Fortune Cookie for the Soul

Buford Youthward

Just one click is all it took.

We are all one assimilation away from



That's what information and contexts can do to you. Get used to the (t)expectations.

The difference between blending in and assimilating is like balancing technique and substance. I'd take a stockcap and a good idea over pristine colors and choice nozzles any day.

Technique is craft, learned skills. Basic rudiments such as form, composition and color advance to concepts of erasure, completion, or rather the skill of knowing what to leave out. Economics.

This is a skill-set that is tactfully inclusive as what is left out gets filled in by an audience. That's part of the fun. Graffiti can be an enabling process which (at times) allows for an audience to see for themselves.

Contributor, actor, victim, hero. Eventually all the humanities get us blending in as individual strands in the fabric.

To author an idea it is necessary to facilitate a love. I don't mean that in a hippie-shit sort of way. Just that one must embrace with deepest sincerity the context and the idea deemed meaningful. In that sense, a medium may indeed choose its audience and authors as certain personalities are predisposed to certain media.

All the work we do — above ground, underground — is shaped and perceived within a context. The graffiti we produce, the films we direct, the books we write, the poetry we read, the telephone calls we make, all these events tell us about who we are. And it's done blindly for the most part. I caution you to be mindful of these events.

This life, this context that we are trapped in or freed to, happens like a waterfall. All your love and concern, all your hate and anger — if they are to consume us then let them do so with passion and meaning.

These words are not written to vindicate the zealots. In fact quite the opposite. The foolish want to die nobly for a cause, while the wise wish to live humbly for one.

So we go on seeking validation, vindication. When fine artists, auctioneers, gallery owners dismiss the graffiti experience, my personal outlook becomes clearer. When I find graffiti becoming accepted and even celebrated I often end up dismissing it.

Perhaps it's the misanthropic side of me. Perhaps it's the graffiti writer in me.

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