America wants stuffed animals and china dolls. America has indeed created the whore of Babylon — which is man, woman, beast and machine combined. How? Why? By the never-ending flow of displaced love: Displaced love for celebrities or dead revolutionaries. Displaced love directed at total strangers, whose only claim to such affection is physical beauty, finger-pointing moral stances, mime-like empty theatrics, or even worse, the potential to inflict physical harm or emotional trauma. There is no family in America. The tribes are tied together by meaningless insignia, by the banter of hatemongers, by the dreadful whining of pro-lifers, by the ever-expanding cult of beauty, by the worshipers of neglect, by the glint of badges and the raised clubs, by the Malcolm X T-shirts, by impotent attempts at rebellion.
The only value a painting has now is the gesture behind it — that the creator manufactured it for you. The beauty of the painting is secondary. It’s the effort — the effort was for someone and now we have a reflection of the gesture. But any art that is based on this pseudo-intellectual removal, on the premise that the creator has secret knowledge but views you as undeserving to receive it is impotent. How can words that convey no information be intellectual? Why should you blindly love people who wouldn’t dream of pissing on you if you were ablaze? Why would you blindly throw money at any beautiful thing? Because you were bred to it from babyhood. You were bred to work to make money and throw it at the feet of an idol, instead of using it to fund an exploration of your own self.
The concept is very easy to understand. The world is full of people who desperately want you to love, adore, worship and support them. In return they will allow you a little fantasy. They would never dream of having a conversation with you, however, because you are too stupid. They would never ask you what you think about anything because you’re obviously boring. They would, however, have some use for you if you are physically attractive (but only if you have the traits that they claim to hate in ugly people — stupid & boring).
In the obsession of every artist to reach as many people as possible, he or she loses touch with anything resembling street-level messages. Studies have shown that if the artist does not actively strut and act important, the producers, record labels, magazines, club owners, and fans will become confused and scratch their grinding heads thinking, “Hmmm… Something is not right here.” Yes, every spare moment must be spent in the endless pursuit of fame and love — love that need not be reciprocated, adulation based on despicable premises. The more people who know who you are, the better. Those who have a gift to give should give it without prejudice.
All in-crowds shall fall into disorder. All heroes sometimes choke. All beauty fades. Rise to fall, fall to rise. Nothing is hidden. Many lonely little boys and girls talk deeply about how life is a joke. If life is a joke, kill yourself. The kids just throw so much love and hate away and it’s simply not coming back. If you can’t say why you hurt, shut up. If you don’t want to be looked at, get off the stage. If you want to be recognized, do something. Witnesses are never remembered. Or maybe you want to be a stuffed animal for some macho hero or a china doll that is locked away — locked away with every boy and girl who wanted to get but was too lazy to give, who wanted to love but not be loved back, who wanted to be loved but not love back. You are the enemy — the gutless witness, the voiceless, the Correct, the elite, the socially-satisfied “rebel”. My insignia has meaning — defiance. So be it.
This piece originally appeared in TELECOMMUNIHOMOGENIZATION (V2#1). Sean A. Garrison is a musician, painter, warrior-poet and shield maker in Louisville, KY.