2014 an incident occurred involving at least seven national parks and one very destructive young adult. Casey Nocket, a.k.a creepytings, apparently, not a wordsmith, went on a warpath directed at the national parks of the U.S.A. She drove from New York state to the west coast tagging parks as she went thru them. Willful ECO-destruction by an EGO-terrorist.
She was not making a political statement such as “Hey! Big Business stop raping the land!”. She was not making a wildlife statement “Stop killing Bambi!”. She was using acrylic paint and a permanent marker to scrawl doodles and tag protected federal land. Tagging beautiful mountains amid breathtaking scenery created by a genuine artist whose tag is GOD. She posted her work on social media for the world to marvel at her brilliance. The doodles are pretty crappy, but, ART is subjective.
These parks were created to preserve the landscape of America. People of all color, creed, and genome can admire nature’s beauty. Enjoy areas not too sullied by pollution. A place where peace and quiet are shielded from the cacophony of man and machine. A place to escape the eyesores of the concrete jungle. Not so fast nature! A bored, upper-class white girl with too much time on her hands has something to say.
This idiocy was perpetrated in 2014, but the case was just heard in 2016. It took a lot of time and effort by people who cared about the world to track this criminal down. Go to http://www.modernhiker.com/2014/10/21/instagram-artist-defaces-national-parks/ for the full visual.
There are many glaring problems with this case. Foremost; when social media members commented on the senselessness of her actions ( yup she committed a crime and posted it on social media ) her response was “Sorry I’m an artist” and “OOPs my bad.” The sentencing she received is equally disturbing. Online the penalties for misdemeanors, violations for whatever crime one decides to commit in any state can be found. Casey Nocket committed a major misdemeanor. In each state, it is punishable by a fine and incarceration, and there are extra penalties for committing a crime on federally protected land.
Loosely stated in OREGON 3rd-degree criminal mischief, class 3 misdemeanor up to 30 days in jail, up to $1250 penalty. California; prison for one year and a fine up to $10,000. UTAH for damages more than $5,000; A fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. COLORADO; 3 months to 1 year jail time $250 to $1000 fine. These are just some of the states Ms. Nocket displayed her tags. The common thread is they all carry jail time. She vandalized at least seven national parks from 9/12/14 to 10/7/14. A 25 day taggers free for all. This was not a last minute spur of the moment “let’s go to the park trip.” She was going from the east coast to the west coast. A 3000 miles trip. This requires planning. She had to know the location of the parks. She had to map out a route to navigate to and thru them. Where to get food and water. Where to eat and sleep. Where to get fuel. It requires planning. This was a premeditated crime carefully thought out and executed.
The penalty she received for this premeditated crime? 24-month probation and she is banned from national parks during the 24-month probation. 200 hours of community service and last but not least the burden of writing a formal apology to the national parks service. Writing an essay should straighten her out. It worked in high school.
An online comment asked, “What would allow her for even a minute to think this behavior was ok?”. That is a good question .”WHAT would allow her for even a minute to think this behavior was ok? Does the blame lie on society? We see companies like Enron stealing everything from their employees while the CEOS reward themselves with billion dollar umbrellas. We see the banks manipulating the markets and destroying the economy with impunity. Big pharma’s drugs kill people in the millions, and no one goes to jail. The chickens have come home to roost.
Her actions and the judicial systems punishment reflect a society mired in apathy. People do bad things and get away with it. Accountability and integrity are some of the fundamental building blocks of freedom. They should also be the fundamental building blocks of a human being.
The politicians and big business criminals have eroded large parts of these blocks. When these are missing or weak, the whole system is for naught. There are articles written praising the millennials as such a together generation. They see and do things that should place them in the hall of greatness. There are articles written about how a dysfunctional, entitled and jaded a generation they are. These observations are correct on both sides. Every generation has its sloths, malcontents, and entitled brats. Every generation has its virtuosos, its geniuses and heroes. That is a problem. Too long it has been a 50/50 balance. We as a society need to figure out how to raise the consciousness of all humanity. It starts with each and everyone of us taking responsibility for ourselves and our fellow earthling.
If you see something wrong, do something get involved. Be conscious but also be careful. You do not have to be a superhero just a conscientious observer with a cellphone camera. We live in a time where it is hard to hide things. Ms. Nocket was caught because people that cared did something. Evil only prevails when good people do nothing.
This article was written by Alex Rand, a writer for dusk magazine.