Numb Rage

How many of you are vacillating between feeling numb and full of rage with little to no buffer between the extremes??? My anxiety makes me revolve pretty damn fast on a normal day. These days it feels like mental whiplash.

The George W. Bush presidency made me upset enough to generate creative energy and be very productive. Trump, that asshole, is jamming me!!! That said, I keep fighting, kicking my own ass toward creative progress. The things I’m interested in most and have been making work about for years are still very real and present (cultural hypocrisy etc.). Unfortunately for me, Trump sucks all the air out of the room and my non-Trump ideas get buried. Therefore, I’m running with that at the moment. The numb rage of living through these days makes me make art specifically about this time.

Numb Rage – I’ll have to use that for a title of a new piece of art. Alright, here we go. Let it flow.

 

The Loyalty Lies Project and the LIES Brand

Last month I launched a new project. The Loyalty Lies Project and the LIES brand.

https://www.loyaltylies.com

One way or another, like it or not, LIES and the need to ignore or investigate them play an ever-increasing role in our lives.

The LIES brand is not a reaction. It’s a response. This is my universal response to contemporary culture. Supporting the LIES brand is an acknowledgment that truth is in question at every moment about every subject. Yes, some LIES can be harmless and benign. More often LIES create deception as a means of manipulation. Over time, LIES become the institution. LIES are the tradition.

LIES continuously surround us. There will always be LIES, especially when loyalty above all else is the demand. Loyalty leads to LIES. What LIES have you believed today? What LIES have you repeated today? What LIES have you unknowingly spread? What LIES will you loyally support or perpetrate? What LIES will you doubt? What LIES will you destroy?

The LIES brand is a direct statement about the political and consumer culture we inhabit today. In our political culture, facts are continuously manipulated beyond recognition. In our consumer culture, manipulated facts are widely accepted and commonplace. Brand loyalty is what matters most.

Loyalty above all else will result in LIES of one kind or another.

At the moment I have shirts (2 colors), stickers (2 variations), and posters (8 different versions) for sale. Get yours today and tell your friends. Spread LIES.

LIES: THE BRAND FOR NOW

My Neighborhood Made National News

My neighborhood made national news.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3my55/these-racist-wuhan-plague-plaques-are-popping-up-around-atlanta?utm_source=vicenewsfacebook&fbclid=IwAR1_3eI5ARBYz1xF7pyyEr5BETybJwp0ys-EFApVluMBMMEJvcROCF6Q8-s

Probably because I’m an artist, but my first instinct here is to think that the person behind it is not a racist at all. Instead, they’re making a subversive statement about racism itself and our visceral responses to it.

It made you look, it made you think. That my friends…is why art kicks ass, regardless of what your emotional reaction may be.

From My Curiosity Files: Common Surnames

From My Curiosity Files: here is a list of the 100 most common surnames in the United States in 2020:

