The following writing is a copy of a comment I left after reading the Hipster Hitler interview today, which was essentially Hipster Hitler interviewing themselves. The book that is referenced at the bottom of my comment literally fell into my hands at the library during the heat of the debate last week- it shed light on some of my fears and confirmed ideas and feelings I already had. It is quite a read. :)
I grew up in Australia during the seventies and eighties. At that time it was an incredibly, openly racist country. Our indiginous people who were murdered upon their thousands upon colonisation and stolen from their families and culture have endured hate for over two hundred years and counting. Over the two hundred years here – this entire culture has been under threat.
I clearly remember the racist jokes and words used to describe these ancient and profound people. The words – as bad and sometimes MORE offensive than the ’N’word were bandied around school yards, workplaces, pubs and in the streets. I mention this because 30 years later I am an artist who has practised art for no less than six to eight hours a day, 7 days a week. No holidays. (ask any one I know for verification). When you devote that much time to ‘creating’ you also have time to think.
Right now, as an artist, I could, in theory.. create a line of t-shirts which made light of the genocide here. Because I am SMART and FUNNY and QUICK WITTED I could easily come up with some awesome tees.. the puns are simple. The people aren’t in a position to defend themselves and I could in this big wide world- remain anonymous. The tees would probably sell very well to people with very small minds and quick fists. i may even experience wealth before I die…
However, there is something called ‘ethics’. An artist has an enormous amount of power when choosing what to put out into the world. Currently, I am writing a graphic novel set in WW2. On the second page of the novel, 4 characters are killed. I had to choose which way to kill them – not what I wanted as a creator – but what I thought was ‘ethical’. A decision which would not hurt my children or reveal another ‘ugliness of the mind’. This sounds piss weak probably – but I think it’s dangerous and more creative. It’s so easy to blow something up. And being an artist – being to art school – I know how to justify my art. I could whip up any thing using the racist taunts, jibes and words I grew up with and justify justify justify BUT – it won’t ever make it – Good (as in the greater good) or right.
I think your HH designs are very clever. I think if your intentions are truly what you express that there is room for a greater intelligence, compassion and life of the people who may see your work by chance and be hurt. Walking the edge is AWESOME! Being a poetic terrorist is awesome. Being an Art Sabateur is NOT. Please research these terms if you do not know them. You can find this information in
The Temporary Autonomous Zone,
by Hakim Bey
This book was endorced by Burroughs and Ginsberg – Two truly dangerous creators.
I do appreciate your willingness to communicate and that I have the opportunity to speak here.