In an era where a successful YouTube can receive hundreds of thousands and even millions of viewings it’s a wonder that teenagers still bother to buy cans of spray paint to defile any and all public surfaces.
In all of my years here in graffiti-plagued Spain I’ve never actually seen someone out tagging. I’ve seen a few graffiti artists at work but these two groups are completely different. A good 90% of the graffiti can simply be classified as vandalism without any artistic pretense. Most of this form of destructive graffiti is simply tags, spray-painted signatures of the idiot committing the offense. As crude as these tags may be they must be thought of as communication in some form, quasi-literate as it may be.
Don’t these kids have cell phones? Why don’t they upgrade to Twitter? It’s the new graffiti and just as stupid as tagging but you don’t have to buy the paint. If you need more characters than those alloted on Twitter then may I suggest getting a blog? It’s free and you don’t have to go out at 04:00 to do your dirty work like with graffiti.