so who knows.

    There is a great article from the Washington Post were I got the 1.3 trillion figure from, that also points out other costs that weren’t calculated in to that figure (for instance the amount of soldiers that will have to live off of government checks because of physical and mental injury, which there is nothing wrong with at all, we should take care of our vets but we do need to be aware of the cost). Here is the site:

    In the end, just given the rock solid factual amount we have spent of this war, it still accounts for about 20-25 percent of our nation debt. EEPS!

    Oh, and martin said, “we’ve likely surpassed a trillion already in iraq, and a few billion of that just went into thin air. gone.” Never said a year.

  89. “According to Pentagon records, in fact, there are 761 active military “sites” abroad.”

    going for two-outta-two here, bunk:

    bet you’re familiar with chalmers johnson.

  90. Pingback: kkk « don´t touch my moleskine

  91. Folks, I appreciate the cordial discussion, btw. How did we get from Banksy’s racially-tinged vandalism to the U.S. Budget?

    Wats, you linked to a WAPO opinion piece. Opinion doesn’t make it fact (and that goes for me, too. I don’t mind being corrected on facts).

    The cost of the war(s)in Afganistan and Iraq, from 2001 to date, after peeling away the base budget (i.e. peacetime funding) is $563 billion. This figure came from an anti-military source, too, which leads me to believe that the real figure may be lower:

    Divided by eight years (2009 projected costs included) results in an average of $109.1 billion per year since 2001. Obviously it was lower in 2001 than 2008, but the requested budget for 2009 has been reduced from that of Fiscal Year 2008, and should continue to drop in subsequent years as military action winds down in the middle east. It is in fact a relatively small percentage of the U.S. GNP.

    Martinchile– Your point is? Actually I’m not familiar with Chalmers Johnson, but I’ll look him up.

    G Eagle– Nicely propelled comment.

  92. bunk,

    the 1.3 trillion figure came directly from a bipartisan congressional committee… did you even read the article?

  93. Senor Bunk

    Notwithstanding their great flexibility shewn by the B-Empire in India, Africa and Fiji, even the British could not sensibly control the divers Canuckistani tribes

    …. ESPECIALLY the Wild Gin-Drinking tribesmen & tribes-ladies, when their Fridges are emptied of Gin & they are left only with American Beer as an alternative …. but I suppose it’s an improvement on the local water

    Yr obedient servant etc

    G E

  94. @G Eagle:

    Methinks thou supposeth wrongly. Canadian water is generally of a high standard of clarity and colour, contains fewer additives and in many cases has a slightly higher alcohol content.

  95. “… a slightly higher alcohol content ….”

    Monsieur Metro

    Je suppose c’est apres vous avez added le Gin a le Water, pur counter-acter le uranium

    Are North Korea & Iran taking in massive quantities of Okinagan Water, to beat UN Sanctions

    je reste le vestre Servant

    G E

  96. Wats– Yes I did read the WAPO opinion piece, and I found that the links to back up 1.3 trillion in spending were either non-existant or were self referential to other WAPO opinion links.

    From here 30 July 2007:

    “Funding to Date
    Since September 2001, the Congress has appropriated $602 billion for military
    operations and other activities related to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terrorism.
    In addition, although not explicitly appropriated for that purpose, an estimated
    $2 billion has been spent by the VA for war-related benefits. Specific appropriations,
    which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, have
    risen to $120 billion in 2006 and $170 billion in 2007.
    According to CBO’s estimates, about $533 billion of the appropriated sums has
    been allocated for U.S. military operations and other activities carried out by the
    Department of Defense (DoD). The department’s 2007 appropriation for those
    purposes—$165 billion—accounts for more than a quarter of its budget for the
    year. The Defense Department is currently obligating an average of almost $11 billion
    a month for expenses related to its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for
    other activities related to the war on terrorism. Most of that sum (more than $9 billion
    per month) is related to operations in Iraq.
    Of the $602 billion in total appropriations, approximately $30 billion has been
    provided to establish, train, and equip indigenous security forces in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, and about $39 billion has been appropriated for reconstruction and
    relief efforts, diplomatic and consular operations, embassy construction, economic
    support, and foreign aid. Including both specific appropriations and other costs
    incurred by the VA, a total of almost $3 billion has been provided for medical care
    and other VA programs to assist former service members affected by their participation
    in operations related to the war on terrorism.”

    So, Wats, you’re telling me that between July 2007 and July 2008, the spending for Iraq, Iran (note the number includes other anti-terrorist missions) more than doubled from $602 billion (2001-2007) to $1.3 trillion (2007-2008)in one year? You really believe that?

    Maybe people are that gullible.

  97. “What is it really that you’re objecting to”

    i personally object to “spending” all that money on a quagmire.

    figuring in the costs of healthcare and mental care for the vets? HOW ABOUT THE INTEREST ON THE MONEY WE BORROWED?

    honestly, i don’t believe the administration was planning on spending much on healthcare, anyway. this much is sure – war no longer stimulates the economy.


