Spring Cleaning (The Stories I Never Got To): This Ain’t No Picnic—Disobedient Doodles

 
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The bench in question.

I hemmed and hawed about whether this was worth running. It’s a frozen in time, summer of 2017 snapshot of anonymous doodlers expressing themselves with bold lines leaping from the confines of school desks onto a picnic bench in Kenton Park.

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Gosh, don’t know.

I assume this is the efforts of adolescent kids. Only the culprits know for sure. Remember all the best speculative journalists begin guessing sentences with the phrase “I assume.” It’s also an ageist slag on adolescents. It’s the one age group that seems old enough to know better but lack the judgement to keep the from doing dumb stuff. Yet who didn’t engage in occasional acts of vandalism on a minor scale in their youth? Okay, so you knew better.

A recreation…

I hid my bookworm character drawing under a slide in our neighborhood park where I was the only one who knew of its existence. I also remember nights hanging out around a picnic table with friends where we could hide away and decompress. The table was in the woods. We must have moved it there. The location was too dark for art work.  

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A glowing cross spits flames.

I can see why these markings caught my eye. There’s a kind of “sign of the times” aspect to the images. They’re in a frozen state trying to speak their relevancy in an attempt to matter. In horror I see in my first draft I’ve written these images off as mindless self-expression of someone reaching out in a medium that’s all wrong. I’m disappointed in my lack of respect towards people who express themselves. That respect and appreciation is something I’ve strived for, especially when it’s happening outside the margins. At this point I’ll let these images speak for themselves.

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Surround the fort.

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Drips and drabs.

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Censored love.

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Better left untranslated.

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Now it’s a part

Splashed lines, words that have me brushing up on my Spanish and designs that would look great on the side of a train decorated the surface of this picnic table. An asymmetrical cross mingled with puffed initials. Who knew vertical dashes could liven up any word? Substituting hearts for the letter O also helped. This graffiti has not stood the test of time, I’m convinced. It exists here now on this blog but my guess is it’s either worn off, been cleaned off or painted over. It seems more temporary than three years of existence would allow. It may not be the stuff of cave paintings from thousands of years ago but there are parallels. Everyone has something to say. It’s about whether they choose legitimate means to express it.

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Hidden secrets revealed.

 

Spring Cleaning (The Stories I Never Got To): What’s in a Name? Pound For Pound The Tag Measures Up

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Oh Lord!


When I think about Lord Pound it takes me back in time. There was a different house and neighborhood and our dog Max, who I walked when I spotted most of these tags, has since passed away. The photos are from three years ago. I’m not sure if Lord Pound is active. When I knew of this entity claiming naming rights to every square inch of the Kenton neighborhood I had to admit it had a certain intrigue. I wondered about what was going on with that combination of words and why they were everywhere.

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Ground pound.


So here’s the disclaimer I issue every time I write about graffiti. This is not about promoting or condoning graffiti. I’m here to observe and document even as I risk glamorizing and encouraging works in this medium of vandalization. While it seems irresponsible it’s also irresistible. Graffiti continues. This under read blog offers scant chance of bringing fame or glory to any graffiti producer. Why would they need it anyway? Lord Pound is already royalty according to his moniker. My first assumption is that this is a guy tagger given the male dominance in the graffiti world and the “bro” feel of this tag but I could be wrong.

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Triple pounder.


Lord Pound received a brief mention in this blog in an old post. It’s hard to imagine how he wouldn’t given the ubiquitous nature of his tagging. I couldn’t walk in the neighborhood without seeing his name. Looking over photos, I’ve noticed a certain panache. I can also appreciate its small scale. There’s versions of Lord Pound in different scripts on a single pole. There’s Lord Pound with hearts on the old Comfort Inn, surely painted over by now. Then there’s Lord Pound dripping out of a double arrow on a traffic sign. These tags have flair. They don’t feel slopped and splashed about.

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Pound sign.

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The original Lord Pound?


At first glance the internet provides no clues as to who or what Lord Pound could be or where the name may have derived. There was Dudley Pound who became Admiral the of the Fleet aka First Sea Lord in the British Navy back in 1939 but this hardly seems like a nod to him. There was a mention of a Marvel character named Lord Pound—a god of money, on a database, but the site was making little sense and this would be an obscure reference. There was also much discussion on Reddit from three years ago about Lord Pound tagging the Mt. Hood National Forest. Not cool. I’m sticking with what I’ve learned reading the Pittsburgh Orbit posts written by self-professed speculative journalist Will Simmons  as well as watching multiple episodes of The Alaska Triangle show and offer wild guesses as to what inspired the name Lord Pound.

  • A British boxer with a powerful uppercut, a glass jaw who’s also a bleeder?
  • Religious? As in our Lord and Savior seeking retribution.
  • Some kind of deviant thing, a nod to old school locker room talk? Still affiliated with a bragging British guy wearing Union Jack shorts?
  • Pound sign? Hash mark? Hash tag?
  • Royalty? Money? Royal money?

 

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Impound.