1 Smith, 2 Johnson, 3 Williams, 4 Brown, 5 Jones, 6 Miller, 7 Davis, 8 Garcia, 9 Rodriguez, 10 Wilson

11 Martinez, 12 Anderson, 13 Taylor, 14 Thomas, 15 Hernandez, 16 Moore, 17 Martin, 18 Jackson, 19 Thompson, 20 White

21 Lopez, 22 Lee, 23 Gonzalez, 24 Harris, 25 Clark, 26 Lewis, 27 Robinson, 28 Walker, 29 Perez, 30 Hall

31 Young, 32 Allen, 33 Sanchez, 34 Wright, 35 King, 36 Scott, 37 Green, 38 Baker, 39 Adams, 40 Nelson

41 Hill, 42 Ramirez, 43 Campbell, 44 Mitchell, 45 Roberts, 46 Carter, 47 Phillips, 48 Evans, 49 Turner, 50 Torres

51 Parker, 52 Collins, 53 Edwards, 54 Stewart, 55 Flores, 56 Morris, 57 Nguyen, 58 Murphy, 59 Rivera, 60 Cook

61 Rogers, 62 Morgan, 63 Peterson, 64 Cooper, 65 Reed, 66 Baliey, 67 Bell, 68 Gomez, 69 Kelly, 70 Howard

71 Ward, 72 Cox, 73 Diaz, 74 Richardson, 75 Wood, 76 Watson, 77 Brooks, 78 Bennett, 79 Gray, 80 James

81 Reyes, 82 Cruz, 83 Hughes, 84 Price, 85 Myers, 86 Long, 87 Foster, 88 Sanders, 89 Ross, 90 Morales

91 Powell, 92 Sullivan, 93 Russell, 94 Ortiz, 95 Jenkins, 96 Gutierrez, 97 Perry, 98 Butler, 99 Barnes, 100 Fisher

Anyone Else Would Do Better

If you know me, you might know that I suffer from a level of anxiety that can be somewhat debilitating. I mask it well in public and within the company of friends. If you ever wondered why I do this or don’t do that, anxiety is your answer. It’s something that’s just in the mix as part of everyday life for me. My employment situation (and all that comes with it) has already generated plenty of high anxiety. Add in this pandemic and it’s limitless repercussions has me thinking until my head hurts.

Anyways, now that we’re in the midst of this pandemic, who’d you rather have in charge? The answer is basically anyone but Donald Trump. Anyone would do a better job than this guy. Trump is the worst kind of person to have in charge of your well being.

Look man, I’ve been saying this con man was the biggest asshole in the country for a long time. Since the 1980’s. I’m old enough to remember the USFL. He ruined that like everything else he touches. I’m old enough to have elders mention Trump as an example of how not to act because it was not the way a dignified man behaves. Many of those elders have become full time apologists with some brand of cognitive dissonance that is foreign to me. Now more than ever before, it seems like a twisted moral and ethical code is alright as long as you go to church on Sunday.

Now Trump says some states are lying about the amount of ventilators needed. He’s also insinuated that a ventilator may not be needed if you’re already so close to death. He commits impeachable offenses almost every day. The bar is set so low with this guy. The Fuckface in the White House is a man that chooses to be evil. He has so little value for human life. His essence is shit. He lacks integrity in every way. He doesn’t have an ounce of empathy for anyone but himself which makes him a subhuman sociopath.

We’re living through hell, the worst of it to me is knowing that so many people are supporters of and therefore apologists for this unbelievable bullshit.

Stay safe and stay sane.

The Dignity Of Work

So tired of the “people don’t want to work” narrative. I’ve been hearing it my whole life from the mouths of people that are themselves overly entitled, small minded or simply unaware. It’s inaccurate when we’re in a time of prosperity and it’s irresponsibly ignorant in a time of crisis.

Listening to politicians and my fellow citizens say that “too much relief” may discourage people from working is fundamentally outrageous. The dignity of work is something of value to us all.

Besides, look around you. When have we ever lived in a world where a persons pay was equaled to the amount of work actually done to earn it or the true societal importance of their work?

Observations, Predictions & Questions

I have a few observations and predictions for the upcoming months.

Like many, I’d rather have Bernie Sanders over Joe Biden. However, I’d rather have Elizabeth Warren over everyone else. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. A Bernie Sanders nomination isn’t likely to happen now either. I’m still voting for Warren in the Georgia primary (unless she exits this week as well). That said, I’ll be voting for whomever gets the nomination and I hope everyone else does too.

I don’t need to remind you that the current “occupant” of the Oval Office is an imbecile. He reminds us of this himself, every single day. Every voter needs to wake up and realize that the issues of our time they so deeply care about may become non-issues, forever, if Trump wins re-election.

