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Old 10-22-13, 02:58 PM   #1
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Seed Bombing?

Continuing a discussion from the commuting thread "Show us photos of your commute."

Someone had posted photos of a railroad car with graffitti on it; someone else called it urban artwork, I called it vandalism, and now a question to me:

"I do understand your anger towards vandalism, but professional artists will only paint property with the owner's permission. The same way a professional fighter would only fight someone in the ring, and not go around beating the snot out of random people in public.

I would like to hear you opinion of Seed Bombing, which is the planting flowers on property that is not yours by throwing a container of seeds there? Do you consider that "vandalism" or "defacing"?

And now I answer:

I understand your distinction about a professional artist with permission vs. a vandal with no regard towards private ownership or similar boundaries. The rail car in question had identification numbers obscured, and I would highly doubt most railcar artwork is performed with the property owner's consent. There is a cost to the property owner to remove the unwanted "decoration" and repair the damage to the property. There are many examples of commissioned murals and artwork for neighborhood walls, businesses etc, and I have no issue with that.

As far as "seed-bombing" I see more gray areas surrounding that. In the strictest sense, if the land to be seed bombed does not belong to the bomber, then I would consider it wrong. On the surface seed bombing seems benign, but what if a "vacant" lot has buried water, sewer, gas and electrical lines that could be damaged by roots, which would cost money to rectify when that plot is ready to be put back into service as a productive property? In less urban areas, new and different flora may attract undesirable pests and feral animals. If the bomber actually intends to reap food for sustenance or profit this would be as illegal as running a business out of someone else's garage, or squatting on some one else's land.

The bottom line is I'm upset that you are making me sound and feel like an angry old man by forcing me to say "Get off my lawn!" But seriously, I grew up in a major metropolitan area, and I understand how being surrounded by nothing but private property when you yourself own none of it makes seemingly abandoned property seem like fair game. What I DON'T understand is how people who decry the unilateral appropriation of native lands and property by European colonialists can delight in the "liberation" and "appropriation" of privately and legally held land and property by individuals and groups with a similar lack of regard for the concept of ownership.
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Old 10-22-13, 03:11 PM   #2
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You could also get the ignorant seed bomber who unknowingly tosses invasive seeds. What's not invasive in one region maybe so in another.
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Old 10-22-13, 03:57 PM   #3
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Morality is in the heart of the beholder. I like graffitti to a point, if it is done well and is not gang related tagging but a more of a street art form.

I understand it has a cost to property owners. So does seed bombing. Whoever owns that property has to comply with civic ordinances and the act of seeding it could but an owner in violation.

But I would rather see an urban garden than urban blight, so more power to you.

And by the way, in your example above, you painted with a pretty broad brush or you made a thread to debate with one specific forum member. Not sure which.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 10-22-13, 04:21 PM   #4
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Damn birds and trees seed bomb all the time. Criminals.
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Old 10-22-13, 04:57 PM   #5
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This thread reminds me of a thread I participated in on the 50+ forum concerning the morality of taking apples from a loaded tree that is apparently neglected but on private property. I see all kinds of gray area in questions like this and believe the morality is situational.

I got pretty flamed by a bunch of those old codgers who's world is evidentially very contrasty B&W.

The introduction of invasive species would be a bad thing usually but it happens naturally. Nature can be pretty tough on itself.

I would think seed bombing is morally right up there with collecting trash off of somebody's property without the owners permission because it's ugly and brings the tone of your neighborhood down.
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