Hey, it’s you. Thanks for showing up.
There are a lot of problems I want to see changed. And I think that can change. That may, that will. You’re the same, to be sure.
But there’s something I don’t think really has much room to grow. Something I wouldn’t wouldn’t really bother tackling. It’s got pretty much no chance of evolving.
It’s….artistic vandalism. You know, like graffiti. Of course they also scratch mirrors and set up statues in random places. People want to put messages out there, somewhere, in physical space, however unnecessary seeming.
You ever feel really bad about how….aggression always seems to win?
You can have millions of people try to control themselves,
with all sorts of mythology and media,
but everything just gets bitter and belligerent after a while.
And pro-peace philosophies and kindness-making meditations
just fall flat on their face.
They just fail over and over,
no matter how much they work.
No matter how sincerely they really bend the hearts of anyone.
The fish of belligerence slips out of the hands of sweet, sweet peace.
Even for those of us with lots of self control who really, objectively,
avoid being a bad dude….the desire to take extreme action gnaws at us.
Those urges to defy that which disgusts us.
The need to fight back when barely fought.
The need to act when no crisis calls for it.
The need to correct that which barely displays any disgrace.
We’re burdened by that, at the absolute best.
Allow me….to try and take a little of that off of you.
Let me…..try something new. I promise, this is not something you’ve heard before.
Don’t focus on kindness and interconnectedness and gratitude and beauty and love.
For today, for now, just think about graffiti.
How you feel when looking at it on the street.
The way your heart stirs, the way your brain zaps,
that very distant and mysterious passion.
Everybody gets the vibe of graffiti.
Some will tell you it’s one of the most beautiful things you can see every day.
Others will tell you it’s a total waste of space worth sending people to jail over.
But everybody gets the vibe.
Everybody can kind of get in the head of a guy
with a spray can next to a semi-abandoned concrete wall,
shooting out some mildly beautiful letters, colors, and caricatures.
People aren’t so dumb and dopey that they can’t recognize
when someone else is at their most intensely sincere.
When you can see someone’s heart is roaring with a sense of purpose
in the midst of inappropriate behavior,
that is where it’s hard not to take a stance very hard against or very much for
that such person.
Here are the things about graffiti that get us going
1. It’s done on property which doesn’t belong to the artist.
It’s a stepping over of boundaries that are obeyed by most of us.
(witnesses will find this either cathartic against the uptight, or disrespectful and uncivilized)
2. It doesn’t directly damage the ability of a stationary wall to serve its purpose,
since it’s really just coloring of a solid object.
(witnesses will find this endearingly playful or brazenly heinous)
3. It’s usually not particularly gorgeous-looking or intricately crafted
compared to most other artwork, often made of fluffy letters and little else,
heavily rehearsed and premeditated at its best.
(witnesses will say this makes graffiti less valuable, or be charmed by its unrefined quality)
4. Graffiti is somebody trying to prove they were somewhere,
that their work needs attention.
(witnesses will say this makes the art form a great way for nobodies to get exposure, or is a fucked up, desperate way to satisfy the urge to be noticed).
5. And finally, graffiti sets out to transform the space around it like nothing else can.
(witnesses could say this is the highest form of disrespect for all architecture,
or a wonderful appreciation for the potential of physical spaces).
Graffiti may not be something anyone crusades about very much,
but it gets you pumping, gets you longing, gets you wishing.
Stimulates that very judgmental part of you that could hardly be called heroic or vicious.
It’s something between scorn and affection.
It’s the part of you that makes you say
“I am observing people at their most egregious.”
And it’s so apt to fling off so far in the direction of love or hate.
Or leave a person in that mystical kind of state between “despising” and “relating”
which is likely to push them to vengeance,
or the degradation of someone for the things they do which aren’t even mean.
This is my meditation.
Stop yourself from swimming deep into a colorful pool of love
stop yourself from diving far into the murky muck of rage.
Don’t do both, don’t do neither.
Feel your table-turning tail rise with on overwhelming need
to judge, or admire or condemn,
and stop it, not by slamming it down, not by trying to bend it beyond its capability,
not by soaking it with water, even.
but by only feeling this-
“the person doing this extreme thing ACHES FOR A SENSE OF VALUE AS FEROCIOUSLY AS SOMEONE I HOLD IN HIGH REGARD”
Do you remember 5Pointz? It was so damn beautiful.
It was illegal but sacred.
It was ghetto but polished.
It was a community without rule.
It was the type of thing you’d dream about!
Even if you hated it, it was awesome and you knew it.
And it sucked when they destroyed it.
Even I can barely see why anyone should take the side of the property owners who just wanted fat stacks of money rather than leave that glorious art space standing!
But although it might hurt your brain to hear this,
it might ache your heart to hear this,
that same burning spirit of the avaricious
is the cousin of the urge of an artist to be known.
The greedy and and cruel, the savage and the untamed,
they’ve still got those rainbows in their heads,
however worthy of disgust, they’ve still got that bewildering glow in their hearts.
That unstoppable sunshine of defying people you know are desperate for a sense of value and purpose, when you yourself have carried the burden of that desire as well.
Hear me now, humanity. If you wish to reduce the amount of despicable actions in this world, there is one thing you should and must do-
learn to pacify yourself properly when you feel the overwhelming cravings of the muscle in you that needs to judge.
You can’t destroy it, nobody will.
You may as well pacify a toddler with water. Use silence as a lullaby.
But if you can recognize yourself, see yourself, know exactly what puts you in that mode of unstoppable fury which doesn’t feel remotely unjust…..you’ll be able to distance yourself even further…..from everybody who makes you upset.
And as they get up in your space,
you’ll have the sheer insight required to work around them at their most intolerable.
without even having to try.
If enough people do this, they’ll shock everyone else from every other place and culture and time who failed at this despite the sincerity of their heritage.
The first subculture to successfully cancel out the awfulness of human interaction shall get the platinum trophy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reasonable vandalizing to do,
if we are ever to have something which we can chew.
This website is the bubblegum for rage.