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"In my post-election rage I cranked out one piece.... You're welcome to use it on the website, wheat pasting etc. There will be more to come...
Click on the image for an 11x17 poster in PDF format.
"Beta Minus 0001 is an enemy of the state and the status quo. Through his art he attacks the time honored American traditions of nationalism, fascism, militarism, consumerism, sexism, racism and apathy."
Click on the images for 8.5 x 11 posters in jpg format.
"Fuck those red states!"
"They’re a bunch of red-neck-sister-fucking assholes!"
"We should secede from those hillbilles!"
Here in NYC, I’m surrounded with the bitterness, anger and hatred towards the folks in the South, Midwest, and Southwest after the results from the presidential elections.
Shit, looks like red baiting to me. Toss the blame onto those red fuckers and blast them away!! Like we need another great witch-hunt in this country. Haven’t we had enough public lynchings?
Funny thing is that most of the people who I hear bash the "red states" aren’t doing a damn thing themselves to change society for the better. Another funny thing is that some of the intellectuals behind the Bush administration’s imperial-foreign policy are from a democratic city: NYC. (Look up neoconservatives.)
I can’t help but think of all the awesome folks who live in those "red states" and work their asses off to improve life there, ie. activists, community organizers, and artists. The damning of entire regions based on CNN’s
two-tone diagrams bothers me. I find it to be completely narrow-minded to condemn honest, hard-working peoples because the Republican party won the most presidential votes.
Quick story, one summer night as I was putting up posters in Brooklyn, a man and two boys walked by me. (I wasn’t alone. My partner was with me. ;)) The guy looked at the poster I was putting up and scowled. The poster was one of the "No RNC in NYC" series. "THE REPUBLICANS ARE COMING" the poster warned with the image of two armed soldiers walking towards the NYC skyline. The guy kept walking with the 2 boys. Not giving them much thought, I went on putting the poster up. Then the guy stopped and turned around. "We’re all one country, you know," he exclaimed.
"Yeah, I know," I responded as if what he said was an apparent contradiction.
"Republicans are people too," he said. "We'’re all one people. We’re all one country." I felt like he was trying to convince me and himself but it wasn’t working.
"Yeah, sure," I said. My partner held the other posters and quietly watched the whole thing.
Obviously annoyed the guy left with the 2 confused boys looking at us. I thought that the poster wouldn't be up for long with this guy in this neighborhood. He’ll see all the posters and tear them down in a fit of righteous rage.
Surprisingly the posters were up for more than 2 days. The poster the guy got angry about stayed up for a lot longer. One of the other posters I put up was ripped. Someone else actually used tape to put the poster back together. I thought the whole thing was amazing. This poster was creating a non-verbal political dialogue within this neighborhood in BK. This was more surprising to me considering that BK is a Democratic stronghold yet I couldn’t completely rule out that there could be - GASP - Republicans in our midst. Shit, there are people from my old hood in uptown - man, fuck that - there are folks in my own FAMILY who might as well get the word REPUBLICAN tattooed on their foreheads. What does that show me? Republicans are everywhere. Democrats too. (They aren't any fucking better, folks. Let’s be honest here. Although, instinctively, this sounds like an oxymoron to me but I wouldn’t even rule out that there maybe some cool Republicans in this world.)
So, here are my final words on this. Hopefully this’ll cool some heads and aid progress:
deal with the Republicans, right-wingers, conservatives, neoconservatives, religious right, etc in YOUR own hood and family. You know who I’m talking about,
finally, grab a marker, make a stencil, design a poster, weld a sculpture, carve a mobile, photocopy some stickers etc etc etc, and express yourself on the streets.
be more proactive than reactive. But be careful out there. It’s witch-hunting season.
To see another POV beside the overly-simplistic blue-red-state-diagram check out TomPaine.com
For more info on the neoconservatives, look up the American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century, and the Rand Corporation. Dig deeeeeep.
The Visual Resistance collective will join Swoon at a workshop on street art at the New School, sponsored by New School Students for a Democratic Society. Thanks to SDS for the invite – the event is free and open to the public, so please come out if you can.