Observations:

  • Joe Biden did so well on Super Tuesday because Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out of the race. Almost all of their votes went to him. Sorry conspiracy theorists, this is not like 2016 when the DNC tipped the scales in Hillary’s favor. Make no mistake, in this election cycle Bernie Sanders has had a far greater political machine than Joe Biden. Biden was out of money. He won in states in which he didn’t even have a campaign office. He won in states he had not even visited. Biden won without receiving an endorsement from Obama (it’s on the way now I’m sure). This is not the establishment forcing its will. This is a case of the establishment sitting back watching the scenario they hoped for fall into place. I’m not exactly pleased about it but I’m not placing blame. No one cleared the way for Biden. This is not a coronation, like in 2016 when the DNC would’ve been perfectly happy to let Hillary win the nomination unopposed.
  • Joe Biden did so well BECAUSE people want to defeat Trump. More of the actual voters think he has a better opportunity to beat Trump than Sanders does. I don’t disagree. I’m on board with most of the Democratic Socialist programs that he proposes but many more are not.
  • Mike Bloomberg entered the race for two reasons: to expose Donald Trump as a fraud (in a way no one else can) and to derail the progressive campaigns of Warren and Sanders. Even though they’re still in the race and he is not, Bloomberg has not failed at his mission.

Predictions:

  • One prediction already came true. That Mike Bloomberg would drop out of the race after Super Tuesday. Alas, he beat me to the punch.
  • Even though he’s no longer in the race, Bloomberg will continue to pummel Trump with his unlimited resources. Let the oligarch help us remove the malignant tumor of a president we have now.
  • Joe Biden wins the nomination and selects Stacey Abrams as his running mate.
  • Donald Trump replaces Mike Pence with Nikki Haley (probably in July). Trump will cite his disappointment  in Pence’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak as his reason for making the change.

Questions:

  • Do the Democratic oligarchs want more of Trump over Sanders? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Which is why many are happy about Resurrection Joe.
  • Will the left put on its big boy pants and vote for whomever is the nominee? Heaven help us if the answer to that question is not also yes.

 

 

Happy New Clear

Welcome to 2020. Clarity is here!

Not quite, but it is my biggest goal of the year. Find clarity in my life and walk toward it with greater focus and discipline. In many ways I am at a breaking point. I actually feel fine about most of it too. I feel I am at a pivotal moment in regard to many things in my life. My relationship with myself, my health and my identity itself are all sitting at the crossroads while I figure it out. Where to go? What to do? How to do it? I can feel the stress. Too often, I paralyze myself under the weight of the pressure. I need to recapture the fearlessness it took to pursue this life in the first place.

There I things within me I do want to break and rebuild. Let’s go 2020. Give me clarity. I am open.

The Evil Within The Collective Mind

The evil within the collective mind of the trailer park Pharisees was on full display last night. Fasten your seatbelts and make sure you’re ready to vote. This kind of humanity (of lack of) needs to be excreted and flushed down the toilet.

Empathy is a defining characteristic of humanity. To have no empathy is to be subhuman.

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/17/742896827/trump-attacks-congresswomen-at-n-c-rally-as-crowd-chants-send-her-back

He Was Sent to Washington to Shake Things Up

There it is – all packed together for you in one image. Millions of words will be written about this one single image. History will always remember this photograph. So many visual symbols and metaphors for the downfall of America in one place. Good ol’ Honest Abe in a frame is the cherry on top of this golden toilet sundae.

That’s right, Donald J. Trump was sent to Washington to shake things up. This is America, 2019.

Never More

I’ve gotta get something off my chest.

Bill Donohue has made a career out of judging the behavior of others. He’s disgusted me for years. Once again he is defending the indefensible. The way this man defines degrees of abuse is morally repugnant.

Look, you can believe what you want in regard to your faith. However, no one should financially support the Catholic Church ever again. The Church needs to reform or die on the vine on their own. Support should only be shown with your thoughts and prayers, not your money.

I say this to you as someone that has been educated in Catholic schools (for 16 years). I say this as someone that has personally given a bit of money to the Church over the years. Never more, never again.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2018/08/catholic-league-on-predatory-priests-its-not-rape-if-the-child-isnt-penetrated/

Have We Finally, Finally, Finally Reached The Beginning Of The End?

It’s Monday afternoon, July 16th. I’m working in my art studio trying to make progress on a new series of paintings. President Chump just completed his astonishingly disgraceful press conference with Vladimir Putin and I have decided I needed to immediately post about the subject.

