And the award for the best murderer goes to …

Scanning the PG today, I noticed that the local hip-hop awards were given out at an awards ceremony at the Hilton last night. Lots of people I’ve never heard of got awards, and one dude I have heard of got an award:

Best Graffiti Artist: Mook.


Best graffiti artist?!?! For real?
Not only am I annoyed that they actually have an award recognizing someone skilled at committing a petty crime, but I’m also annoyed that they’ve gone ahead and given that award to MOOK of all people.

Mook has tagged everything in this freakin’ city with his stupid name written in his stupid childish “I was held back in kindergarten three times” capital letters.

Graffiti artist. Why stop there? How about best thief? Or best cop slapper? Or best babymama slapper arounder? Hiya, Asshat!


  1. Judge Rufus Peckham
    January 15, 2007 10:24 pm

    Yes, you are right on, as usual, Pittgirl. But I must be honest: I am thankful that there are still a few people in this town who have achieved fame, or notoriety, for no reason other than because they have some minor but distinguishing trait, talent or in Mook’s case, petty criminal tendency, and it somehow has become common consensus that they should be famous. We used to have numerous such persons in town; for instance, the great Pittsburgh police officer Vic Cianca,, who could draw a crowd just directing traffic because he was so funny; the great protestor Robert Lansberry,, or the Sparrow (“Go inside for three days . . . )” And of course we still have T.C. Congdon, Mook, of course, is not in the same class as any of these because of his misdeeds.

  2. Scott
    January 15, 2007 11:20 pm

    I like graffiti. Artistic graffiti, anyhow. If I were 30 years younger, and had the slightest artistic talent, I would probably be, as you describe it, a petty criminal. But I’m not. I’m an old fart writing a little-read blog.

  3. Critic
    January 16, 2007 8:21 am

    Defacing public property is a crime. Just because you like something doesn’t mean the rest of us have to experience that lack of artistic sense. Been to the Eliza Furnace (jail) Trail lately? No mona lisas, just big fat ugly letters and mean cartoons.

  4. JP
    January 16, 2007 8:47 am

    SURGE was robbed!

  5. mimi
    January 16, 2007 9:45 am

    This does not surprise me that in the city of Pittsburgh a graffiti artist would win accolades. Next thing you know, the mother who killed her two year old last week will be awarded with a “Queen for a day” award or, better yet, “Mother of the Year”. It figures.

  6. ethan
    January 16, 2007 9:49 am

    Speaking of infamous Pittsburghers, whatever happened to Darryl – the guy who used to fly airplanes down the middle of the streets? He also suddenly disappeared some years ago.

  7. Tep
    January 16, 2007 10:15 am

    Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards?????? I would point the wtf to that instead of Mookie.

    And Charlie Batch won best pro-athlete of the year. OK.

  8. Zsa
    January 16, 2007 11:23 am

    There was a very good documentary made about Robert Lansberry called “Don’t Call Me Crazy on the 4th of July.” I doubt there’s anything interesting enough about Mook to make a 30 second commercial.

    The grafitti on the East Busway is at least colorful and in some cases, amusing. I don’t see how writing your name over and over again is either of those.

  9. Puma
    January 16, 2007 11:33 am

    Couldn’t agree more. “Mook” apparently edged out “oil war” for this title. Regardless of your politics, destroying property to make your point is just lame.

    Note to Crime Division: Get tickets to all local awards shows.

  10. Bram
    January 16, 2007 1:00 pm

    Was Mook present to accept his award? Maybe the whole thing was an inspired sting that didn’t take.

    I’ve gotta chime in and say “Pffft.” Let Mook be Mook. Victemless crime, what?

  11. Dominic
    January 16, 2007 1:32 pm

    The hip-hop community leaders are probably the most outspoken on issues concerning promoting leadership and education within. Then, to simultaneously award criminal behaviour not only is obviously contradicting but absolutely damaging to the cause they seem to promote most. It makes no sense to me at all!

  12. Matt H
    January 17, 2007 12:08 am

    These awards are a joke! Anything that has best graffitti artist in it lost all respect from me.

