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str8cutty's Achievements


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  1. Is it possible to upload an MP3 file?
  2. Yup. . . .we're still at it. . . . .TheFirst&Last. . . . . .
  3. From Wooster Collective website. . . . . take note those of you who sell your soul to the establishment. . . . It's now been three full days since the Wired News piece about the Sony graffiti ads ran on the internet. As of tonight, the story is still continuing to grow and pick up steam. Immediately after the Wired piece ran, hundreds of weblogs (including ours) began picking up the sentiments expressed in the story and began spreading it far and wide on the web. As the story spreads, along with it comes increased passion, dialogue, and, in this case, negativity. But it's not over yet, because its now starting to spread into the mainstream - ie offline - press. Today we were contacted by three different news organizations working on the story. Because "Wooster Collective" comes up first when you Google the words "street art", they called us. Many, not all, have never checked out the Wooster site before interviewing us. Some have no idea what this story is really about before calling. And a few have a pre-conceived agenda so that basically the story is written in their head before even doing the interviews. They need the interviews only to confirm what they want to write, not to learn anything new. (This is a pretty cynical view of the press we know, but many times - not all - this has been our experience) So this time, even more then others, we're nervous about speaking to the press about this specific story. Not because we don't have strong opinions, but because we don't want to be misquoted or have something we said be misinterpreted. So what we thought we would do tonight was to use this site as our own personal fact checker. If you're a reporter and you interviewed us today, compare what we said against the comments below. Here's our take .... Why did Sony become such a target? Why did the negativity towards this campaign get so big so fast? The true graffiti movement is by its very nature a counter-culture, anti-establishment movement that is an alternative to the mainstream. It is a rejection of the status quo. When you decide - usually at a very young age - that you are going to go up against the establishment, the only way you can survive is to protect yourself. If you don't protect yourself, you basically die. (perhaps not literally, but figuratively) But because you don't have any resources given to you by the mainstream (being that you've rejected it) to give you strength (ie money), the only way you can protect yourself is to develop your own personal moral code that allows you to survive in a world that is outside "the norm" It is this code that fuels you. Not money. Not a house with a white picket fence. Only your beliefs. The code is what gives you piece of mind when things get tough. It's what allows you to go to jail for your actions and then get right back out there to get up once again. It's the code that allows you not to go crazy. So where do you develop this code? You develop it on the streets. You learn it from watching and talking to others. But most importantly, you get it from experiencing life. And that's why graf culture is so powerful to people who do it. You get to experience life to the fullest. You are truly alive, risking what you have, rejecting the establishment, but living your life the way you have defined it. You have real, true freedom. As you experience life on the street you begin to pick up experiences like they were little scraps of paper. And you start to make a collage with the experiences. You put all of the scraps together and it becomes your own personal fabric that defines who you are. You are defined by reality, not by television. You are defined by experience, not by aspiration. It's your code and nobody elses. And nobody can take it away from you. And now, suddenly, you have a weapon. The code itself becomes your weapon. Your life is on the street. And there's an order to it. You know where things are meant to be. Things are where they should belong. Ads go on billboards. Graffiti goes on walls and doors. The two co-exist. They clash, but they know where they each should be. If you're living the life of a true graffiti artist, you're livin' by the code you have created for yourself. And what this means is... Graffiti shouldn't be in ads and ads shouldn't be in graffiti. Graffiti in an ad is an ad. It's not graffiti. Graffiti done legally is public art sanctioned by the establishment. It's not graffiti. For graffiti to be graffiti, it has to be done illegally. Period. So now, suddenly you realize that someone has betrayed the agreed upon arrangement. They've crossed the line. They've entered into your space. And they've done it deceptively. They made it look like they should be there, but actually they shouldn't. They faked it to get there. And you have no fuckin' idea who they are. Where did they come from? And then you find out that the guy who disrupted the agreed upon arrangement is fuckin' Sony. Sony. The establishment. The same people who you rejected so that you could define yourself outside of the mainstream. So what do you do? You use your weapon. You fall back on your code. You get stronger in your beliefs and you strike. You take out the tools that you have, your cans and your keyboard, and you let Sony know exactly how you feel. You tell them to get the fuck out of your hood. Go back to where they belong. You run Sony out of town by defacing their ads. You run Sony out of town by emailing Wooster or posting a comment on a messageboard. So if you do this at 17, or 18, or 19, or in your twenties, it makes your code stronger. It confirms who you are and who you want to be. If defines you as the way you want to be defined, not how others want to define you. So what does this mean for Sony? If means you never fuckin' buy another Sony again. Ever. To you, Sony is your dads tv. Sony is the failed Walkman. Sony means nothing to you other than reminding you of the establishment that you've rejected. So did this campaign hurt Sony? Abso-fuckin-lutely. The people who are upset about these ads are the very same people who Sony is trying to win over with them. Does my mother walk down Ludlow Street and see one of these ads? No. The skaters do. Does my dad see the fake Sony stencil in the alleyway? No. The goths and punks do. The ads are there to be seen by the people who Sony wants to sell their PSPs to. The very same kids who are running them out of town. But things get worse. 