Graffiti Non-Appreciation: The 12-Step Program

Buford Youthward

  1. Admit that you have no control over style. You don't have the opportunity for originality and neither does anyone else. Everything has been done already and there are style rules that everyone must follow.

  2. Embrace the complexity and depth of Modern Graffiti while dismissing its roots in old-school inventiveness.

  3. Pretend you don't have to know anything about the history and theory of graffiti in order to understand and appreciate it. Times change, graffiti doesn't. It fails to adapt, update or reflect the dilemma of our age. Rumblings in the underground are never related to kids with spray cans.

  4. While sporting trendy gear, chant, "It isn't politics, it's art," in harmony with your TV. Trivialize graffiti in the face of your own rage.

  5. Fail to acknowledge graffiti's complexity and insist on its accessibility to most people.

  6. Insist that Modern Graffiti is about only one thing. Choose from the following:
    1. Assertion
    2. Empowerment
    3. Amusement
    4. Hiphop

  7. Scream that Modern Graffiti speaks to everyone and that its motives are clear and mostly limited to ego-stroke and social denial.

  8. If someone suggests that graffiti is guilty of making people uncertain or providing discomfort, ignore them and claim that graffiti is the same today as it was before, and that no progress in either graffiti or the viewer's understanding is possible

  9. Validate the graffiti experience as an event that unscrambles the codes of our existence, and claim the modern urban landscape as nothing less than the sane, rational mise-en-scene eagerly awaiting the naive and impressionable with comforting, open arms.

  10. Approach graffiti with a closed mind and snap judgments. Don't think about its intent. Rush to conclusions, and sneer upon any attempt at thoughtful contemplation as a tactic unworthy of graffiti or everyday life.

  11. If you are confused or puzzled, reject the style that makes you uncomfortable. Defending graffiti you like or dislike is an exercise in futility.

  12. Repeat the opinions of others instead of developing your own reasoning process. Forget to mention who you're quoting.

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