While we'd like to be able to sympathize with grumpsters who foretell of the fall of Western Civilization at the hands of taggers, we just can't. Graffitti is as old as the first prehistoric punks who got a little tipsy on fermented fruit and scratched big spears and boobies onto rocks. And who hasn't seen throw ups by Neck Face or Ribity in some far-flung corner of the globe, smiled, and thought "That's right, Frisco represent!" Okay, maybe that's just us.
But grumpsters vote, and Gavin "Quality of Life" Newsom knows upon which side his bread is buttered. So the Mayor's Office has offered a $2,500 bounty for the arrest or capture of the notorious BNE. You've probably seen the stickers around town, or walked past 1,000 and never noticed. Either way, this is a San Francisco first -- an actual price on the head of a writer.
Granted, BNE doesn't garner a lot of style points in our book. The stickers are a utilitarian black, block font on white adhesive. Anyone who's been to Zeitgeist knows that it's been done before, and with more panache, by Srini Kumar and the crew at Unamerican.com (oh, and look, they have a new book out). But bombing is largely about self-promotion, and on that front, BNE seems to have the Mayor's Office of Communications working for them. Which just goes to show that the best publicity can't be bought.