There is a piece of Graffiti in Southampton. It reads simply:
WORK. CONSUME. DIE.
Great Stuff. And good on them too - graffiti is something I don't do enough of anymore. And really, the 'B woz ere's and 'fuck the system's of my tender years dont count for much. Making statements of territorial claim or broad political disaffection when you're twelve isn't very surprising; you don't own anything and you don't have any power. And to be honest, you don't really expect to.
But when you're all grown up you learn to expect more of both. Now there's a lot of bollocks talked about graffiti (a lot of it by me), but I can broadly express my feelings on the subject with three questions
(working on the basis that questions are always more important than flawed answers)
1) When is creativity illegal?
2) Who owns outer space?
3) Is alienation something that can be expressed in
(a) a university, or
(b) an art gallery?
I can barely describe how sorely tempted I am now to write three enormous chapters on each. It would be a masterpiece! My opinions on everything - my angst, my pride, my loathing; I'd never need to post anything ever again.
Instead I'm going to go out and buy some paint.
It'd take a fuck of a lot of paint to explain these thoughts, but then graffiti was never really about explaining things. Tomorrow the town centre will be daubed indiscriminately, hundreds of properties, roadsigns and posters obliterated with one symbol:
A giant question mark.