I like the internet. A lot. More than my girlfriend would probably like me to. But, with that being said, some things were a hell of a lot better before the Information Superhighway™ was available in every school, library and home. What is one of those things, you ask?
Graffiti. Yeah yeah, I know older guys say the same thing about graf mags, and even older guys than those older guys say the same thing about graffiti even existing outside of NYC, but the internet just cheapens it. Fuck learning about graffiti on a computer. Nothing compares to discovering these mysterious names on boxcars while tresspassing in a train yard, not logging onto a fucking website to look at burners while sitting in your comfortable computer chair. Hell, I can even remember the first train car Tume and I actually found with graffiti on it('94 maybe)...a yellow boxcar(Rail Box perhaps?) by Free 5 and Muse of Wallnuts Crew via NYC. We were like little kids as we posed for pictures(like we painted the shit..ha). Getting dirty, hopping lines, avoiding getting robbed or killed by crack zombies and weirdos, and getting chased by the workers and yard bulls just to check out a few tags, throwups, bombs, pieces, burners, end to ends, top to bottoms, whole cars,etc is the only way it should be. Some things just aren't supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter(or through a fiber optic cable).
It's sort of a magical thing at the time and i'm sure most (ex)writers remember this time fondly. That brief time when you are just beginning to connect the dots and realize what's really going on. It's as if you think you are getting clued in on some secret society or underground subculture. After realizing the time, effort,techniques and risk these dudes put in...just to put their name up, it quickly turns into obsession and by then you are hooked. Hooked for life. You may not get busy anymore, but that shit never leaves you. It's sort of like some "spidey sense" shit. That shit ain't leaving the back of your mind. You will always notice a fresh tag, or better yet where a fresh tag SHOULD be.
All of this probably comes off on some ol' man griping about how things were back in the day type shit, but fuck it...just calling it the way I see it. I thank the graffiti gods that I was lucky enough to not get exposed to graf by logging onto www.graffiti.org or stumbling across some writer's profile on My Space...shit just wouldn't have been the same.