Byline: Romancing the Medium

Buford Youthward

The smell of paint. The texture of surfaces. Fingers on the verge of numbness. A passion for details is essential in evaluating the economy of experience. For a medium to speak through people, passion must be present. Limitations must be in place.

Time and history are great mediums to test the boundaries of limitation. Painters and sculptors graft their craft to seize momentary attention, photographers still fleeting compositions, filmmakers dilute life in measured cinematic instances, musicians structure sound to encapsulate aural linear experience and graffiti writers wash landscapes in signature requiring mental spells to decipher. The humanities all flirt with time. Time is a mistress.

History is an elusive narrative. No hotter or cooler than a canvas, rooftop, subway car, underpass, overpass or thruway. History sets the stage for the occurrence of plots mapped out with street signs of desire. The occurrence of plots is the theme of life. Style is a necessary ingredient.

Style is not about what a person knows but who a person is. Depth of character is not caused by the flaws in a person, rather the reasons those flaws exist. Descriptive texture is what transforms mere information into a multidimensional world, a world with many shades between good and bad.

Bad guys are always looking for a good time. We choose freedom to conform with the intention of contorting. We send troops to war under flags of freedom, when freedom is not in jeopardy. We use words to make us feel good. Bad guys know better and see how words are enslaved, trapped on bumper stickers, held hostage. Hold your words close to heart; ensure that their context is not loosened by a pickpocket. "Trust in Allah, but tie your camel" is an apropos Arab proverb.

Get your kicks out of spraying the cement sphinx cherry red. Outline letters in federal safety purple, fill in spaces with popsicle orange and highlight jungle green drips. Acrylic sunshine is brighter than natural light. Exhaust fumes make for great backdrops.

Hot rod angels drag race through the end of the year, leaving no heart unbroken. What it means to be human keeps changing. Hypnotized by the radio, rushing to judgment, surfing against an undercurrent of anguish, it doesn't take keen insight to note giant con games are everywhere. Turn your back to the world at your own risk.

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