1. The story grows on the internet and gets picked up internationally. 2. The counter-culture hardens their anti-establishement feelings against Sony to the point that not only won't they buy the Sony PSP, but they won't buy another Sony product again. And that is what has happened here. Sony screwed up mainly because of the internet. And because they didn't understand the code of the counter-culture, and because they launched a campaign that was ill-conceived and confusing to the very people they wanted to win over. Next - Tat's Cru. What's their role in all of this? Tat's Cru are fuckin' legends. And they should be. They do an incredible amount of good, helping kids get their lives together. They involvement in Hunt's Point is amazing. We are huge fans of Tat's Cru. But in our opinion, Tat's Cru messed it up a bit. But not in this campaign. They screwed up before it. They should never have done the Hummer ads. That's when things went sideways for us. When they did the Hummer ads they came across as saying "fuck you" to the very people who supported them. Hummer not only represents the worst of the establishment, but its the personification of excess and greed. It goes completely against the code of ethics for people who love graffiti. And because Tats Cru took the ads, they came off as being greedy. Greed is a death sentence to the counter-culture and anti-establishment. There's nothing wrong with wanting fame. Fame is in the DNA of graf culture. But greed isn't. If you get in bed with Hummer, you come off as doing it because you're greedy. Do we think Tat's Cru is actually greedy? No. So in our opinion, the negativity towards Tat's Cru started with the Hummer ads. And because of those ads, Tat's Cru has received more shit about the Sony ads than they deserve. The negativity has been building up for a while now. In our opinion, nobody should be pissed at Tat's Cru for their Sony work. Why? Because the thing about Tat's Cru is that they always sign their work. It's obvious that it's a commercial ad. It is what it is. Nobody is hiding anything. And because of this, Tat's Cru shouldn't be lumped in with the other ads that were not signed. The ones that looked like they were illegally done, rather than paid for. The fault comes in the fact that the campaign itself was confusing as hell, not that Tat's Cru was involved. Here's our confusion - How can your perception of the exact same image be both illegal and legal at the same time? They can't. And this is what makes no sense in what Sony did. Why are there wheatpastes done legally and then the same image on walls to make it look as if they were done illegally? Who the hell made that call? They outed themselved by not thinking that people would notice the schizophrenic nature of the whole thing. So do we think Sony is actually evil? No. But then again we're not living the life of the counter culture who hates the establishment each day. Sara and I are not anti-establishment. We both have day jobs and we live lives that intersect with the establishment each and every day. So how are we able to have a foot in both worlds? I guess over time we earned people's trust. In both camps. Our moral code is that we'll never fuck anyone over. That a good conversation or experience is worth more than money can buy. That the guy on the street selling hot dogs is far more interesting then Donald Trump. We've never taken advantage of anything. We've played by the rules. We stayed true to our beleifs and true to not only who we are, but who we want to be. And little by little we've been accepted by both the establishment and the counter-culture. And if you've ever met Sara or I, then you know that we are the last people you would ever expect to be accepted into a world that we didn't come from. But how do we survive? We live by our own moral code. One that we made up from life experiences. One that defines who were are and who we want to be. Is it the exact same code as a graf purist? No. Is it close? Yes. So for us, Sony's mistake is a) they don't have any moral code and b) like the true outsider they that they are, they never took the time, nor shown the effort, to try to see if they could be accepted by a group that they didn't grow up with or have shared experiences. Sony should have taken the tact of having one person accept them, and then having that person tell their mates that they're actually much more cool then they look. That they can be trusted. And then wait until more and more people accept them because they never betrayed their trust. This is the way to sell PSPs. The slow, calculated way. But big companies can't do this. They have quarterly earnings. They don't have the time nor the ability to treat their "targets" like real people. So instead Sony invaded the space that they wanted to enter. They took it over. So Sony screwed it up a bit. Can they bounce back from it? Sure. Will they? Probably not. Why? Because they can't speak like human beings. Who speaks for Sony? Nobody. If there was a person they would have said something already. Are there ways for brands to "get this right"? Absolutely. So if Sony is not getting it, who is? Here's a few: Kangol. They've spent years slowly gaining the trust of the artists. They're doing it right. They listen and learn. They have fun. They're not rushing things. Addidas, Converse, Vans. They are supporting artists and allowing artists to do art with their backing. They've become patrons. Triple Five Soul and 55dsl. They've stuck with the artists. They didn't do a hit and run. Scion. At first we were skeptical, but they've won us over. They keep supporting the artists and doing cool new shit. And most importantly, they've partnered with the right people.
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