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.

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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.

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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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This Goes Way Beyond Stupid

This goes way beyond stupid, it’s a truly tragic failure on many levels. A nine year old girl shoots off an Uzi, easily loses control of the weapon and kills her instructor. Her asshole parents film the entire “learning experience.” This poor girl has to live with this tragedy for the rest of her life. She has to live with these assholes as her parents too. Assholes that thought this was a good idea in the first place.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28948946

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This Is What A Stupid Idea Looks Like

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This statue of Kurt Cobain is a stupid idea for dozens of reasons. However, I’d like to focus on three of them in particular.
1. Why would the city of Aberdeen, WA choose to honor it’s most famous citizen (and most famous critic) in this manner?
2. Why would the city of Aberdeen, WA think that fans of Nirvana would flock to their city for something like this. Especially because its very existence is completely in contrast to the mission of the band and the struggles with fame that Cobain experienced.
3. Why is he crying and playing an acoustic guitar?
My answer to all three questions is the same. It’s because there were not any Nirvana fans or anyone with a significant knowledge on the life of Kurt Cobain involved with the project. This is an assumption, but I feel safe in making it.

Milwaukee, WI: Home Of Universal Knowledge?

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One of the men arrested in this case was named Universal Knowledge Allah. Who knew the home of Universal Knowledge was Milwaukee, Wisconsin?!? This world is strange, tragic and amazing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/us/stolen-stradivarius-violin-may-have-been-recovered.html?_r=0

The linked article is about how, just recently, a 299 year old violin was stolen from the owner as he carried it in it’s case. A tazer was used to commit the crime and the microprinted pieces of discharge helped like the weapon to the criminal. Nice. Let’s see if anyone adapts that technology to other weapons like guns. Doubt it. Because in that instance, the will does not equal the way.

Lionel Stitchie

I’m just giving some credit where credit is due. I was browsing the headlines and discovered this story about an artist that stitched Lionel Ritchie lyrics into abandoned furniture. Well, it turns out I know this artists! It was the work of my friend Molly Evans, a college radio buddy from back in the day. Molly was also a DJ at SCAD Radio in Savannah years ago.

This art made me smile. Thanks Molly!

http://www.ignant.de/2013/12/10/lionel-stitchie-by-molly-evans/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/lionel-stitchie_n_4442299.html?utm_hp_ref=arts