    “The CBO now estimates the costs of the Iraq war, projected out through 2017, might top $1 trillion, plus an extra $705 billion in interest payments, and says the total cost of Iraq and Afghanistan combined could reach $2.4 trillion. Some experts say even those figures underestimate the true price tag.”

  98. Bunk-

    I would suggest reading “The War Within” by Bob Woodward. You might be able to understand how dumb that last comment was.

    Very nice quote there martin,

    “At the current rate of 120 billion a month, and the latest date for withdraw at the end of 2011, its going to be about a 2 trillion-2.5 trillion dollar war(seeing as the cost per year has been steadily increasing).” <—-Me

    My gosh, maybe Im not all that crazy. Or maybe I am, just not about that.

  99. Senor Buk

    ??? Blue E’s – it’s the Pink Elephants you should be worried about

    but you should be safe as long as you’ve not been drinking the Water from Monsieur Metro’s Fridge

    Yr obedient servant etc

    G E

  100. Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times says the figure’s about $700 bn at the moment. I think it’s a matter of adding in both direct and indirect costs to get $1.2 tr, and there’s an argument for either approach.

    However, even if the current occupying force shipped home this year it seems unlikely that the direct costs will stay under $1 tr. Which is what people on either ideological side seem to be projecting.

    None of which has much to do with art, or grafitti, or walls.

    Well Wall Street, possibly …

    @g eagle:
    I drink it from the tap. It’s obviously safe–anything tasting that strongly of chlorine must be pure.

  101. Ja, Ja bestimmt

    [Yess, yess certtainly = I flatter myself that I agree with the incisive Rua MacTirean on so many things, but …..}

    Es macht man denken, nee

    [It makes yer fink}

    Das ist es, doch

    [err – embarrrasSsed schuffling from let for right talon
    und zuruck to left]

  102. And Banksy is a better artist than either of them. Perhaps if they’d worked harder on their art and less on their side projects the world would have been a better place.

  103. “He’s just a glorified vandal running around illustrating his political opinions on other people’s property while he remains in hiding.”

    Sort of like men who dress up in white hoods and burn crosses on other people’s lawns, I guess.

  104. Except talented and benevolent.

    Surely if you’d seen Bristol, you’d agree that a few Banksys scattered around improve the look of the place.

    Or Birmingham, Alabama, come to that.

  105. Upon mature reflection, the welcome Rua MacT makes a good point

    This Eagle wishes he had a gram of Mr Banksie’s talent …. if only he stencilled on my House

    – The Fame

    – The Notoriety

    – I could sell the House to a Rich Art-ConoSewer – I could then buy Monsieur Metro und Senor Bunk some REAL BEER, when they come over to the UK for Peace & Reconciliation Talks and to attend a Course on the Korrekt Enunciation of English

    AND Mr Banksie would have SAVED such distinguished Bloggeristas from Cheap Locally Produced Light-Beer

  106. Nonsequiter? Hardly. After all, Banksy is nothing if not political, but he does his work with art, not with troops.

    And, of course, G Eagle has a good point; the owner of the gas station took down the panels and now owns not only a famous Banksy, but an INFAMOUSLY damaged one. It’s unique and even more of a political statement than it was before.

  107. Herr Eagle– Funny. I was thinking about that last night. If Banksy came over to my house, I wouldn’t help him, as that would devalue the Work, but I’d certainly give him an American Beer so that he’d take pity on us.

  108. Do I have to slow. this. right. down?

    You’re the one who started complaining about people stirring up trouble in countries other than their own.

  109. Banksy should do a series: People in KKK outfits doing their shopping, waiting to see the doctor, filling their cars with gas.

    Racists aren’t just involved in the shocking… lynching, beating people…. racists are ubiquitous. They sit beside us in church, the play golf, they go to the laundromat… and they hate… and we can pretend they don’t exists, like some people here are, because it is SO much easier than admitting the uncomfortable truth.

    James Wenneker von Brunn wore his hatred on his sleeve. If all the racists who “don’t exist in Birmingham” wore their hatred on their sleeves, it would be a lot more difficult to pretend they don’t exist.

  110. I will amend that…

    If all the racists who “don’t exist in Birmingham” [and elsewhere] wore their hatred on their sleeves, it would be a lot more difficult to pretend they don’t exist.

  111. rain– No, I complained about Banksy stirring up racist animosity in Birmingham (as well as his liddlepiddle in Anaheim). I was clear on that point. Please clarify your own… State what you mean, and I’ll help get your stats back up. ;)

    mudhooks wants racists to wear sleeveless t-shirts and tube tops for identification. Heh. She’d find people of all creeds and colors, and she’d have to wear the badge, too… maybe something with an “SS” on it.

    For the record, my family is mixed race, and we’ve seen the crap from both sides.

    Please, let’s not go there.

  112. My point is that racists don’t self-identify all the time; if they did, they’d be a helluva lot more marginalized than they are. I’m not advocating pink triangles or whatever, I’m just saying that the racism Banksy was talking about actually still exists in Birmingham. The gas station owner was black; he liked the work. The guys who vandalized it (ie did NOT have the approval of the owner) were white.

