Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Graffiti in #yeg: King Ralph x3?

Who is King Ralph? I bet if you lived in Edmonton or Alberta about the same time I grew up you'd know.


King Ralph is the nickname of Ralph Klein, Alberta's premier from 1989-2007. Why King Ralph? Because he ruled ruthlessly for what seemed like forever. Ok, so it wasn't that bad. He did yell at a homeless man, had a reputation for being a drunk, slash health care/education/everything-good funding and cut 1000 teaching jobs in the province the year I graduated with my Education degree. I always tell people I was one of Ralph Klein's teachers: he got rid of all the teaching jobs in the province so I had to go to England. I vowed never to return until he left office, which ended up happening a few months before I moved back. I once saw him at a Dim Sum restaurant in Edmonton while I was in high school too. He was a Conservative. I disliked him. Apparently he now has dementia, which is sad.

Imagine my surprise last week, when while walking downtown through my Oliver neighbourhood, I spotted this:

Yep. Looks like him. 

And then last night I saw this downtown in the Grandin neighbourhood: 


And then again last night, this time across the river near the High Level Bridge path:


That's a lot of King Ralph sightings in one week! I wonder where these came from, and how long they've been there. I wonder if there's more?

I don't condone graffiti. I don't agree with defacing public or private property regardless of the statement you're making. Yes, I think Banksy is brilliant, and sometimes local graffiti is intriguing, but it's just not right. Even if it does mock (I think, I don't know of any other King Ralph) one of the arguably most hated (depending on your viewpoint) man in Alberta politics.

I also saw this last night:

That's our prime minister.

Ok, so local graffiti artists don't like politicians.

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