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Anybody heard about/seen this?

 

stabbed-ego-cover.jpg

 

http://www.lukeskennedy.com.au/stabbed-ego/

 

Extract:

Graffiti Gang leader writes Tell-All Memoir

 

The train was unmanned.

With its lights standing out against the black night, the monstrous machine appeared weightless, as if floating on air. I was eager to rush at the angelic beast and commence my first panel, but Snap hadn’t yet turned up and there was no way I’d paint without him. Anyway, it wasn’t late enough. Trains were still running, which meant passing drivers would witness our barrage. The crunching sound of footsteps on the tracks snapped us out of our mesmerised state. We ducked down to avoid a possible sniper. Damn! Security! I thought. We raised our heads slowly. Three guys with backpacks were walking down the tracks. ‘Other writers!’ The five of us crept over, keeping our heads down the whole way. My back ached from the full bag of paint I was carrying. The others watched us approach. We faced each other in a circle like businessmen in a boardroom about to start a meeting. Moments like these were dramatic. We never knew if those standing before us were friend or enemy. Only when we heard what they wrote did we know whether we were in for a hand shake or an explosive attack. ‘What do you boys write?’ Kon said in an arrogant tone, trying to sound bigger than he was. One man spoke confidently in a deep voice that wasn’t fake. Then, like a rehearsed choir, each member of the group spoke one after the other, informing us of their tags: Bunk, Mone and Pins. These three men were big-time, quality writers who I’d respected since I started, genius painters who I’d followed by searching for their pieces on walls and in magazines. I’m about to do a panel with legends, I thought. I smiled and was about to shake their hands when I noticed Kon hadn’t responded. Instead, he slowly reached into his backpack and pulled out a pair of scissors. ‘Do you know my brother, Billz?’ he screamed. Like a sprinter hearing the starter’s gun, one of the other men leapt towards him. These writers had a beef with Billz. The scene had instantly switched from a quiet little huddle to an explosive melee. As the man rushed at Kon, one of our boys met him mid-air with a track rock to the face, forcing his surge to be deflected. Kon attacked another, holding him in a headlock and stabbing him repeatedly in the head with the scissors. That was the thing about Kon. Mostly, he was a cool, jovial guy. On these occasions, though, there was no way of talking him round. He’d want blood, and most times he got it. When his temper cracked, all sensible thought processes vanished and he had no regard for human life. His ego’s hold on him was stronger than that of anyone I knew, and it often forced him to do unforgivable things. He was notorious for stabbing people. I guess he had attached this label to himself and it had become a part of him. If he didn’t live up to these expectations of who he was, what was he? The truth was, though, until he could be free of such labels, he would never be at peace. Track rocks, fists and scissors were flying everywhere. ‘This is the wrong place for this,’ I heard one of the other guys yell. He was right. But backing up the boys was our first priority, and that’s what made us different from other crews. There was an unmanned train there for the taking, but so was the fight. The other writers were outnumbered and soon retreated. After giving a short chase, we decided to leave as well. The noise from the brawl would have raised the alarm. Back at Kon’s house, we were pumped up, reliving what just happened. Though we didn’t get to paint, the story was worth a thousand panels, I figured. My phone rang. It was Snap. ‘Where are you? I’m at the train,’ he whispered. I told him about the fight and he sounded disappointed. ‘Stay there. We’re coming,’ I said.

 

