One sad reality is the socio economic outlook associated with graffiti. A lot of the tough guy posturing was just the way to carry yourself when you were growing up and other young guys didn’t want to be walked all over. It wasn’t that you were necessarily violent. This is where the stories can get out of control as straight laced types take the tough stances literally. Maybe someone associated goes too far then they start making stories of their own. It isn’t like the original PSK Styles and Cassim were murderers because they put up PSK. They generally associated themselves with graffiti and what they felt was creative but with a tough persona. A lot of graffiti posturing was borrowed from New York and what kids could glean from books and video on graffiti or Hip Hop popular culture.
When PSK reemerged in Sutherland and the Eastern suburbs it was the same posturing, a socio-economic window on the world. It was aggressive, the boys wanted to be tough. When I left the crew most guys I knew had ventured into drugs slowly getting harder and harder into it taking years to recover so I went to Art school and learnt about art. Crews were fluid, guys came guys went some went too far and never came back. That isn’t the full picture though because everyone has different experiences and knew different people in different ways. The tough guy posturing was just part of the course of growing up. I grew out of it early as opportunities arose for me, I was lucky other guys didn’t know how to get those chances. I worked hard at my art and made the most of university, when I went to Uni graffiti hadn’t yet infiltrated and only started to near when I left. Some guys parents were junkies or whatever and they didn’t necessarily know how to escape that and graffiti was a possible window of opportunity. For whatever reason they stopped believing in themselves maybe it was just too hard for them.
Society the whole time wasn’t getting through to the people who really needed help, I am sure there were opportunities maybe they couldn’t necessarily see them or maybe there weren’t there. I don’t know I didn’t grow up in a tough neighbourhood literally. Some people did though and they didn’t find a positive path whereas other guys from the same area did. I am not trying to focus on the negative stuff but I want to see it for what it is and obviously you remember the good times you had. PTK was a separate crew as well I had mates who were bashed by their members, in the end you knew some guys but I was bashed by some members as well. So in some ways the posturing was necessary.