Notoriously prolific UK tagger, TOX, was sentenced to 27 months in prison a few weeks ago, which whether you're from the school of "what are you doing on my roof and stop writing on walls you plum" or pro -graffiti, is a pretty hefty sentence.
Despite his sentencing, TOX entered into a competition set up between Channel 4 and Don't Panic, looking for designs for the channel's new Street Summer ad campaign. Thanks to all the loyal graff mentals, he won the public vote by a country mile. Even though TOX won by a tidy margin, he is noticably absent from the final product which recently hit TV screens.
Are we allowed to vandalise if we have it digitally remastered in some kind of alternate reality?
It's nice to see MCs featured, showing the mainstream charts have come a long way in thinking that every one who raps is from So Solid Crew/ about to mug you. However, Channel 4's colourful parkour, graff laden UrBaN utopia (ahhh, look a young scamp running away from the police, I wonder what cheeky yet not too extreme crime he's committed? Selling Meow-Meow to school girls maybe?) is nothing more but a raping and pillaging of all things YOOF CULT-CHAH. Catnip to fifteen year olds yes, but there are some gaping contradictions.
The 'graffiti' dropped in has been digitally altered. After all the bravado of putting on an open competition, the winning entries, bar TOX, are only sort of but not really featured in the advert, in what comes across as a ham-fisted legal loophole mess. What gives Channel 4? Are we allowed to vandalise if we have it digitally remastered in some kind of alternate reality? Is the advert condoning graffiti or not, or is it sitting on the fence to beg being down with the kids?
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