Posted by
Street Carnage
• 03.13.12 11:00 am


The above image is from the cover of legendary print zine Crap Hound by Sean Tejaratchi (pronounced “tedge-uh-RAH-chee,” and no, it’s not Japanese, it’s Persian). The issue depicted above—#6, DEATH, PHONES & SCISSORS—was originally printed in 1999.

While preparing the issue for a Kickstarter-funded reprint, it came to Tejaratchi’s attention that part of an essay from the original zine had been—what’s the word?—”unfairly used,” or “co-opted,” or “plagiarized,” or “stolen”—and reprinted in a 2004 book by mysterious graffiti spirit god Banksy in his book Cut it Out.

Compare and contrast Banksy’s now-viral quote with the original from Crap Hound:

Tejaratchi posted about the inappropriate appropriation the other day on the website of Portland independent bookstore Readying Frenzy:

As problems go, it’s a pretty nice one to have. I like Banksy’s art and ideas. I’m flattered he liked my writing and my sentiments, and I’m happy others liked the quote enough to post and forward. I’ve seen forums where people are debating the passage, including rebuttals from ad-agency twats. It’s on wikiquotes and a hundred blogs. My essay never would have had that impact on its own.

The downside is that Banksy’s name is always on it. Seeing my writing credited to someone else makes it a little less magical. Same with knowing that one day (maybe soon, since the issue in question is being reprinted), I’ll get to hear how I ripped off Banksy….

My zine, Crap Hound, is full of “swiped” vintage advertising from 1920-1970 that was drawn by anonymous commercial artists. The crucial difference: I don’t pass those images off as my own. When writing appears without attribution in Banksy’s book, the natural assumption is that he wrote it.


The story even hit Gawker yesterday. The main point of contention is that there’s a difference between merely using someone else’s words or art and putting your name on it.

Banksy, who seems to think it’s cute to steal other people’s words and art, could not be reached for comment, presumably because he was somewhere throwing a rock at a corporation or stenciling Trotsky’s mustache on the side of a McDonald’s.


In almost entirely unrelated news, Tejaratchi—who is rumored to keep a database of over 7,000 fake band names he has concocted after his experiences working as a graphic designer for an indie label in California—has one of the best Twitter feeds in the Twittersphere @ShittingtonUK.

Some of his recent Tweets:

Kanye West is so dumb he probably has another brain under his balls so he can walk.

Pretty sure the lady ahead of me in the self-check-out lane was drugged and being filmed for some kind of Japanese game show.

Let’s breed small dogs that explode after a few thousand barks.

I imagine Newt Gingrich starts each morning’s pee by expelling the clot of grape jelly that’s accumulated during the night.

Such a shame the “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” defense was thought of so long after the Nuremberg Trials.



  1. Drippy Dog Dix and Cum Bubbles or Something says:

    And you can take that to the bank!

  2. drew says:

    i think i’m the one person who isn’t into the whole banksy thing…

  3. blah says:

    Why would anything be reprinted? I hope they are using this anachronistic term as a shorthand for iPad/Kindle distribution, or better yet, free/advertiser supported web distribution. The thought of seeing something dragged out and rereleased on paper is painful. Should I walk down to Borders and look for it in the magazine section? Maybe I can go on Amazon and order it to show up in my mailbox with the Pottery Barn catalog.

    Banksy is intellectually dishonest for not attributing this guy. A cornerstone of the whole “borrow/repurpose/improve on” culture is the idea of crediting your sources. I think Banksy improved on the work, if only by adding his emphasis and approval. But If the patron saints of the movement don’t follow it, what example does that give the thieving essay-writing college student for their Wikipedia use?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am banksy

  5. mr.cordero says:

    Banksy is a guy who does stuff?

  6. Jew Barrymore says:

    Who’s Banksy? “Bunksee” … Oh, Bunksee.

  7. The Pottery Barn catalog, now there’s a fine publication…

  8. Tool says:

    No, you’re not the only one, Drew, who isn’t into the whole Banksy thing. There are others out there who are just as cool as you, if not even MORE cool.

  9. mother teresa says:

    Throwing a rock at a corporation was a good line

  10. ironing? says:

    wait, THIS IS IRONY right?

  11. Jordan says:

    Banksy took an idea and expressed it more eloquently and succinctly. I don’t understand why this is a big deal. It’s called scholarship.

  12. tgbt says:

    Banksy has overtrolled you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    those were not the same essay, just a similar topic. stop hatin

  14. Treetop. That's right. says:

    Is he really a fucking “Persian?” He belongs to a race that died out over 1,000 years ago? Or is he just an Iranian?

  15. Just the Treetip says:

    What do you mean “Is he really a fucking ‘Persian’?”? The race died out? That’s going to be a shock to all the descendants currently populating Iran. Bonus fact: Persia was the name for country until 1935. Wikipedia: “Both “Persia” and “Iran” are used interchangeably in cultural contexts.” Well done, Captain History. Full steam ahead!

  16. […] musical artist and Trump-level megalomaniac once described as “so dumb he probably has another brain under his balls so he can walk” fell victim to a 2009 Internet hoax claiming he’d died in a car accident. As everyone […]

  17. […] musical artist and Trump-level megalomaniac once described as “so dumb he probably has another brain under his balls so he can walk” fell victim to a 2009 Internet hoax claiming he’d died in a car accident. As everyone […]

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