I was reminiscing, about a piece of graffiti, with a friend the other day.
During the dark days of my early teens, this piece of late eighties/early nineties graffiti carried sage advice for those of my generation.
This particular piece of graffiti, runs absolutely contrary in spirit to the more visible “Free the herb” graffiti, that can still be seen from Manchester Road running alongside the railway line between Linthwaite and Milnsbridge.
A simple rhyme, the graffiti in question reads:
Smoke di smack
You’ll be back
Think I’m joking
Just keep smoking
My good friend managed to salvage an old photograph of the graffiti in question, taken a few years after its initial discovery.
He also kindly gave me permission to use the image here (see photograph, top right).
This weekend, my partner and I decided to take a stroll into Huddersfield and our chosen route took us past this piece of local history.
Our route took us from our home near the M62, down into Milnsbridge and along Huddersfield Narrow Canal towards Huddersfield itself.
The very last road bridge before you hit the exit from the canal to Manchester Road, Bridge 29.
I took the opportunity to video the bridge in question and hoped the graffiti would still be there, despite the many rejuvenations that the canal has undergone over the past 25 years.
Luckily, the words could still be made out, just, although more graffiti has been added over time.
The statistics I’ve found during a brief period of research, seem to show that whilst heroin use within the adult population hasn’t really changed over the last decade; usage amongst teenagers has dropped.
Maybe this is down to better education in schools, although I doubt it. It is far more likely to be due to the prevalence and accessibility to cheaper forms of narcotic and the stigma that heroin abuse developed through the nineties and beyond.
I’d like to think that a part of the decline in heroin use is down to this iconic piece of graffilosophy, however unlikely that is.
Now we’re in an age where locality isn’t the norm.
Maybe graffiti like this has lost its relevance to the youth of today; maybe this integral piece of my own youth culture will be eroded over the next twenty years.
Society’s youths are now interactive with people all over the world; social networking opens them to a wealth of information – both overt and subliminal.
And so I offer up an intermediary solution, calling on the power of internet enabled memes; a philosoraptor to carry the advice well into the 21st century.