History's a Buff

Buford Youthward

In what context do you want to realize yourself? The great wilderness of yourself is at odds with the universe. Our lives are a gamble, it is our duty to electrocute the body electric.

Keep an eye out for the third rail, the rooftop edge, the abyss and hiss of an empty can. Who knows or cares what generation they speak to, for, at. Say for yourself then clean the tank and feed the filter.

You are not your graffiti. You are not your words. You are only the moment. We crash and burn — we live and learn. If we understood ourselves better perhaps we would damage ourselves less.

If graffiti must be the context-machine — making society, the world, a more-human habitat — then to eradicate it is to imprison the spirit, the poet within and without. Ensuring that the creative impulse cannot flourish freely, that it is not at liberty to select its methods and objects, takes away spontaneity and severs the roots of graffiti.

Creation affirms identity and humanity. There is no creativity crisis, but only identity denial. Elation and dejection whiplash the soul, make life fun, make life worth living. And we have this thing called graffiti, this modest misdemeanor, forever guilty of disturbing the peace. Perhaps it enables us to know the difference, as we don't always know what we have until it's disturbed a little.

There is no shock of the new; everything is old news. Disruptions and interruptions may provide fine little chapters in history books, but life is the real product. There are no graduate courses, no Cliff notes, no final exams to take.

Take your history, your Berlin Walls, your Great Walls of China, all your remains, and throw them all in the garbage pail of the past. Mona Lisa doesn't smile for me, and my spray can doesn't chip away at the ozone for her.

What Walt Whitman once sang deserves a butchering, for all the leaves are trash. Great works and great people deserve to live outside of libraries and museums (mausoleums). Some walk today. Some walk among us. The rebel disguised as conformist, the crank disguised as conservative, the artist disguised as criminal.

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