  13. Pebo
    January 17, 2007 12:08 pm

    You people all sound like crotchety mean old white women. Graffiti is not bad per se; graffiti has its roots in artistic rebellion emanating from society’s poorest and most down trodden. The tragedy is that Ed Koch and his ilk saw graffiti solely as vandalism, ignoring its positive and creative elements and utilizing all his resources to quash, rather than nurture an original and expressive art form. The other tragedy is that graffiti could not have been legitimized without losing its essential character. We see this now as graf has been cynically co-opted to sell soft drinks and pepto-bismal. Mook’s suckiness notwithstanding, if you can’t recognize the difference between painting a wall and breaking windows, then you can’t complain if frustrated urban energy gets directed towards vain materialism and destructive violence.

  14. ethan
    January 17, 2007 12:34 pm

    frustrated urban energy should go get a job instead of spending days (or nights) destroying the property purchased by hardworking vain materialistic urban property owners. truly, i cannot recognize the difference between the punk ass who keeps tagging my garage door in wilkinsburg with graffiti or breaking a window. both situations require me to make repairs. but i most sincerely welcome your explanation, Pebo, so that i can see the light.

    maybe some poor, downtrodden, frustrated urban energy will hip-hop by with some garage door-colored spray paint and re-tag my garage door where the non-garage door-colored spray paint was carefully placed by some other poor, downtrodden, frustrated urban energy.

  15. cate
    January 17, 2007 5:53 pm

    my landlord told me this story once. he was an old math teacher and he and his friend, an english teacher were jokingly comparing their most well-to-do or “famous” former students. my landlord names a local celeb or two (he didn’t tell me which ones) and the english teacher thinks and thinks….and then says…”Mook.”

    yeah, THAT mook.

  16. cate
    January 17, 2007 5:57 pm

    p.s., i think there needs to be a tagging versus graffiti distinction. tagging = dumb (which seems to be mook’s MO for the most part), graffiti = more complicated and certainly more artistically relevant.

    me, i’ll give my vote to soviet.

  17. Pebo
    January 19, 2007 2:54 pm

    First of all, Cate is right. Tagging sullies and destroys without regard to artistic expression or decency. Graffiti can be complex and expressive. But honestly Ethan I don’t understand you. Who said graffiti artists were unemployed? Who defended people’s right to spray paint your garage door?

    Graffiti rose simultaneously with increasing urban poverty. As opposed to drug use, violence, and unwanted pregnancy — other things that rise with poverty — graffiti seems rather benign, no? In fact, it’s a self-motivated and enthusiastic example of creativity that white people are unable to inspire within their own children, even when they spend lots of money on private education! What can we do to retain and channel creativity toward constructive ends? These questions, unfortunately, are hardly considered.

    I’m not saying that kids should be allowed to spray paint on your garage door. I’m saying that people shouldn’t automatically lump together graffiti with violent crime. Graffiti, along with the rest of hip hop culture, was a positive trend that was then crushed and co-opted by white people.

  18. VASteve
    January 21, 2007 10:44 am

    So Mook is committing a victimless crime?? Not sure those deprived of police and fire protection, ems services, a warm meal or a safe place to sleep would feel that way as these public budgets are cut…but we have to spend the money to clean up Mook’s eye-sores.

    Those who claim that graffitti has some artistic relevance or some sort of redeeming social value…please let us in on it. Those claims have been made for years in all major urban locations…yet no one can seem to articulate what that message is.

  19. VASteve
    January 21, 2007 10:46 am

    Oh…Pebo…so you’re saying that Gaffitti is just a “black thing”?

  20. Highland Ave
    January 23, 2007 1:58 pm

    Dateline PITTSBURGH: “Frustrated Urban Energy” manifests itself on bridge 10 stories above river; or Pebo Divorces Reality! If I ever get caught up in the law, Pebo, you my Johnny Cochran.

  21. Steev
    February 10, 2007 9:08 pm

    your all f*n dolts, plain and simple.
    1) you wouldnt know what real art was if it came up and raped your pets.
    2) i admit most of the stuff you people know mook for is the tags on the bridges, how about you get out of your saturn vue one day and actually look at the good work graffiti artists have done around here.
    3) your comparing graffiti to murder? what would you rather have to see, some scribbles on parking meters or dead babies lining the streets of the south side?
    and last but not least…
    4) none of you even know anyhting about him other than what you heard on the news. let me break it down for you, he was caught, he served his time, paid his restitution, doesnt “tag” anymore, and is a top notch tattoo artist these days. seriously, know your facts before you want to sound off on something. next you people will be saying hitler was a sensitive guy.

    (bonus info: he was in attendence at the awards show, me being present with him.)