This graffito is written on one of the steel girders in the Bowery Street J subway station. The suggestion it’s making is unclear. It may be saying do not, under any circumstances, acquire anything at all. Alternatively, it could be read as saying that when one does buy items, one should only buy quality merchandise (i.e. things that are not “shit”).
The former rule, while admirable, is nearly impossible to adhere to. I have no choice but to buy stuff. I’d like to think I could move to a cabin and live off the land, but the truth is I’m not capable of that level of Thoreau-esque commitment. (If I did go for the off the grid lifestyle I’d no doubt want an old International Harvester truck or at least some vintage Carharrt gear). I’m an urbanite living in the early part of the 21st century, and buying stuff is part of the bargain. But I do try to buy things that will last, which means I ultimately buy fewer things.