The face of "89-year-old Rose Biggin, a grandmother from the Camden Town neighborhood of North London" was outed as being a famous, some may even venture to say "brainwashing", graffitti artist.
I beg to differ.
"Banksy" is, in fact, Oneita Jackson, known Detroit blogger and vandalism-person. Commonly believed to be a Brittish male with a very deep, perhaps camouflaged "for-my-documentary" voice, my sources have confirmed that she's a woman.
Shocking, I know, that I would so boldly disagree with a scource as reliable as The Onion?!
Well, she said it.
The following is her written public apology to the Detroit Free Press (and the world):
"Imagine you’re Banksey, I mean, Oneita Big Mouth and you get caught on tape doing something you shouldn’t have been doing, something you’re always checking other people for: making the City of Detroit look bad.
That’s what happened Wednesday after the grand opening ceremony of the Bagley Pedestrian Bridge. I wrote my name on a brand new bench on the bridge.
A reporter for another publication gave me a call to tell me he was writing about vandalism and that he had me on tape, he said, vandalizing the bridge.
I admitted it was me.
The image of me pulling out a green Pilot fine-point pen, writing on the bench, then cursing the fact that I had done it came back vividly. I had written my name then realized the camera was there.
I was troubled by it all day, but never exercised my inner big mouth about it and that’s the problem, said my editor, Stephen Henderson. I was only trying to fess up after I was caught.
He was right.
Was I ashamed? Yes. Did I think it would go away? Yes. I hoped it would and I wouldn’t have to deal with it.
But I have to deal with it now; I wouldn’t be writing about it right now if that reporter hadn’t called me, seeking comment.
I make a living running my big mouth telling people how they should behave. I cannot be Oneita Big Silent now. I have to answer to Detroit -- and to my son.
Vandalism is the willful and malicious destruction of property. What I did was willful. I was excited when I saw the bench and that people had written on it and wanted to add my tag to it. That’s what we did in New York City when I was young: We put our tags on the park benches. I also wrote my name in wet concrete when I was in D.C.
But I’m not just another girl on the avenue. I’m a Detroiter, a blogger-columnist-newspaper chick and, as Free Press Editor Paul Anger pointed out, a role model. I interact with people on the O Street blog and talk to students and people in the community. I speak my truth and I seek the truth.
And now I hope to be a better role model for the truth.
I returned to the pedestrian bridge Friday to look for my name on the bench and was surprised to see that it was gone. [I thought, "Those muthafuckas stolen my art and sold that shit on the black market!] So were other names. I went to the welcome center and told the women there what I had done. They asked what kind of pen I had used and told me Wednesday’s rain probably washed it away.
It might have washed my name away, but it cannot wash away how stupid I feel.
Before anyone apologizes any further, let's remind ourselves that the concept of vandalism is not as simplistic as one may initially think. A recent event took a certain spoke of the art community on a jostling discussion of a similar topic. Can "vandalism" become valuable art, meaning , major museum, big $ status, even pervade the law--if it's crafted by the correct hand?" YES. There are tons of places vandalism can take you, kids, and The Detroit Free Press! Be creative! I once penned an image of my tupperware on a dumpster. OoOooooo wee!!!
Note from the editor: In the true "Onion" spirit, this is all in good fun.