Graffiti Becomes A Popular Stress Relief Method Among Overworked Businessman In New Orleans

April 3rd, 2013- New Orleans

What kind of people do you imagine are doing graffiti? Street artists? Rebellious kids? In 2013, it’s been a trend for businessman to do graffiti as a form of stress relief in New Orleans. Mark, 42, has been working on his graffiti during his lunch break and after-work recreational hours. “I used to do nothing ‘crazy’ or socially unacceptable, but after seeing my ocean (Gulf of Mexico) murdered by BP in my hometown, I just thought, ‘fuck it.’ Why is it OK for BP to spill shit tons of oil in the gulf of Mexico, pay a small amount of fine which is insignificant as a parking ticket to a huge company like BP. On the other hand, I could get arrested if I walk around naked or pooped on the street. What kind of logic is that? I’m just really sick of this money driven world,” Mark says.

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Mark has been overworked for about 20 years to support his family and to be a respected and responsible adult, living up to his conservative parents’ high expectation. But after the oil spill, it came to him that he was basically being an brainless tool for global corporation whose goal is to maximize the profit in the expense of public health, environment, functioning eco-system and human rights and anything that can possibly be exploited in the world. He realizes that his wife and children hate him because he never has time to spend with them, and his parents are good people but buy into the corporate propagandas like naive babies. His kids are obese, his wife is miserable and the gulf is full of deformed sea creatures.

So he started doing graffiti. “I randomly watched a documentary about Banksy, I thought it was just OK at that time. But I don’t know why but the idea of doing graffiti came to my mind one night. The next Sunday, I woke up, went out to buy some spray cans, went into an abandoned house that destroyed by Katrina and started spray painting. My tag is a pooping man, it came quite naturally. And I see a tag of a man who is flipping middle finger around the town a lot. And I think it actually might be my overworked co-worker’s tag,” he says. Mark has seen his co-worker, with backpack full of something, walking into an abandoned warehouse during the lunch break a couple of times.

Sometimes doing graffiti can provide a feeling of liberation, freedom and youthfulness, and that feeling ends up enabling businessman to release their crazy stress, a psychologist Craig Manson says. It is only natural that this trend is happening among one of the most stressed out demographic. A characteristic about this demographic is that they are upper middle class so they have OK finance, but they are kind of people who slaved away their time. Often their physical and mental health and the quality of life is below the average. Their demanding work depletes their time, energy, and will power to enrich their internal wealth.

Now Mark is thinking about quitting his job, spending time with his family and becoming a provocative artist.

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