To the editor:
I'm writing in response to Andy Pareti's Jan. 25 column entitled "Graffiti is a crime, not an artistic movement." If Pareti's qualm with the art form is that it is illegal, then he needs to reconsider his life. Are things wrong simply because they're illegal? Graffiti is an art AND a crime, and part of what makes it so wonderful is that people like [graffiti artist] Banksy are able to make beautiful art, against the law, incredibly quickly. If he can't appreciate it, he's really just being narrow-minded.
A great deal of graffiti that takes place on what you deem "private property" covers up societal blemishes. For instance, I would argue that enormous billboards are insidious - that companies don't have the right to purchase my attention and detract from natural (or even man-made) scenery by telling me to buy their stuff.
On the other hand, when an artist has painted something beautiful over these blemishes, it makes me want to be a part of society again.
Graffiti artists have a standardly-accepted code of ethics. Nobody paints on individually-owned houses or cars. They mostly serve to beautify and diversify the otherwise mundane brick walls and atrocious advertisements of the city.
To blindly accept law as morality is to need to live more. Furthermore, that "While Al-Qaeda steals all of the headlines, a new kind of terrorism is spreading through the streets of America and the U.K." is the start of Pareti's article should be the first sign that he shouldn't be taken seriously as a journalist.