Thursday, March 13, 2008

American Flag

"Hey buddy, my daddy died for that flag."
"Really? I bought mine. Yeah, they sell 'em at K-Mart."
"He died in Korea!"
"Wow, what a coincidence. Mine was made in Korea."

-Bill Hicks

It's always good to start with a quote. Why? It's a little easier to get people to agree with you when someone else's opinion leads the way. Do I need your opinion to agree with mine? No. Wow, I guess I really blew my opening. Since posting this video I have had people tell me they hope my cat, Zion, gets hit by a car, hope also that I get hit by a car or hope that I burn in a fire. Well, I'm glad because "hope" is a perfect thing to feel when you know you have no control over a situation. You just sit in your little ignorant houses and hope the war works out, hope that you don't find yourself a victim in a drug war, hope terrorism doesn't come to your neighborhood, hope your vote counts, or maybe hope that discrimination won't turn out too poorly in your favor. Sometimes you need to get a rise out of people to get them to think.

My "American Flag" video was taken down from, it got flagged. I did not intend to have to write an artist's statement for this piece, but considering the circumstances, I am now. On my video got around 3oo views with 14 comments. The comments were great and I appreciate everyone who posted them. Those comments are gone now, so please post here your opinions good or bad and we'll see how long they stay.

What I love about this video is the three distinctive symbols that get my point across. It's simple:

1. American Flag: symbol of the United States government
2. Zion: my cat, symbol of me, United States citizen
3. Catnip: symbol of drugs in the United States

In controlling the situation I was able to establish my feelings on the issue of the cannabis plant being illegal to be grown, possessed or inhaled by anyone, excluding medicinal (in some cases), within the United States. My feelings:

1. Anger
2. Laughter

I love this country, I love all countries. We are in this together not as a nation, but as a world called, Earth. People have also expressed that I'm lucky I live in a country where I can desecrate the flag in an act of protest. I am not lucky. It has nothing to do with luck. Are the times that sad where it's considered "lucky" to be free to express my opinion? Obviously, we do. Let's not hope any longer. Let's act. It's as simple as pulling together symbols from the collective consciousness and getting people to talk about the issues. If we and by we I mean; the poor, discriminated, minorities, sheep are able to sway headlines based on our short attention spans let's sway them on issues that provoke change and not on what is wanted from us, which is ignorance. One change I would like to see is innocent people being freed from jail on charges related to the cannibis plant. It's a law put there to put minorities in jail. It's a law put there to keep a large part of America from rising up and getting a piece of the pie we all deserve. I want us all to be equal, which is what our constitution is all about. Sometimes it takes great love to criticize. Saddest of all is the argument that it's wrong to use American flag in an act of protest because that suggests that the object is infallible, that the American government is infallible. Nothing created by humanity is infallible.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cabbage Patch Kids and the New Social Order

PhotobucketI love medicated chap stick. I love medicated chap stick because it smells like cabbage patch kids. That new plastic mixed with baby powder. Olfactory reception is said to be the strongest sense of memory. So, while applying medicated chap stick to my lips, breathing in the vapors, nosetalgia hit. My first cabbage patch doll was named, Sue, after my mom. Sue was a tough kid, I had to beat her a lot to get her to behave. My grandmom had one named, Thomas, who was younger than Sue. I was never allowed to play with Thomas. "He's not for playing." He had the cutest little sweat suit with bright white gym shoes. Finally, I got my own bald cabbage patch, his name was Tyler. Way more precious than Thomas and younger too. Sue was getting to be too much to handle and eventually I made her sleep in my parents bedroom until my mom let me throw her out. Then there were preemies.

I remember the commercial when they first came out. They were in those adorable plastic incubators! The nurses gently picked the petite baby up and put them in the little girls arms saying, "Be careful. Preemies need extra love and attention." Maybe my memory is skewed, but I swear that little girl was crying from happiness. I couldn't wait to have my own preemie. I never got one. I suspected my parents were a little out of touch with the cabbage patch scene. I was glad though because my friends who had them were so obsessed with caring for their preemies their lives fell apart. First, it was the endless boring conversations at lunch, "My preemie this, my preemie that." Next, their grades started slipping. Ultimately, you never saw your friend again. It wasn't until, out of curiosity, I read the side of my dad's pack of Camels that I realized a bigger issue was at stake.

"Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight." (No wonder it's called, "Being on the patch.") I was so confused. I thought that preemies were desirable, so why was this doctor army "warning" pregnant women. Wouldn't you want your baby to be cute? It was explained to me later that premature birth was not good. My world was then turned upside down. I decided to further investigate this whole cabbage patch operation. What was this Mr.X up to? He obviously had been lying about the cabbage patch. I may have been young, but I certainly wasn't born yesterday. Babies aren't grown in fields.

If I had a choice I would have cut up Sue first, but she was long gone by then. Tyler had to be sacrificed. It's still hard for me to talk about. What I found, wasn't cute. Tyler wasn't put together very well. Just six knots of thread located on the elbows, knees, upper thigh and buttocks. All the rest was stuffing. What were my parents paying for? I talked to the other kids at school. I tried to explain to them that premature birth is caused by smoking and not by an early harvest. I also told them that the C.P.K.'s were actually just cheaply put together dolls taken from mother's who smoked cigarettes. My friends all knew about the discipline problems I had with Sue and how it would make sense that this was because her mom was a smoker, but they refused to believe me. The C.P.K.'s had brain washed them. I was too late. I hadn't given up, I just needed more proof.

I spent over a month watching C.P.K. commercials only to find out that the people in the commercials were actors, not real people. I followed the C.P.K.'s in the news. On the surface it all looked very impressive, everyone wanted them. In 1985, one C.P.K. by the name of, Christopher Xavier, became the first of his kind to travel into space! I thought to myself, "This is getting out of hand."

In conclusion, I came to understand that C.P.K.'s themselves were not real, pretend. It was their concept that was reality. They were more than just dolls, they were examples of us: homeless and desperate for love, validated by their looks and material possessions. Birth certificates with trendy names verify their existence. Raised by children who are lead by a society promoting cyclical development, like for instance; creating a doll that makes sickness seem appealing.

And what did my parents say when they were me:
"You may say that I'm a dreamer.
But I'm not the only one."