“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.” - Dr. Seuss
by Chason Gordon
- The Capitol Hill Times -
Recently, denizens of Capitol Hill awoke to find the prized Jimi Hendrix statue on Broadway covered in blue spray paint, none of which appeared to be self-applied. Onlookers cried and screamed and tore at their clothing. “Look at how they massacred my boy,” said one man, reading from “The Godfather” script. “I want no inquiries made. I want no acts of vengeance.” Soon an angry mob holding pipes and chains gathered (they had an angry mob Groupon coupon), and scoured the neighborhood looking for justice. Upon learning that the suspects were arrested, the angry mob put down their weapons and headed to Menchie’s for some frozen yogurt. True story.
According to the police, the young ragamuffins went on a bit of a spray paint spree (say that three times fast) the night before, tagging buildings and signs and my editor, and leaving a trail of blue paint wherever they went, like a cartoon or something. They have since been remanded into custody, which I think means that they were caught.
This particular crime came at an interesting time, as the mayor is in the process of rolling out his Restorative Justice Initiative at the East Precinct, a pilot program that seeks to keep low-level offenders out of prison by levying alternative forms of penance. Apparently, prison is not always the solution to a problem, despite what my guidance counselor told me. The idea is to avoid sending these offenders to harsh prisons where they get to hang out with hardened criminals and learn how to commit even cooler crimes, like a heist or impersonating a prison guard. It’s also worth noting that jails have plenty of weightlifting machines, enabling these low-level offenders to become bigger and stronger and more competitive at singles bars.
When I hear about alternative methods of justice, I can only think of ways to make punishment even more cruel and unusual. Since two vagabonds defaced the Jimi Hendrix statue with paint, it seems to me that the obvious solution is to bronze them alive and place their permanently screaming-in-fear statues next to Hendrix, so others can heed the warning (and later deface the statues). It would be ironic or something.
This is not likely what McGinn has in mind. He probably wants the offenders to meet with their victims and have discussions and learn about the real meaning of community, which is fine, I guess. But listen, McGinn, if they even begin to snicker or talk back, you go with the statue idea. Okay? No?
To be fair, I really don’t think that Hendrix would have been bothered by this, if I may speak for him (I am authorized to speak for him). You see, he once wrote a wonderful song called “If 6 was 9,” which contains the following line: “If the sun / refused to shine / I don’t mind, I don’t mind.” Consider that for a second. Hendrix was so cool and laid-back that he didn’t care if the sun went dark, causing all the plant and animal life on this planet to die. Jeez, Jimi. Maybe you should meet with everyone who would be effected by the sun dying, and then think about what you said. Great song, though.