punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

The mystery of territorial markings around DC/Silver Spring.

If you live or work around the Silver Spring area and look past the sidewalk, you know of the names X-Rae, Slae, BORF, geoff, the duo of Koma and Nore(s), and Rancor (the tongue). After seeing these names everywhere, I had to know more.

Well, Nore and Koma were caught a while back, but their names live on because they were rather prolific, it seems. But the quote, "Despite the arrests, city authorities are still puzzled by KOMA and NORES. No one knows what the two tags mean -- they could be acronyms or simply chosen for the aesthetics of the way the letters fit together." Ah... how about TaKOMA Park, which is in NORthEaSt DC? One of the hugest gang centers around here (Deanwood and Anacostia being the other two).

BORF is another interesting story. His claim to fame is using stencils. Usually with himself, grinning like a Cheshire cat, with the body of an 1800s child, a jazz player with an M16 held like a saxophone, or just phrases like "Bush hates BORF!" He has spawned a lot of anti-BORF, which I suspect is himself in some cases. "Learn to draw, toy!" someone spray painted a while ago across a stencil of just his face. What's even funnier, is I am seeing BORF in the most unlikely of places, including my son's high school rest room, so I bet he is spawning many copycats. More on BORF!

X-rae is rumored to be local DJ X-rae Jackson, but a lot of people say the graffiti is older than he is. Slae and Rancor has been seen around the 9:30 Club, but no one knows if they are individuals or an expression.

I find it all fascinating. I mean, the desire to deface public property must show an underlying powerful urge to be known and heard. I can't condone it, but if it's there, I might as well try and figure it out.
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