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Free E-Book: Gonzo Times Collected Articles of Punk Johnny Cash

ShaneI am posting a small e-book that contains some of the writing from the early years of Gonzo Times by Punk Johnny Cash.  The e-book focuses on Media and the Military. This collection of articles does have some new content and a few revisions from the original articles. Please download, share, feel free to reprint and distribute, or even use content if you need it in publications or on sites. I would appreciate getting credit if you do.

Punk Johnny Cash Gonzo Times.pdf

Punk Johnny Cash Gonzo Times.epub

 

 

 

I love Capitalism Because Of All The Good Things It Gave Us

This is an article reposted that I wrote in Feburary for Soapbox Books.

indexHuman innovation exists despite capitalism not because of capitalism. The assumption that capitalism makes these innovations and creations is inaccurate. Correlation is not causation.

People claim they love capitalism because of all the innovations and luxuries it has brought them. This is despite the obvious fact that we live in a capitalist system therefore must function within it to meet our basic needs. There is a more problematic element to this joke, the assumption that capitalism makes anything good or innovative happen. As stated above innovation exists despite capitalism not because of capitalism.

Vincent Van Gough painted some of the most iconic and innovative art in the world. Van Gough sold one single painting his entire career. According to capitalism this was not successful. Reality is that Van Gough had one thing in his favor, he did not have to contend with the cost of living. His brother paid his way as he painted and failed at capitalism. Many innovations are made in technology today through groups who work on open source projects. These are done not for profit but to better the world. The claim that the motive for profit is what drives innovation is false.

Capitalism exploits innovation. People create and innovate for many reasons. The capitalist system hinders this. How many great untapped talents have wasted their lives struggling to only meet the cost of living or scrape by without being able to even meet this? I’m sure most people reading this can say they have untapped talent. Many feel if only they were not focused on just getting by they could do more. We see this in privilege. Those of wealth and privilege are able to cover the cost of living while they focus on dreams, innovations and future endeavors. Others find they simply cannot make the basics yet alone put their time, money and efforts into the brilliance and creativity they have to offer the world.

The current system we have is a hindrance to human advancement. In a system of capitalism we see competition which requires a loser or many losers for one’s success. This is on top of the exploitation of labor which restricts the liberty and advancement of others through wage labor. We choose wage labor over pursuing our talents or brilliance because we wish to survive, not because we want to toil for the capitalists benefit.

To abolish capitalism and the current system would be to bring the opportunity for more people to contribute their talents to society and advance society much further than we ever can with capitalism holding us back. Capitalism rewards those with the capital, power and privilege. We must reject an economy of desperation and competition for one of cooperation.

Nothing ever burns down by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help

Revolution, radical resistance to the current system is not something that will come if you just sit and wait. When someone asks me what I ‘believe’ or promote as an anarchist I often get this basic trained response ‘that will never happen.’ And… To some extent they are right. As long as they keep doing the same thing over and over and continue to play by the guidelines of their rulers it will never happen. You see I won’t make some anarchist utopia. I’m not going to save the world. Until people begin to resist we will stay in place under our rulers.

 

I don’t have to save the world or bring about a global system. To obtain my goals I simply focus on direct action where I can make changes. When others do this as well movements will spread. Every social and political revolution was impossible and destined to never happen.

 

Complacency is always the greatest tool the oppressors have held. They never need your support, just an unwillingness to stand up against them. So, I’ll just keep at fueling the fire. As the song says “Nothing ever burns down by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help.” So, I just keep throwing kindling on the wood pile and keep trying to start that fire. Eventually it will light.

Art For Money

I have made a decision to not make a living off of my art anymore.  As I mentioned before art is subject to capitalism. To make a living off of art will no doubt direct ones art towards areas that are most likely in service to capitalism. All these art school graduates are flooding into jobs as graphic designers and most are doing nothing close to what they were passionate about. Art is my  immortality.  I will live on through my art and writing. It is life after death. My legacy will not be that of the capitalist. My legacy will be built on the philosophies and beliefs that I espouse.