Only Base and I went back. Neither of us was going to let a brawl, the possible return of our enemy or the arrival of police ruin our chances of our first panel. I didn’t want to let Snap down, either. He’d been looking after Base and me. We were his boys. I wanted to paint that train with him. Snap was there, accompanied by a few other boys from RM. We gave them a quick rundown on what happened. That made them suspicious of the lack of activity around the helplessly innocent train. We watched it for another twenty minutes looking for any movement, but it was dead still. ‘It’s sweet,’ one of the RM boys finally announced. He stood and walked confidently towards the train. He was a veteran train painter. Now he told us what to do. ‘Stick to the first three cars. The rest of the train has too much light on it.’ We all moved into position. I was used to standing on a platform next to a train. Now I was standing on the track, and the train towered over me. I leaned on it to get my footing. Its massive steel shell was as cold as ice. It sat, as it awaited its blanket of paint. The night was still and silent, the air crisp and fresh. There was the sound of hissing snakes as the chemical-smelling paint fumes filled our surroundings. My hands were shaking. I looked to my left to see all the boys working intently at their showpiece. To a writer, the sensation of seeing your boys panelling was unmatched. Later we would have discussions about panelling being better than sex. I’d only had sex once and it hadn’t been a memorable experience so I had to agree that train painting was better. My first spray onto a train was thick and green. It covered the Tangara’s silver section like a long-lost child reunited with its parents. The paint held onto to the steel, hugging it, as if it knew that this was where it was meant to be. With every spray I moved closer towards completion of my first panel, and I suddenly realised what all the hype was about. Painting gave me a sense of stillness, a quiet mind. The world could have been ending around me and I wouldn’t have had a clue. I wasn’t thinking about anything besides that moment. ‘Hzzzzzz.’ The train’s brakes let out a sudden rush of air. I freaked out and jumped back a few metres. Snap giggled. ‘Don’t worry. It happened to me the first few times. You’ll get used to it.’ Get used to it? This I could definitely get used to! I thought. We finished two panels each, then stood back to marvel at our work. ‘Damn that’s nice, Snap. It’s a burner!’ Snap was a great painter who was constantly improving. Mine, on the other hand, was terrible. I didn’t care, though. It was my first and I was glad to have been a part of this monumental experience. I slept deeply that night, even though adrenaline had been pouring through my veins. The previous eight hours had teemed with tension, excitement and fear, and they’d finished with an overwhelming sense of achievement. The team assembled at Kon’s the next day to mull over the previous night’s events. The story had already been going around Sydney’s graffiti world. Overnight, we younger boys, who were completely unknown, had become household names to any writer. ‘What!? You still pulled off panels?’ Kon asked with a hint of excitement and a touch of jealousy. ‘Yeah, two each,’ we said, as though it was an everyday thing. ‘Two? What!?’ Kon shook our hands and thanked us for backing him up. His phone rang. ‘Billz, what’s doing?’ he said as he walked out of the room to chat in private. I was eager to hear what Billz had to say. We’d backed Kon up, which was as good as fighting for Billz. Fighting for the leader of the crew would be sure to win us respect. Maybe we’d be put in RM. ‘Billz said to put you boys in RM.’ I looked at Base. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. I wanted to go out there now and put my tag everywhere with an ‘RM’ next to it. ‘I told him you weren’t ready yet, though,’ Kon said. He saw the disappointment on our faces. ‘You’re close, but it was only once. You still have to prove yourself a couple more times – and improve your painting skills.’ I was disappointed, but I saw it as a challenge. It was time to turn the heat up. We went to see our work in daylight. The train’s carriages were covered end to end. It looked like it had been in a paintball fight. Paint was in places it wasn’t supposed to be, the wounds of our panels bleeding colours of pinks, greens, blues and whites. We thought it was beautiful and stood silently, enchanted, taking it all in and admiring the detail of our own work. We each turned to applaud our fellow painters after examining theirs. ‘Let’s try it again tonight,’ Kon said. It burnt him that he’d missed out, especially after seeing our production. We’d have been happy to leave it at that, but peer pressure is a bitch. To do more carriages would be more of a risk, as the next four cars were better lit. It was also fifty metres from a police station, and having being hammered the night before, the train was sure to attract some attention. Still, we went back. I painted slowly this time, taking every- thing in and savouring the experience. For a while I sat, watching as the boys painted away. The lights of the train illuminating the paint mist, sparkling as it rested on their faces. We were close to finishing when we spotted a man in an orange vest three metres behind us. We knew from his uniform that he was a train driver. He knew we were there but didn’t want to look – he was severely outnumbered and a wrong move by him and we’d have attacked. He past us as though he was passing a pride of lions. Not wanting to disturb us, look us in the eye or show fear, he simply stared straight ahead, stiff-necked as he walked by. ‘Good morning, mate,’ Snap said. ‘Morning,’ the train driver responded without turning his head. We hurried to finish off our panels. ‘Honnnnnnnnnnk!’ We looked to our right: spotlights from the train were flash- ing on and off. The driver was trying to alert the police. We all frantically stuffed our bags, scaled the barbed wire fence to the road and ran to the safety of the cars. Once we were far enough away, we celebrated. It was 4:30 a.m. and I felt alive! I was hooked. The train we painted ran the lines for three days. This was previously unheard of. Usually, a train with even a single panel would be taken out of operation to be cleaned. This train, covered end to end, curved along the tracks for all the graffiti culture to see and talk about. We rode that train on a few occasions. I loved seeing people heading to work, being woken up from their dull morning by a brightly coloured train. It was good to see other writers getting photos of it, too. We imagined everyone talking about us. The train felt like it was ours, and we became arrogant towards other writers. We believed what we wanted, and with all the talk of these new writers taking the world by storm, fighting and painting their way to the top, our feelings of supremacy grew. But I hated the thought of my family finding out. Society viewed our behaviour as wrong, and rightly so. In my new world, though, I wasn’t accepted unless I went against society’s rules. My moral compass was starting to spin out of control. I was being pulled by the magnetic forces of my ego. Soon I’d be lost.

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Ordered this. i think the official book signing and stuffs on this saturday...

Anybody heard about/seen this?

