For years, the lifestyle that evolved around hiphop and graffiti went unnoticed, but when It 's most banal form (tagging) migrated to the suburbs (carried there by fashion-tainted youngsters), the easily-frightened suburbanites hastily dialed up 911 so as to not only have the streets 'cleaned up" but to have someone else do the dirty work. Ironically, the suburbanites' own off spring perpetuated the "scourge", and instead of investigating as to why their matrimonial by-products were tagging (after coercing the parents to admit that their own kids were actually participating in such a heinous crime), they sought to violently quell it. Of course, like a wart that is indignantly extracted with the closest available sharp object the roots remain, and the problem persists. The forever-faceless experts told the people that graffiti is tagging, and that tagging is vandalism, thus it is bad, and so the people obeyed, and now they would rather call the anti-graffiti hotline than end hunger, abolish homelessness, and rectify the abject ugliness of their developed, synthetic environment The danger of unauthorized and impromptu art poses too great a danger to the complacency of modem American life, and so such brief but brilliant expressions should be violently outlawed so that the abandoned and disheveled parking lot that is suburban life can continue to decay.

To be blunt, graffiti is a relatively new art form, one that is available to anyone, anywhere. To attempt abolishing it will only help to strengthen those who sincerely live the lifestyle, and to place it in a tame environment (such as "free walls") only disembowels it (much like .punk" bands on major labels).Like any form of art, graffiti has and shall continue to be harshly criticised. The ignoramuses what are most opposed to ~ft are also those who are too daft to deduct that every manner of art and entertainment that they espouse or pursue was at one time shunned or lambasted simply because It was unorthodox relative to that era's accepted fashions.

Now, while this colorful documentary does not overtly disclose that about which ~I have heretofore rambled, the message is certainly implied.

Several are interviewed, and they tell of their problems with the many and diverse clans of armed urban thugs (kops, gangs, vigilantes), of the differences between the east coast (urban, lower class) and west coast (suburban, middle class) styles, how hiphop is a manner of living and not an eMTVy-spawned fashion, and how the creating of this art is done for fun and to convey messages (personal, political, and social).

A good video that is well edited, Graffite Verite' articulately explains that despite the naysaying of the truly uncultured middle class, hiphop is a functioning subculture, even if it like any other overly publicised lifestyle. is infected with poseurs and losers.

Note that this programme is not meant to be a definitive and thorough representation, for its purpose is to familiarize folk with graffiti, be they curious, sterile, or anyone in between.

My only complaint was the omission of the "wigger" fad and how graffit is performed/perceived in countries outside of the U.S. 45 minutes) $ 21.00 ppd: Bryan World Productions / P.O. Box 74033 / Los Angeles CA 90004 (213-993-6163)