Guilty as Charged

Buford Youthward

Oh to be zen-like at midnight, not at one with nature but with the synthetic. To see and feel for the artificial, on alert for asbestos. The John Dillinger Death Wish is fame for fame's sake; fame for hope's sake, fame for no sake.

Heretics charge fame as a necessary evil vice that haunts us all. That's just making a short story long. Long story short, the barbarians may be at the gate but the vandals are already over the fence.

We are living in an age where the world is divided by suicide bombers being categorized as insane on one side and as icons of hope on the other. Perhaps the graffiti writer, that crafty ego bomber, provides a lesson for the world.

Suicide in the service of a cause is selfish and selfless, much like the detonation of a masterpiece on virgin property. In one way, the graffiti purifies the space and conversely it corrupts it-depending on your disposition, your level of environmental and cultural investment; your point of view.

So is perspective the climax of self-termination, the ultimate sacrifice, the finger defiantly held in the face of all that is secular?

Fame is the ultimate cause for all causes; the great western way. It's the real opium of the masses. Who among us disputes their willingness toward celebrity?

Simple mathematics. Given the choice between looking tragic or terrific, living like a hobo or a king, which would you choose?

Ideally, this is just side-show to talent. The only gesture that matters is in the hands, the creation and the act of graffiti that brands that special silhouette of existence only graffiti writers know.

So sitting with the ten-thousand-mile stare, gazing introspectively, faced with fame and its consequences, the collective plea is cast, "Guilty as charged your honor."

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