 

stabbed-ego-cover.jpg

 

http://www.lukeskennedy.com.au/stabbed-ego/

 

Extract:

Graffiti Gang leader writes Tell-All Memoir

 

The train was unmanned.

With its lights standing out against the black night, the monstrous machine appeared weightless, as if floating on air. I was eager to rush at the angelic beast and commence my first panel, but Snap hadn’t yet turned up and there was no way I’d paint without him. Anyway, it wasn’t late enough. Trains were still running, which meant passing drivers would witness our barrage. The crunching sound of footsteps on the tracks snapped us out of our mesmerised state. We ducked down to avoid a possible sniper. Damn! Security! I thought. We raised our heads slowly. Three guys with backpacks were walking down the tracks. ‘Other writers!’ The five of us crept over, keeping our heads down the whole way. My back ached from the full bag of paint I was carrying. The others watched us approach. We faced each other in a circle like businessmen in a boardroom about to start a meeting. Moments like these were dramatic. We never knew if those standing before us were friend or enemy. Only when we heard what they wrote did we know whether we were in for a hand shake or an explosive attack. ‘What do you boys write?’ Kon said in an arrogant tone, trying to sound bigger than he was. One man spoke confidently in a deep voice that wasn’t fake. Then, like a rehearsed choir, each member of the group spoke one after the other, informing us of their tags: Bunk, Mone and Pins. These three men were big-time, quality writers who I’d respected since I started, genius painters who I’d followed by searching for their pieces on walls and in magazines. I’m about to do a panel with legends, I thought. I smiled and was about to shake their hands when I noticed Kon hadn’t responded. Instead, he slowly reached into his backpack and pulled out a pair of scissors. ‘Do you know my brother, Billz?’ he screamed. Like a sprinter hearing the starter’s gun, one of the other men leapt towards him. These writers had a beef with Billz. The scene had instantly switched from a quiet little huddle to an explosive melee. As the man rushed at Kon, one of our boys met him mid-air with a track rock to the face, forcing his surge to be deflected. Kon attacked another, holding him in a headlock and stabbing him repeatedly in the head with the scissors. That was the thing about Kon. Mostly, he was a cool, jovial guy. On these occasions, though, there was no way of talking him round. He’d want blood, and most times he got it. When his temper cracked, all sensible thought processes vanished and he had no regard for human life. His ego’s hold on him was stronger than that of anyone I knew, and it often forced him to do unforgivable things. He was notorious for stabbing people. I guess he had attached this label to himself and it had become a part of him. If he didn’t live up to these expectations of who he was, what was he? The truth was, though, until he could be free of such labels, he would never be at peace. Track rocks, fists and scissors were flying everywhere. ‘This is the wrong place for this,’ I heard one of the other guys yell. He was right. But backing up the boys was our first priority, and that’s what made us different from other crews. There was an unmanned train there for the taking, but so was the fight. The other writers were outnumbered and soon retreated. After giving a short chase, we decided to leave as well. The noise from the brawl would have raised the alarm. Back at Kon’s house, we were pumped up, reliving what just happened. Though we didn’t get to paint, the story was worth a thousand panels, I figured. My phone rang. It was Snap. ‘Where are you? I’m at the train,’ he whispered. I told him about the fight and he sounded disappointed. ‘Stay there. We’re coming,’ I said.

 

