When Love and Hate Collide

Don’t let the title confuse you, this edition is not about being married. This edition is about graffiti and those that have their own way of fighting this scourge. I’m not talking about true graffiti artists that get paid by people to do their art on the outside of someone’s business. I’m talking about this crap……




What you are looking at is a trailhead bathroom inside Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area located just outside of Las Vegas, NV. Red Rock is simply one of the most beautiful places in our country and I wish everyone would do everything to keep it this way. Red Rock offers trail running, hiking, off road driving, climbing, and hiking. What is doesn’t freely offer is a place for you to place your moniker, a penis rendering, a place to tell us Mike Packer sucks (I’ve never met Mike, so I don’t know this to be true) or letting us know who to call for a good time. The question becomes what we do when we see this inside our beautiful parks or anywhere for that matter. Some people take matters into their own hands and paint away this problem, others simply fight fire with fire.

If you look again at the photo, you will see that a hero simply wrote a note to this ne’er-do-well to knock off their crap. I saw this rebuttal and fist pumped a “hell yes”, “Keep our parks beautiful”. I exited the bathroom after probably spending a freakishly long time in there and started my run. As I cruised on the trail I thought back to my new hero, the bathroom graffiti vigilante. I wanted to meet this person and shake their hand, but then something felt off. Two halves of my brain were in debate. Was this person a hero? Was this someone that should have a street named after them? Or, was this person no better than the graffiti placing scum? My new hero had in fact desecrated the exact same wall inside the same bathroom inside the same beautiful park. My moral compass was spinning. Do I have a double standard? One person vandalized this bathroom with honor and respect in their heart. The others did it with selfish intentions. Does this make one inherently more wrong than the other?

After finishing my loop that day, I realized I was a confused soul with more questions than answers. I started driving home wondering if it was possible to love and hate someone at the exact same time. I loved my graffiti warrior, but hated what he or she did to that wall inside our park. Or, did I just hate what that person did inside of me? To this day, I can’t use that bathroom for fear that reliving this internal conflict will make me question everything I have thought was right or wrong.

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