Friday, April 10, 2015

Keeping out the Kardashians

When the artist, Plastic Jesus, started posting “No Kardashian Parking Any Time” signs around Los Angeles, I laughed a little to myself.  Especially when Khloe’s Yukon was recently driving through Montana, causing trouble.  Ignoring how impossible it must be for them to parallel park their gigantic, expensive cars on the roads of L.A., the signs are a statement about the obsession society has with celebrity.  But, the LAPD feels differently.  A representative from the LAPD said, “It’s a pretty clear case of vandalism, regardless of the artistic intent.” 

But is it?  First, when looking at the signs, no other signs were manipulated, destroyed, or even moved from their positions above and below the no-Kardashian signs. Also, this is a form of speech, and as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution tells us, and which is extended to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, we have a protected, fundamental right to express our ideas, so long as they do not incite violence or disturb peace.  Keeping in mind that the ideas expressed are protected differently depending on their nature and forum, Plastic Jesus’ expressions were peaceful and not even as obscene as some celebrity spending habits.  To call them vandalism, almost inviting a complaint that would lead to the signs removals, is unnecessary and borderline restrictive. 

We all like a little drama, as long as it’s not our own, and many of us are willing to pay to watch it unfold, but every now and then, someone comes along and reminds us to live in our own lives, instead of those lives we have created (and destroyed) on television.  This is not vandalism, it is expression.  Not to mention, maybe it could alleviate some of the paparazzi-induced, SUV-laden, celebrity-hunting traffic, and L.A. needs any break in traffic it can find.

Amanda Marston

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