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Friday, June 15, 2007

Bad behavior not even a Catholic school girl can love

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 5:05 PM

I appreciate a good cross just as much as any other girl who spent her formative years sporting green-and-blue plaid jumpers in Catholic school. But the pair that somebody painted at the corner of 25th and Mission streets really aren't an addition to the tradition of murals in the Mission District.

Earlier this month, two bright orange crosses appeared right over Arabic script in a mural on the 25th Street side of the Golden Gate Market. The mural, painted a few years back by a collective of about six aerosol artists from San Francisco and Chicago, was meant to show a connection between the two cities as well as solidarity with cultures around the world. Its title: Nuestras culturas, nuestra pintura, nuestra tierra (our cultures, our paint, our land).

Eric Norberg, the artist who painted the Arabic script, is pissed off that somebody messed up the mural, which mostly features imagery from Mesoamerica. But he’s even more concerned because “crosses over Arabic script in this day and age carries much baggage” with it.

“It hurts everybody and it’s uncalled for,” he says. “People need to be more respectful.”

Norberg is awfully suspicious of the nearly-neon orange color--which is far more popular with construction crews than your average tagger. And he suspects whoever painted the crosses doesn’t read Arabic--it’s the name of his daughter, Naima.

All those messed up post-Sept. 11 racist implications aside, the market owner Mike Masri points out that, well, the crosses (or plus signs or whatever they may be) are just really ugly.

Plus, after nearly a decade spent studying with nuns, I’m pretty sure that Jesus doesn’t like jackasses. Not even cross-loving ones.--Mary Spicuzza

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Mary Spicuzza

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