As an artist, I am motivated and influenced by contemporary culture and our beliefs and relationships (and that includes politics). Therefore, the news, good or bad, can be inspirational. Unfortunately, this has become more difficult for me during the Donald Trump administration. This is true for a variety of reasons. It’s probably attrition more than anything, Trump is so fucking exhausting. That’s why I’m headed out for a walk after I complete this post. I need to reclaim a little of the energy sucked away from me by thinking about Captain Douchebag.

Because it just happened, I know this blogpost is more of a reaction than a response. Regardless, you can mark my words, this moment is a turning point. It will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in our history. President Chump was tougher on the Democrats and the intelligence community in this press conference than he was on the Russians. It’s hard to put into words what we saw today. I’m wondering if we finally, finally, finally reached the beginning of the end.

John McCain, as we all know is living his final days. He had a lot to say about today. I disagree with McCain more than half of the time, so I do not automatically support anything he says. However, here he perfectly crystallizes the embarrassment happening right before our eyes. His words from today will be remembered and quoted for many, many years to come:

– – – – – 

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.

“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

Live And Let Kneel

“We use that flag to sell mattresses and beer. We wear it as a swimsuit. We wrap our bald head in a bandana and stick it in our pants because we disrespect that flag everyday.”

These words from Dale Hansen (sportscaster and Vietnam veteran) echo the thought I’ve had for years on the subject of the American flag. The flag is not meant to be a product or a prop. That’s why I don’t wear anything meant to appropriate the American flag (that’s also why I don’t wear anything that appropriates military camouflage).

All this noise about kneeling or standing in the NFL is just the by product of another prop for a product. The teams were in the locker rooms during the anthem until eight years ago. In 2009, the NFL brought the players out for the anthem basically to be a prop for their product. It was a marketing strategy made in order to make the players (and the league) look more patriotic. The Department of Defense and the National Guard also payed the NFL for permission to stage on-field patriotic ceremonies to increase military recruitment.

Don’t be played by the sideshow. The first amendment IS first for a reason. Live and let kneel.

This Young Woman Has A Lot To Learn

Tomi Lahren is a big deal these days. Propped up by her good looks, she’s become a popular voice for the alt-right people and young conservative millennial. I think this young woman (and I feel old for even typing those words) has a lot to learn. A lot to learn about history. A lot to learn about human nature. A lot to learn about life. A lot to learn about so many topics. It’s a shame, she’s bright but not smart enough to know what she doesn’t comprehend.

Find out for yourself. Watch this interview with Trevor Noah (of the Daily Show) in its entirety.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/m9ds7s/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-exclusive—tomi-lahren-extended-interview?xrs=synd_FBPAGE_20161201_692299924_The+Daily+Show_Video+with+Link&linkId=31796489

More Of The New

This week, I finished hanging up my second large scale artwork. Stay tuned. There will be more to see in the coming weeks.

That said, I am looking for volunteers to help me hang these really large works. I have tried alone and it’s too difficult. It’s just too large. Too many wrinkles.

If you’re in Atlanta and are interested in giving me a hand installing these, please let me know. You must be able to work after dark and willing to get messy.

IMG_1632IMG_1633IMG_1634IMG_1635IMG_1637IMG_1636IMG_1608IMG_1609

New Direction

So, I’ve been telling you all that I’ve been working on something big. As you can now see, I wasn’t joking around. Last night, with the help of a couple of friends (shout out to Damon & Jeff), I installed the first of my new large format pieces of art.

This is my new direction. The work is comprised of many panels and is 8 feet tall and 50 feet wide in total.

Here are some pictures of the preparation, installation and the final result.

Watch this space, there is more to come.

IMG_1535

IMG_4491IMG_4487IMG_4520IMG_4526IMG_4536IMG_4535IMG_4554IMG_4550IMG_4548IMG_4557IMG_4578IMG_4581IMG_4582IMG_4583IMG_4580

Let It All Hang Out

I am a Professor of Foundation Studies at the Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta (SCAD-Atlanta). Most people that have visited this site already know this. If that is not the case, now you know. This coming week, I’ll be talking about my artwork at school. The plan is to cover a lot of area, both content and working process. In addition to addressing present concerns, I want to touch upon my past ideas and future goals.

I’ll be ready. Time to let it all hang out.

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