By Carlos Rodriguez (Mare 139)

Have we manifested the Blade Runner reality?
Has the consequence of toppling down fascism and communism erected a more gentler and kinder fascism and communist state?
Has the government crossed too far into your life and how far will you go to cross the government?
I am a young maturing man with a less threatening objective in life in the scope of all the horrible shit out there i.e. crooked politicians, rouge cops, gangbangers, drug runners etc.....
I love graffiti, I learned it at the age of 11 and mastered it in my mid 20's. Its the longest committed relationship I have ever had and the most creatively nurturing. Amongst all the chaos and bleak conditions surrounding me in the South Bronx I secretly existed in an underground environment that perpetuated one of the most significant social and creative art movements in the world. In this world there was an understanding that though you were breaking the law you were also exercising your diminishing right to free speech.

Though graffiti had minimal political objectives it was born out of political & economic strife by the under represented poor ghetto children of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. New York has always had crooked and shifty politics (as well as my new home Los Angeles), so the fact that these conditions would bear a revolution of militant and creative retaliation is of no surprise to me. Unfortunately it is reaping its consequence as I hear it on the news, hear it on the radio and read it on the net....your views and talents must be monitored, controlled or obliviated. This takes me back to the Russian Revolution of the early 1900's, it would be of great surprise to research this and see that artist back then united on a political and creative front to call out their oppressors, they even painted end to end whole car trains that traveled the country. Though in my age I can say I find better uses for the art than a great many (taggers and throw up writers) I am not in any position to be so arrogant to say they are wrong or that they shouldn't do it because I would be a hypocrite to the cause of revolution. Everyone has their place and reasoning in this game and we each will bear the same cross regardless how successful or not you become because we are or were graffiti artists born from that seed that Taki 183 brought to light.
The surge of new graffiti has burden us with a social and political outcasting that will not likely go away, we are scape goats to bigger and more horrible disobediences created by THE MAN. And yes THE MAN is very calculated he recruits against you campaigning on the blemished side of your face and will not show the beautiful and creative side of your spirit he will not show how a flower can grow out of concrete and rubble he will not show the discipline and honor amongst yourselves, no he will cast you unpatriotic, rebellious and crude natured.
SO! In spite, we still grow as a sub culture creating our own forums our own networks and our own community and economy... GLOBALLY! What we need now are revolutionaries of thought and practice. Your best tool as a writer is your writing skill your ability to convey, so to me it makes perfect sense to incorporate social and political messages with your tags or murals. There is a silent war that raging and waging inside and outside of us, the climate of the world has changed dramatically and the more and more you excercise your god given rights the more often your government wants to control it.

Graffiti has dualities and will exist the way it has forever, it is creative and it is reckless but now graffiti needs an agenda of social and critical thinking. Though this change may be too much for some under informed writers those that know should lead the way before its too late because as we mature and our energies fade away there for certain will fade away our freedom of expression.

there's a war raging within me
the likes of a subway battle I could not win
there is a dark tunnel within me
with tracks snaking endlessly into the dark
there before god I walk into to destiny
some day here they'll find the rest of me
if only time was taken not taken away
they would understand the reasons I spray.

mare 139

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