“…But again and again, there comes a time in history when one who dares to say that 2+2=4 is punished with death. The school-teacher is well aware of this. And the question is not one of knowing what punishment or reward attends the making of this calculation. The question is one of knowing whether 2+2=4”
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 18
I know it seems like all hell is breaking loose in the United States. I know there’s bullshit flying around you in every direction. I know it seems like the virus is never going to leave us. I know you’re concerned for your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
I also know it’s Saturday night! Time to make some boogie down productions of your own. Time to get up, get up, get, get, get down with this techno electro classic. Seriously, I love this jam.
I’m beatbox rocker, and you dancing to my beat.
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.
Last month I launched a new project. The Loyalty Lies Project and the LIES brand.
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
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 17
Today’s message is simple and direct. In case you’ve forgotten…the South’s too fat to rise again.
“An artist has an obligation to be en route, to be going somewhere. There’s a journey involved here. You don’t know where it is and that’s the fun. You’re always gonna be seeking, looking and going, trying to challenge yourself.”
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 16
White. Male. American.
This song about police racism was released in 1993. It was inspired by an incident in which Eddie Vedder got into an altercation with a group of police officers who hassled his black friend but ignored him.
“He won the lottery by being born
Big hand slapped a white male American
Do no wrong so clean cut
Dirty his hands, it comes right off
Police man, police man, police man
Police stopped my brother again”
This song is now 27 years old. I’ve listened to it often over the years. Objectively it’s a pretty great song too. The tribal backbeat is hypnotic and it’s message is as vital as ever. Let’s listen to it like it’s brand new because the subject certainly isn’t old. #blacklivesmatter
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 15
I’m still gravitating toward my collection of funk soul classics during these times.
Let music help you rise above the bullshit blocking your way. Whatever get’s you through. This one works for me.
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 14
Heard this one shuffle this morning. It had been a while since I heard it. This song sounds best after midnight but today it was a morning song and once again I heard the right song at the right time.
The sound is bold and strong yet spacious and sparse. The lyrics are moody yet motivational.
It’s one of my personal anthems. Nothing else to say.
Here’s something interesting to watch. The BBC Documentary called the Secret of Drawing.
Released in 2005, the four-part series explores how drawing has shaped our lives. It is required viewing for my Drawing II classes. Many artists are highlighted throughout this documentary series. I also ask my students to write a personal analysis of one artist from each part of the series.
Each part is equally good. Check it out.
The Secret Of Drawing: Episode 1: The Line Of Enquiry
The Secret Of Drawing: Episode 2: Storylines
The Secret Of Drawing: Episode 3: All In The Mind
The Secret Of Drawing: Episode 4: Drawing By Design
My neighborhood made national news.
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.
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 13
Like many people, I first learned about John Prine through other people’s versions of his songs. My mother played Bette Midler’s version of this song a lot when I was a kid. I recall listening to the lyrics and being immersed in the life of the song’s narrator. I remember being compelled to think of what were very deep thoughts at the time. This is my favorite John Prine song because it’s the first one I ever heard. I still recall taking a journey through the lyrics. For the first time, I thought of a song as a story.
Even though the singer/songwriter tradition isn’t my favorite type of music, I know and respect the legends of any genre. He’s also from Chicago and spearheaded the Chicago Folk Revival.
John Prine is a legend. May he rest in peace.
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
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.
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?
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 12
The soundtrack of life continues. Rough and tumble blues from the Stones is my nomination for our post apocalyptic national anthem. Lyrically it relates to the news of the day of course. The sound of this tune is appropriately greasy and gritty for our present situation too. Not only that, it is a damn good song, one of my all-time favorites (https://brettcalleroartist.com/2019/09/11/my-500-favorite-songs-at-50/).
If a song could literally kick your ass, this would be one to watch your back around.
When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake,
Heart is bursting and you butt’s gonna break.
Your woman’s cussing, you can hear her scream,
You feel like murder in the first degree.
Ain’t nobody slowing down no way,
Ev’rybody’s stepping on their accelerator,
Don’t matter where you are,
Ev’rybody’s gonna need a ventilator.
When you’re trapped and circled with no second chances,
Your code of living is your gun in hand.
We can’t be browed by beating, we can’t be cowed by words,
Messed by cheating, ain’t gonna ever learn.
Ev’rybody walking ’round,
Ev’rybody trying to step on their Creator.
Don’t matter where you are, ev’rybody, ev’rybody gonna
Need some kind of ventilator, some kind of ventilator.
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
Gonna fight it, gonna fight it?
“Strive not to be a success but to be of value.”
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 11
Mudhoney knows this subject well. This ought to be your social distancing theme song. Be safe everyone. Stay home and crank the tunes.
Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 10
Hey, it’s the Ides of March. A one-hit wonder of a day! The hit of course being the murder of Julius Caesar. Therefore, it’s poetic symmetry that the band Ides Of March would be a true one-hit wonder.
Chicago band, the Ides Of March hit it big with their first single “Vehicle” which peaked at #2 in 1970. For a brief time this song was everywhere. It was a major hit. Tom Jones even sang it on his variety show. It has also even become a rock song regularly played by marching bands.
If you’re from Chicago as I am, you’ll certainly know this song. It’s on permanent rotation there.