Only Base and I went back. Neither of us was going to let a brawl, the possible return of our enemy or the arrival of police ruin our chances of our first panel. I didn’t want to let Snap down, either. He’d been looking after Base and me. We were his boys. I wanted to paint that train with him. Snap was there, accompanied by a few other boys from RM. We gave them a quick rundown on what happened. That made them suspicious of the lack of activity around the helplessly innocent train. We watched it for another twenty minutes looking for any movement, but it was dead still. ‘It’s sweet,’ one of the RM boys finally announced. He stood and walked confidently towards the train. He was a veteran train painter. Now he told us what to do. ‘Stick to the first three cars. The rest of the train has too much light on it.’ We all moved into position. I was used to standing on a platform next to a train. Now I was standing on the track, and the train towered over me. I leaned on it to get my footing. Its massive steel shell was as cold as ice. It sat, as it awaited its blanket of paint. The night was still and silent, the air crisp and fresh. There was the sound of hissing snakes as the chemical-smelling paint fumes filled our surroundings. My hands were shaking. I looked to my left to see all the boys working intently at their showpiece. To a writer, the sensation of seeing your boys panelling was unmatched. Later we would have discussions about panelling being better than sex. I’d only had sex once and it hadn’t been a memorable experience so I had to agree that train painting was better. My first spray onto a train was thick and green. It covered the Tangara’s silver section like a long-lost child reunited with its parents. The paint held onto to the steel, hugging it, as if it knew that this was where it was meant to be. With every spray I moved closer towards completion of my first panel, and I suddenly realised what all the hype was about. Painting gave me a sense of stillness, a quiet mind. The world could have been ending around me and I wouldn’t have had a clue. I wasn’t thinking about anything besides that moment. ‘Hzzzzzz.’ The train’s brakes let out a sudden rush of air. I freaked out and jumped back a few metres. Snap giggled. ‘Don’t worry. It happened to me the first few times. You’ll get used to it.’ Get used to it? This I could definitely get used to! I thought. We finished two panels each, then stood back to marvel at our work. ‘Damn that’s nice, Snap. It’s a burner!’ Snap was a great painter who was constantly improving. Mine, on the other hand, was terrible. I didn’t care, though. It was my first and I was glad to have been a part of this monumental experience. I slept deeply that night, even though adrenaline had been pouring through my veins. The previous eight hours had teemed with tension, excitement and fear, and they’d finished with an overwhelming sense of achievement. The team assembled at Kon’s the next day to mull over the previous night’s events. The story had already been going around Sydney’s graffiti world. Overnight, we younger boys, who were completely unknown, had become household names to any writer. ‘What!? You still pulled off panels?’ Kon asked with a hint of excitement and a touch of jealousy. ‘Yeah, two each,’ we said, as though it was an everyday thing. ‘Two? What!?’ Kon shook our hands and thanked us for backing him up. His phone rang. ‘Billz, what’s doing?’ he said as he walked out of the room to chat in private. I was eager to hear what Billz had to say. We’d backed Kon up, which was as good as fighting for Billz. Fighting for the leader of the crew would be sure to win us respect. Maybe we’d be put in RM. ‘Billz said to put you boys in RM.’ I looked at Base. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. I wanted to go out there now and put my tag everywhere with an ‘RM’ next to it. ‘I told him you weren’t ready yet, though,’ Kon said. He saw the disappointment on our faces. ‘You’re close, but it was only once. You still have to prove yourself a couple more times – and improve your painting skills.’ I was disappointed, but I saw it as a challenge. It was time to turn the heat up. We went to see our work in daylight. The train’s carriages were covered end to end. It looked like it had been in a paintball fight. Paint was in places it wasn’t supposed to be, the wounds of our panels bleeding colours of pinks, greens, blues and whites. We thought it was beautiful and stood silently, enchanted, taking it all in and admiring the detail of our own work. We each turned to applaud our fellow painters after examining theirs. ‘Let’s try it again tonight,’ Kon said. It burnt him that he’d missed out, especially after seeing our production. We’d have been happy to leave it at that, but peer pressure is a bitch. To do more carriages would be more of a risk, as the next four cars were better lit. It was also fifty metres from a police station, and having being hammered the night before, the train was sure to attract some attention. Still, we went back. I painted slowly this time, taking every- thing in and savouring the experience. For a while I sat, watching as the boys painted away. The lights of the train illuminating the paint mist, sparkling as it rested on their faces. We were close to finishing when we spotted a man in an orange vest three metres behind us. We knew from his uniform that he was a train driver. He knew we were there but didn’t want to look – he was severely outnumbered and a wrong move by him and we’d have attacked. He past us as though he was passing a pride of lions. Not wanting to disturb us, look us in the eye or show fear, he simply stared straight ahead, stiff-necked as he walked by. ‘Good morning, mate,’ Snap said. ‘Morning,’ the train driver responded without turning his head. We hurried to finish off our panels. ‘Honnnnnnnnnnk!’ We looked to our right: spotlights from the train were flash- ing on and off. The driver was trying to alert the police. We all frantically stuffed our bags, scaled the barbed wire fence to the road and ran to the safety of the cars. Once we were far enough away, we celebrated. It was 4:30 a.m. and I felt alive! I was hooked. The train we painted ran the lines for three days. This was previously unheard of. Usually, a train with even a single panel would be taken out of operation to be cleaned. This train, covered end to end, curved along the tracks for all the graffiti culture to see and talk about. We rode that train on a few occasions. I loved seeing people heading to work, being woken up from their dull morning by a brightly coloured train. It was good to see other writers getting photos of it, too. We imagined everyone talking about us. The train felt like it was ours, and we became arrogant towards other writers. We believed what we wanted, and with all the talk of these new writers taking the world by storm, fighting and painting their way to the top, our feelings of supremacy grew. But I hated the thought of my family finding out. Society viewed our behaviour as wrong, and rightly so. In my new world, though, I wasn’t accepted unless I went against society’s rules. My moral compass was starting to spin out of control. I was being pulled by the magnetic forces of my ego. Soon I’d be lost.

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Got stabbed ego. Not bad. Those working through shit, it can be a bit of a trigger reading it, just be aware if you're in that place.

 

Yo.

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*Quotes are free with in 15km of Sydney CBD anything beyond that is based on a $1 per km

 

Sure thing

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