I thought I had a few more entertaining guesses but I am stymied. Regardless, Lord Pound would be a rough neck of some kind. I recall hearing and enjoying the word pound often in the 80’s. It had more of an association with beer drinking as I recall. No one is threatening to pound anyone or anything these days. Then there’s that sexual figure of speech which doesn’t exactly seem gentle or loving. There was a website, something about hot shots, that was written near one of the tags, a half second look revealed it to not be for the faint hearted or anyone with a heart for that matter. As for Lord Pound he may still be out there replacing the tags that wear off from weather, time or clean up. Then again he may have gone into hiding or he’s retired.

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Hearts pound.


After one of my other graffiti posts I was contacted by someone who offered to enlighten me on this subject.At press time, I was unable to establish contact but I might be able to and I’ll add an addendum. The question remains. Why do people feel a need to create a tag and then splash it every and anywhere? Yet, why not? Who doesn’t crave attention any way they can get it? It’s that spirit of look at me that some of us never outgrow. It may have nothing to do with having something to say or it could be saying more than anyone realizes.

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Pound it down.

 

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The Reddit crowd mentioned not posting pictures because it only encourages people but the idea behind the Portland Orbit’s new Spring Cleaning series is to release old photos and ideas. We can only hope that Lord Pound has gone on to bigger and better things besides tagging nature and the Kenton neighborhood.

My Decal Obsession Conundrum in Part 4 Harmony

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What is it about stickers shaped like the state of Oregon? I look for new ones everywhere and I often spot them. I’m blessed with an eagle eye, a talent that gets me no where. I feel obligated to share it with the world. The state of Oregon outline is a hot commodity in the sticker culture. Everyone wants a part of it which means I’ll keep finding variations on this theme. I can’t shake my obsession for these Oregon decals so it’s nice to have an outlet for displaying these images.

Rain Make Rainbows

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The state outline in a rainbow slice might be wishful thinking in upholding the ideals of love and acceptance once you get out of Portland but it can’t hurt to dream about and promote thoughts of a gay friendly state.

Stuck in Place

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Any locale within the state can put themselves in the state borders and create a sticker design. Obvious right? Why not scream out: We are a place in Oregon and create a design. Upon Further Review: I wasn’t paying much attention making the assumption this was a decal promoting Estacada tourism if there is such a thing. In the middle of admiring the literal sky lines, earth tones and abstract trees, it dawned on me that this was a sticker from a weed business. Wow, man. 

 

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This sticker calls out against laziness and should inspire “place stickers” to create slogans. You have to appreciate this effort. It does make me think I have copy editing skills. Why not, “It’s Good in the Hood!” Or was that slogan already taken?

Dead Giveaway

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You’re a Grateful Dead fan, an Oregonian and you’re not Bill Walton. You can broadcast this message with ease with this sticker.

WTF is NWSS?

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A peacock, a heart and an acronym where it’s an easy guess the NW stands for northwest, the SS, I’m not sure I want to know. All this on a green background with a thick black outline. I’m getting too critical about this thin lined drawing and the fluttering letters but boy do I like those thick black lines.

Go What?

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I’m lost. Is it a group of skis or a fort down in the empty quarter of the state? It doesn’t matter but it’s cluttered. I mean what’s with the kids skis in the middle? There is no life for a sticker critic. Go West is a tired sentiment. How about “Go Somewhere Else?” I know, curmudgeon much? I am a sucker for plain and simple black and white designs that may or may not be trying to sell me something.

Home is a State of Mind

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It’s okay if you need to proclaim you’re from Oregon. It can be the home of anyone who lives here. Go crazy on that letter “O.” Is it a wave or Mt. Hood getting tweaked like an ice cream sundae top?

 

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Is there a hidden double meaning in placing the state abbreviation inside the state border? Who am I even asking? Am I hoping an Oregon sticker expert happens by and reads this post? Perhaps. This simple design is eye popping if you can see past the redundancy.


Stuck on Sports

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Of course I’ve learned all about “CorVegas” from the C&C guys and there’s no faulting Oregon State for taking as much pride in their state as their football team. The beaver logo is even extra fierce looking. So, yeah, Go Beavers!

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Washington fans in Oregon, okay, but come on! Is there anything less nesessary than Huskies fans needing to tell people they’re from Oregon? I try to keep my critiques focused on concept rather than execution which is why this one bothers me so much. As for the design, I like purple and pin stripes. 

Stick it Out

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Go to town with that crazy blend of colors on a silver back ground. I’m enthralled. This has to be the most beautiful background of an Oregon outline sticker I’ve seen. It’s lacking a concrete message. Shiny, happy, tacky, perhaps when it’s paired with a grouping of flamingos representing the family unit.

Love, A Many Splendid Thing

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At the very least this sticker gets props for doing something different. Who knew you could form the letter “O” out of the outline of the state of Oregon. I have to say I love this one even though all this love stuff makes me a bit queasy. It’s an ingenious take on an overdone concept. I can only imagine how many word combinations exist that might use this style of the letter O.