Ukiah-Graffiti and other ugly arts – The Ukiah Daily Journal


It’s heartbreaking and almost painful to see graffiti, big, bold and on your face, on the walls of downtown and to realize at the same time that no one is capable of dealing with it.

By “facing it” we mean covering the horrific scribbles with coats of matching beige paint, or approaching, stopping and cutting the fingers of the morons who rob the exterior walls of homes and businesses. Our collective inaction makes us appear weak, incapable of recovering what no punk graffiti artist should be able to take from us.

Ukiah Police don’t have cadets to come out on a bright, sunny day and paint over offensive posts? Ukiah Police don’t have cooperative teens to suggest vandal ID cards, or vulnerable teens willing to swap information in exchange for juvenile court leniency?

Can no religious group send teams of young people with paintbrushes and buckets of paint? No letters to the editor expressing community dissatisfaction? No discerning downtown business owner something must be done?

Up a notch, or maybe half a notch, at the ugly graffiti on public walls in public spaces, we gaze in dismay at the bathrooms in Todd Grove Park. Here we have ugly murals by amateur painters subjecting local citizens to sophomoric political nonsense via 200 square feet of visual plague.

We assume that they are just not in school, that they have never learned the artistic spatial bases of perspective or dimension. Everything is flat, without relief, lifeless, primitive. A slogan unworthy of a sticker has been thankfully covered up, allowing us to avoid further insults via the silly views of children with no more intellectual depth than artistic skill.

UKIAH, I SING OF YOU!

His Lucas, master of all internet and cybernetics, recently introduced me to the wonders and mysteries of something called “Spotify”.

Spotify is an online jukebox. I’m sure anyone under 40 has cultivated a deep and meaningful relationship with Spotify, and anyone over 50 can’t spell it.

On Spotify, one can “compose” or “access” any sound that has already been recorded, more or less, or request a category / style of music that the website (?) Will then satisfy.

I suggested songs from “Ukiah” so that I could prove that the Doobie brothers performed such a song before. It was like that. But with this song came a torrent of others named or referring to Ukiah. You wouldn’t believe.

I listened with pleasure to the first 10 songs from Ukiah that Spotify spat out. Not being a music critic (you would have to attract former UDJ Ron Gluckman to fill this niche), I can only offer amateur reflections and analyzes. And since Ron isn’t coming back anytime soon, mine will have to do.

1) Ukiah the Red Mountain, by Y / N: He sings “The world is on fire, the world is on fire” and maybe he is talking about the fiery conflagrations that have plagued the region in recent years. Ends with dismal howls, falsetto voices.

2) Ukiah, by Robert Francis: Great professional production, it sounds like a pop single back when they were still recording pop singles. Semi-intelligible lyrics, but I’ve heard references to both Jonestown and madhouses in the 1970s. It ends with “For now I’m in Ukiah on the run.”

3) El de Ukiah, by Grupo Reservation: No Includeso, que lastima.

4) Ukiah Lullaby of Anson Wright and Tom Gilson: acoustic finger noodle instrumental, with a hovering bass guitar.

5) Jon Bennett’s Ukiah: Think of Bob Dylan’s early vocals, quick and nimble guitar work wrapped around a story of SF drugged rides. When he hears that a friend has settled near Ukiah, he sings “I have to get out of the net and when I do, I will send for you.” I need to get away from this GD drug and when I do, I’ll send for you.

6) Ukiah, by Hylian. The album cover is a black skull on a blank white, and the song is retro punk from around 1979. Strangled and snarling vocals.

7) Ukiah, by Seafood. Well done harmonies and counterpoint (“Do you think you’ll come back someday?”) Plus engaging acoustic guitar work and some la la towards the end.

8) Ukiah, by night committee. Driving professional rock n roll sound, can easily be called radio in an earlier era. Its mature and complex. Just a quick listen, but the lyrics are way above average, considering the genre.

A GOOD YEAR

Over the course of a year, many decisions are made, and as 2021 draws to a close, it seemed like the time to do some cleaning up.

I decided to get rid of 1,200 pounds of sofa that had sat for a decade like a lousy granite boulder in our living room. The couch has become my dumbest decision in all of 2021, which includes leaving the state, having a heart attack, and deciding to be an Oakland A fan. I guess I have had worse years.

Lucas and his buddy Phil muscled up the inert beast on the sidewalk on a beautiful sunny day in mid-December and hung a “FREE” sign there. The sofa didn’t sell even at curbside sale prices and then it rained hard for about a year. I covered it with a tarp that made it look like a tumor, but with fungi. It is at. We waited.

There he crouched down, sinking half an inch deeper into the mud daily as he gained weight in water, mold and more fungus. Despair has set in. The neighbors laughed and pointed. City officials walked by slowly. Homeless camps had better furniture than I did.

Then, on the very last day of 2021, a neighbor named Terry Mack offered to haul the couch to the landfill. Tears came to my eyes. He refused money and even refused help to load 3,000 pounds. sofa in the back of his truck.

“That’s what friends do,” Terry shrugged. “Good year.”

Suddenly leaving the couch was a brilliant idea, and 2021 has turned into an almost happy year. From now on, I will remember it for the warm glow that a friendly act can bring.

Tom Hine yells “Happy New Year” to Terry and Melody Mack, and all your other helpful friends and neighbors in Ukiah. TWK says “True Dat”.


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