Monday, October 24, 2011

Graffiti, junkies and multi-drug addled mutts as signs of social decay

The center (even officially known as "Centrs") of Riga, where I live and work, is showing signs of profound social decay. If you accept the "broken window that doesn't get fixed" theory of areas spiraling downward into becoming crime ridden slums, then the signs are all over the place in central Riga. It is not broken windows, but spray-painted, artless, incoherent graffiti everywhere. I discovered this by going around on walks and taking photographs, mainly of what I think is "street art" type graffiti and noticing that there was much, much more of the incoherent, quickly daubed squiggles and tags type of stuff. It seems to increase from week-to-week.
Also noticeable is the number of people on the street nodding on heroin or intoxicated on substances other than alcohol (not stoned, but on something that, unlike grass, affects motor functions in a different way than the drunken stagger of alcohol). You see these characters even in the morning, along with drunks, the typical signs of urban social degeneration. As things look, the mutts* are getting the upper hand.
*From the Urban Dictionary:

A Mutt is a person who is a real lowlife, degenerate piece of shit who just never does anything right... The common Mutt can be found in OTB and the local bagel store buying lotto tickets every day of their lives and losing every dollar they have... Another type of Mutt will be high or drunk 247 and try to operate and have a normal life but wind up doing "Mutt" things.

Here are some examples
Basically, just "tags" and scrawls, propagating day to day.
For the record, on addicts: Heroin should be decriminalized and made available to registered addicts along with clean needles. There should be no "accidental death penalty" for being a fuckwit who gets addicted, nor should we be robbed by addicts who need to pay for drugs whose prices are determined by their illegality, not their cost of production.


Temesta said...

Two weeks ago I visited Riga again for the first time in almost two years. Having regularly read this blog the last year, I was afraid that the city would be a mess. Actually, it was not that bad at all. Sure you had some strange types and beggars around the bus and trainstation, but not in threatening quantities. The city felt safe at night. There was some graffiti but not more than in other big European cities. Only the bikers were a bit reckless.
I live close to Brussels, and there the situation (the look of the city and the amount of degenerated people) is much more worse. In comparison with Brussels, Riga has the problems of a small provincial town.

Anonymous said...

Nothing compared to any city in USA, Riga looks a playground.

Mr.Key said...

It is not only that graffiti is no more an artwork as it used to be. Writers, politicians and many educated people also have become desperate and degraded. How? They no more write or read long stories or nice, detailed analysis about the current topics.. They use twitter and say things only in 140 characters! Usually even less and language is strange.

Things really bad here, pure failed state! If possible, come here to see the collapsing country - day by day a piece of Latvia literally disappears, people jump straight in the hole just appeared and then it fills with a water. Everybody knows that at the end only Riga Airport will stay above the ground, but with all lights switched off... Sad...

(That's just some fun for Juris, I hope he will take this as a joke)

ibanats said...

atradu šo ierakstu un gribēju pateikt ej dirst ja neko nesaproti.
piedod par neliterāro valodu.
man patīk runāt sūdu kā tev.