  113. La Vestre Grace La Marchionesse de RegenCoastre etc

    La vestre Grace

    J’espere que la vestre Jeune Grace forgiverez moy, pur estre si unsympathethiqie, mais à mon age c’est moy qui est le plus tres confusé

    It is always good to understand die Welt-und-Lebens-AnSchauUng [the point of view] of the other GUY…. or … GUYess, in these “enLightened” Times

    Perhaps, the perceptive Mlle Mudhooks might also beneficently profit from considering the possible downsides of some kinds of “anti-racism”

    Hier in Inglaterra [Angle-Land] the Centre of the Universe ( …. errr … Center …. or … WeltMitte for our Non-English Readers), it is so often “AntiRacism” which is so nasty, so unpleasant UND so threatening to liberty or rationality of thought

    AND what about Specie-ism – which must be a concern in Einem Blogge visited by such Sagacious Racccooons, Grey Aquillans and that entertaining AerChie-Person (Champion & Curator of Long-Donkeys

    When is Mr Banksie going to vandalize on this Noble Subject – my (or Senor Bunk’s) walls are available without even a modest charge

    Das ist es doch [this is it, init]

    Je reste la vestre grace’s servant obedient etc

    G E

  114. I’m not (not for the first time) not sure what you mean. Do you mean that racists should cover up their prejudices most of the time? They already do. If more were more forthcoming, like the couple who named their son Adolph, they’d be easier to keep an eye on. Do you mean that people should hide their deepest feelings?

    And the freedom not to have an eye kept on you is a freedom you give up when you start to live in a civilization. You can ask Ted Kaczynski about that.

  115. “mudhooks wants racists to wear sleeveless t-shirts”

    My point was, fairly obviously, not that they should but they don’t.

    Of course, if one chooses to wear blinker, even if they DID wear them on their shirtsleeves, you wouldn’t notice.

  116. i feel that banksy is well in his rights to do his art and make it public and for people to moan about something so artistic i think you are wrong and to be honest with you i would raither look at his street art much more then i would like to look at the griffti work of gangs tagging the streets

  117. Just had an interesting thought: we can’t actually SEE the colour of the man in the hood. It’s quite possible he’s white.

    Like I said on the vandals obviously projected whiteness into him. They looked at that image and saw themselves, so they attacked it and in attacking it they made their assumption true.

  118. It just goes to show once again that those who can safely hijack democracy to camouflage their perverted ideology behind ‘freedom of speech’ are the very enemies of freedom of speech. It is all about the typical double standards of hypocrites. “You’re ‘free’ to say what you want unless it’s against our beliefs.”

    Let’s never forget that the nazis got into power through freedom of speech in a democracy…

  119. i think what banksy does is criminal as well. that being said, i’ll root for a criminal if what he says is sound.

    you can say you’re conservative or you can say you’re democrat or you can say you don’t care, but you put that all by the wayside and you (and i) are just people. and the one thing we all have in common is communication. Banksy does so with paint.. he doesn’t need to show his face because he’s trying to get his idea across without his visage clouding people’s opinions.

  120. Yawn. A stencil graffito appears… and suddenly the yuppies of the world go “ZOMG, it’s a Banksy!!!!11”.

    “Banksy” is not an individual, but an art collective based in Bristol, England, with the help of an expensive publicity machine. Over-rated is an understatement.

    Of course the media don’t want to spoil the hype, even if they probably know the truth. Eternal stories about Banksy this and Banksy that… keep the money rolling in.

  121. I understand tHat what Banksy did might not have been exactly legal, but I don’t seem to understand what Bunk here is trying to say, it almost seems as though he is dodging a question. Bunk, are you racist? Why do you find this outrageous? Banksy is simply touching an issue which still exists today, you are acting like child who obeys the law and refuses to stand up and speak while making fun others who take the chance to do such a thing. your sitting by the sidelines blabbing your mouth off, saying that Banksy’s art is illegal. You call banksy’s art provoking? well how about in newspaper articles with all those political cartoons? such as the one where it shows sadam hussien’s face and turban slowly transform into a mushroom cloud. So is this okay since it is legal or no? I think i find your comment more stupid than Banksy’s artwork.

  122. Hey guys, I didn’t read all. I’m french and I like Banksy and I obviously try to understand and write our language.

    I can’t grasp all of what you guys are talking on but after an whole afternoon of reading process i finally come back on the Banksy’s work topic picture and I was dumping this following conclusion : Banksy does succeed in his work -> to be upgrated in people’s head !

    Interesting, isn’t it ? :)

  123. Around the world, Graffiti has been used to make political statements that perhaps can’t be made in public form. It is a form of art that should be respected as a statement of opinion, especially since a public statement in Birmingham, Alabama surely wouldn’t have gone over without some sort of retaliation. In Argentina and many other cities outside of the US, stenciling and freeform graffiti are acceptable and used frequently as public action to make statements against power, and it should just as acceptable in the United States. It’s not vandalism, it’s a political statement through art, and Banksy is one of the best.

  124. Pingback: Tag, I’m It « raincoaster

  125. Pingback: #OpKKK from #Anonymous defrocks racists across America | The Cryptosphere

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