Street Art and Graffiti

September 30, 2011

One of my favorite episodes of the Adult Swim show The Boondocks is one that some friends and I lovingly refer to as “the Bob Ross episode.”

Mind you, Bob Ross himself does not appear on the show. In fact, the episode, actually named “Riley Wuz Here,” was not even produced until 10 years after the death of Bob Ross.

Regardless, the episode contains a Bob Ross-esque fellow teaching Riley how to express himself artistically. Of course, being the ruffian that he is, Riley translates the expression of ideas into street art.

Now, I know some people will start splitting hairs at this point in the game. They will say things like “that beautifully designed and well thought out mural isn’t graffiti, it is street art!” or “that throbbing penis that was crudely hewn into to the wall of the bathroom stall of the gas station near the Olive Garden right off of I-79 is NOT art in the least, it is horrible graffiti.”

The thing is… well, it’s just semantics. Of course, that’s another 500 words.

Regardless, graffiti and street art are the same thing. Just like how “pro-life” and “anti-abortion” are the same thing. They both mean the same thing, but have wildly different connotations.

Street art sounds like some powerful piece sprayed on the wall behind Starbucks by artist Banksy. Graffiti sounds like some gang symbols scrawled haphazardly on the elevator wall in the Fairmont State parking garage by a wigger that was late for class because he was too stoned to remember where he put his shoes.

I don’t exactly know when that schism happened, but things haven’t been the same. Street art is graffiti that has been raised to a high art form, and graffiti is for poor, stupid blacks. I’m sure Webster won’t agree, but anyone on the street will.

Frankly, I have seen lots of interesting graffiti in my day. Just because something isn’t full of color or doesn’t require hours of meticulous planning and detailed work doesn’t mean it isn’t poignant. Sometimes, just a simple reminder about Big Brother or how much of a slut Brittany is is all that we as humans truly need.

I’d like to bestow upon you a mental image of the greatest graffiti I have ever seen. Imagine yourself in the worst shit hole bar possible. It was called “Club Octane,” and it was a brewing, boiling shit-stew waiting to be sipped by poor and stupid 18-year-olds looking for cheap beer.

The bathroom was exactly as you would expect it. No doors, no privacy, floors that were sticky with old piss.

I went in to relieve myself, and caught a glimpse of the wall. Stuff like “4-20 Fo’ EVA!” and “Worst Bar Penmanship^” was written everywhere. I read as I pissed, a habit that has formed over the years.

In the middle of the patched, punched out and piss soaked drywall read a simple, handwritten phrase. It said:

This drywall is not up to code.

Heavy social commentary, indeed.






This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Look at me, rubbing it in. It’s almost 3 a.m. and I have work and class in the morning.

But still, I’ll rub it in, telling you how it was so easy to write this, even after a birthday full of shrimp and Halloween decorations.

Thanks, Brian. Your string of 3 is complete.

Send more challenges, guys. I can’t do this by myself, you lazy bastards.

Truly ghjr.


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