Go about your business with out giving a second look to the graffiti you encounter on your way to work, market or home. Don’t pay attention to those patterns that sometimes are sometimes beautiful, appealing, sometimes blotched out in garish complexity. Pretend that all this scribbles are simple lashes out of indifferent expressions. Pretend that there is no depth to the signs you and everyone else see as you pass by. The alternative will haunt you with meaningful symbols, loud emotional expressions and above all, the unsettling knowledge that every piece of can sprayed color is alive with uncanny realism.
Temptation to discover hidden meanings drove me to find out what gang graffiti symbols were all about. Not knowing what I was getting into, I drove into a world of fascinating stories and their unusual chosen way of expression. I learned that aside from art and gang graffiti, there are a number of styles that have developed recently. However, what made the most disturbing impression was that gang graffiti is full of threats, counts of dead enemies, warnings of impending confrontations and territory alerts.
After I had my fill of reading and trying to understand the particular differences in writing, I became aware that when I saw a wall that displayed such characters, I mostly could discern what they meant. Suddenly, I wasn’t going by a dirty street with graffiti on its wall, I was entering a gang territory where they proudly showed off how many people they’d “crossed out” from a particular list. When I would look at an inscription on an abandoned car, I knew that I had to take an alternate route next time.
The power of blissful ignorance cannot be denied. I’ve tried to forget all that I learned and have succeeded to a point, but a lingering feeling remains that even if I can’t tell the meaning of what the gang graffiti I see is telling me, I need to stay alert and continue to be self conscious of my surroundings.
Do you not believe? Want to give it a try? . . .
Post inspired by: The daily Prompt
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