S.F. Signs of the Apocalypse: The Graffiti of Desperation

Categories: SF Oddities
We live in dark times. American soldiers are dying overseas. The robber barons of high finance reap massive bonuses as recompense for ruining the nation's economy. As our own fair city falls further into darkness, bilingual toddlers are turned out into the streets, lawyers misremember whom they should be suing, and a malodorous villain terrorizes the passengers of the city's light-rail system.


Your correspondent was reflecting on Our Times during a recent walk along the desolate shoreline south of Potrero Hill's Mirant power plant -- isn't this what journalists do in the movies? -- when he came upon some graffiti that seemed to encapsulate the city's dour mood. Let's have a look, shall we?

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At least one of the graffiti writers who contributed to this tableau was clearly thinking dark thoughts. A "MURDA" most foul, you say? Very likely. Yet is it impossible that this outlaw artist was thinking of Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha, the salty Vietnam vet whose fondness for pork-barrel projects has made him something of a symbol of Democrats' dirty dealings? As for the other mysterious graffito adorning this wall -- well, let's take a closer look.

Oh, and by the way, we agree. Fuck stock tips.

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The Snitch brought considerable resources to bear trying to decipher the above word, deploying three members of the SF Weekly editorial department to figure out what the hell this says. Our best guesses: "Joit," "Toit," and "Toik." Perhaps this is the secret name of some demon? Most definitely a sign of the apocalypse.

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All bow to the demon Toik, green-handed herald of the End Times!
But fear not, demon thralls -- Jesus is here to save, as usual.

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This millennial spray-paint scrawl offers hope, despite its whiff of desperation. The letters are square and deliberate, as though these concrete blocks were tagged by someone clinging to his aerosol can for dear life. And if that isn't enough for you, San Francisco, try this on for size: It's 2 p.m. on Friday, and Miller Time is just around the corner.

Graffiti photos by Peter Jamison. Demon photo by roctopus.

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