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Graffiti Philosophy

Graffiti Philosophy
Fri, 3/30/2012

This three-minute video collage presents political and social commentary as related by public graffiti. Whether it's a syringe emblazoned with logos infiltrating a womb containing a fetus playing with a cell phone, or a spray-painted phrase like "credit cards are the tools of our Master$," politically confrontational graffiti like the type Longenecker highlights prompts introspection and skepticism about the entities we regard as authorities in this society. By juxtaposing Bush with Obama, for instance, the filmmaker posits that a new president merely took the kleptocratic baton from the old one without missing a beat. Set to the unreleased Nine Inch Nails track "It All Fades," the video "traverses class warfare, suffering, consumerism and mass media indoctrination, industrial civilization's oil addiction, exploitation by Empire, environmental consequences of fossil fuels, and the fate of humanity," the filmmaker, Longenecker said. "Graffiti art is especially interesting to me because of the clarity it conveys in such a succinct fashion."

The film is also Longenecker's comment on the dearth of independent media in today's landscape. "It’s near impossible for the average citizen on the street to discern the truth without taking a proactive approach in searching for independent, impartial news sources," he said. But there's reason for hope: "The facade seems to be breaking as more people come to the realization that their so-called democracy is only an illusion, especially in North America. They call it virtual politics in Eastern Europe. The truth has become a fungible commodity – replaceable and changeable for whatever purpose suits the moneyed elite."

Political graffiti is one way to break through the corporate media haze. "Graffiti helped spark and encourage the revolution in Syria, as well as Egypt and countries in South Asia," Longenecker said. "'Graffiti Philosophy' is my attempt at illustrating the state of the world in which we currently live: one where an oligarchic-corporate empire has corrupted and usurped governments, destroyed workers' rights and wages, subverted the Fourth Estate, indoctrinated the population into a mindless and superficial consumer culture, built and instituted a police/surveillance state side-by-side with the military industrial complex and hastened the environmental destruction of the planet."

Filmmaker: Mike Longenecker

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