I found myself in a trap. I was attempting to create paintings that others would want to see. My art was aimed at being aesthetically appealing. Art to hang above your couch is not the art I create. I am not in any way talking down to art that is. Well not all art that is, Thomas Kinkade was about worthless. Perhaps that is my radical socialist view. Here is one guy preaching what is ought to be and turning the perpetuation of the lie into a capitalist enterprise. Fuck that shit.

So here I am. Criticizing my past art. I have done art to survive for years. My art has been design for corporate and military propaganda. I have sold shit to survive falling into the same trap almost every other artist fell into. How do you break it? I am not completely certain, but I do know at this point that my art must not be geared towards a sale or to please someone else. I must continue to create art that comes from that place that I am passionate about. I must be delivering the medicine for the corruption of the consciousness. If as Collingwood said art is the medicine I must ask if I am a snake oil salesman or am I curing cancer? I am going to try my damnedest to cure the cancers of society and stop peddling snake oil. What is the cancer? Capitalism, Militarism, Capitalism, Sexism, Hetrosexism, Racism, Religion, The State and all forms of hierarchy.

Property Paintings

labor is my property

Your Labor Is My Property – Slave


(Continued)

To SAMO From SAMO

samoJean-Michel Basquiat was a figure who seems to overshadow his own art. An artists success is largely determined by who they know or who knows them. Basquiat was able to ride his wave of popularity and social success into a booming career. Some art critics question if he added anything truly new to the history of art. His contribution to art history is one that leads to the future of art and artists. Like Keith Haring Basquiat gained popularity for graffiti. Basquiat gained fame and recognition for graffiti before he ever painted on canvas. His painting on canvas was a result from his popularity for graffiti.

Street art is not permanent. Artists often consider the life of their work. Painters will seek materials and techniques that will stand the test of time. Tagging is temporary. It is said to be a popularity game. The idea is said tot be that your name is seen and you are known. The rise of street art and artists from this scene really boomed in the 90′s and early 21st century. Two artists who gained popularity or really the ones who accomplished this first were Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. You can see their importance in that they were early pioneers in the modern relevant medium.

(Continued)

Revolutionary Art

Street art as a revolutionary tactic happened. It is one of the most productive revolutionary acts of the 20th & 21st centuries. Revolutions have been synonymous with vandalism throughout history. When a conquering army comes into a culture it is common to destroy works of art and statues that represent the old regime. Art is not destruction though. So, as a starving artist here at the starving artist guild I want to strive to create art to influence the world. (Continued)

Property And Those Damn Vandals

Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
- Graffiti found in a Pompeii Brothel

Kilroy Was Here

Before Shepard Fairy plastered the world with Andre the giant has a posse Obey stickers Kilroy was here. Since there has been people there has been drawing on walls. Some of the earliest records of civilization are cave walls defaced. We did not draw on just walls but everything you can imagine. Ed Big Daddy Roth drew on cars. Michelangelo drew on church ceilings. Pompeii is unique in that when it was destroyed instantly it was covered in ash and preserved. This preserved the graffiti of 79 AD. Did the neighborhood council get together in Pompeii and have meetings about how to wipe out the graffiti? (Continued)

Art The Slave Of Capitalism

The history of art is scattered with images of the ruling class. Art is intertwined with money and power. The church, state and ruling class fed the artists of the past. Art became a parasite of capitalism leaching onto the fiscally healthy arteries of society catering to an upper class that commissions and buys.

  • Scrawling on the walls and ceilings of churches
  • Sculptures erected to pharaohs and deities
  • Portraits of the wealthy ruling class

Now the working class can afford art. Ikea and Hobby Lobby churns out cheap prints that look good hanging over your couch at prices so low the artist can not compete. With these prints as low as five to twenty bucks a pop it costs the artist more in materials alone to create a single image. How can one compete? Mass manufactured art helps make the artist obsolete.

ikea-wall-of-art

Artists who pursue their craft are pushed out of art to do graphic design for some corporate entity to help increase profits. It is about selling sneakers or Pepsi. Art for arts sake survived on city streets and was declared illegal. Instead of legalizing art it was privatized and turned into just another piece of property copyrighted by the capitalist class.  (Continued)