Byline: Catch Mad Tags

Buford Youthward

To be youthward one must be careless with a word, defenseless with a letter and senseless to a fault. Innocence is a construct requiring building permits. Redemption, a license issued to eternity.

Thousands of histories can't lie. They can only improvise. Steady improvements seem balanced against mild lapses of reason, moments of incoherence and anxiety induced confusion. Graffiti writers are hip to the game.

Ego and desire, gasoline and fire, consume each other in cannibalistic feeding frenzies. There is a foolish, blind innocence in trying to seize what is unattainable, making sense or finding peace within numbing systems and painting a name for personality profit.

Our products mimic the soulless, speak in tongue-tied tongues, babbling the beauty of life on parade, life on transit, life in transit, life as transit. Art history grovels at the feet of graffiti. For good reason, no outline is required.

A healthy fascination with language, with the mysterious sound, music, power of words scratches the surface of origination. The sense of subterranean meanings beneath public discourse. The sense of the unpredictable, the playful, and the intractable, the inexpressible as it defines itself, through us, in language. Repetition for repetition's sake.

Graffiti is fueled by rebellion, the need, in some amounting to obsession, to resist what is, to defy one's elders, even to the point of ostracism. To defend oneself, and by extension one's generation, as new, novel, ungovernable.

To write is to invade another's space, if only to memorialize it, to write is to invite angry censure from those who don't write, or who don't write in quite the way you do, for whom you may seem a threat.

I testify against the false documents produced and funded with grant money and marketed with press releases. I pledge to expose the misspoken, reconcile the restless and catch mad tags on any mind trying to make meaning.

I can only try to be youthward.

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