Byline: Graffiti Gods Gettin' Real Gone

Buford Youthward

Great narratives divide time, dissect humanity. And just as social engineers are hip to the mythologies locked in our DNA, graffiti writers grip culture like ancient shamans in mid trip.

Spray paint services the writer's soul partying on property, servicing the medium while toxic joints and mixed tints make for clouded memories and fogged environs. Intention and will cut through the haze.

Gamers maligned by the media make solid arguments. While the media misinforms, misses marks and makes makeshift labels, like "graffiti," writers make their own constitutions and render misgivings meaningless. In Philadelphia, the newspapers penned the movement "doodling." "Graffiti" at least sounds more exotic.

Misnomers aside, the case for spray painting is compelling. Applying chemical compounds to surfaces is nothing short of being in the business of identity, culture and religion. Call it callous, pompous, or arrogant, truth is creating gods is criminal activity.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, but this ain't no stairway to heaven. The path I descend is steamy and the June heat glares from the urban asphalt, giving way to this simple distinction. The work of artists is to magnify individual perspective, while the work of graffiti writers is in imposing individual will.

The authentic mark bleeds across both systems. Products of artists and writers are only as interesting and convincing as the instigators themselves.

The clock runs while the innocent are tormented in tales of suspense. We cheer for the hero who rises above the tragic flaws that make him human. The graffiti writer wears the costume of the hero fated to convey the frustration of existence during clandestine operations, battling the agents of misunderstanding and misstatement.

The graffiti gods look down upon this scene and pass no judgment, offer no absolution, smirk unwittingly then step off.

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