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Toys Can’t Stop Us

gowanus beefI remember the war on graffiti. I remember when they singled out people like the brothers Smith and tried to vilify them as best they could. The battle continues today, only more so. Even toy kids these days are getting their names in the paper when they get caught for catching just a few tags around town. To the powers that be, graffiti is a sign not of art but of trouble, of crime and a loss of control over the mindless herd of citizens. It is a precursor to more crime. The broken-windows school of Gestapo-style law enforcement. Graffiti is ugly and destructive, and for some writers, that’s just the point.

“I came out of retirement because I lived in a nice neighborhood and soon found I couldn’t pay the rent,” proclaims FE One, a man that used to tag the trains back when they were hot in the ’80s. “I’m just trying to bring the property values down. At this rate of gentrification, they just keep pushing us back further and further to the outsides of the city—they’re pushin’ us out into the ocean, and I don’t want to be livin’ that Waterworld life!’

guinea guinea heyYou could say that the graffiti artist’s story is every New Yorker’s story. It is a struggle to survive in a city of ever-increasing rents, ever-increasing luxury for the rich, while the poor just keep getting pushed aside.
– Joseph Anastasio, from New York Calling

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAtO5iL4dD0[/youtube]

BZA, from Son House to $2 on Sun-Up, adds: This post is dedicated to your mom, your MTA, OTB, the BMT, the RR, the R, the Lordz of Brooklyn, LTV & all toy killers everywhere, including Rudy Giuliani: see ya’ schmuck. (Let’s hope both goddamn Clintons are next.) Also, while WWIB personally has no beef with Oh… we all still laughed. Gowanus war, baby!!

Lizard, TCB from an empty lot in tha’ Boogie Down: Hey ya’ll, just a reminder that, in a multi-media, many voiced all-city orgy like no other, Joe will be reading & showing his photography at Cooper Union on Thursday. Likewise the great Margaret Morton, the garrulous Kevin Walsh & even Brian Berger, the Southern Gentleman, of whom, in fact, few speak kindly but the fucker does get some shots off– everyone in South Brooklyn admits that. Also appearing is O.G. Marshall Berman, Bronx-native & all-around mensch, whose words alone will add greatly to the proceedings.

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