From The Heart Of The Art: A Comment on Paris, France and Charlie Hebdo
by Reggie Radney (International Edition) Published Thursday February 19, 2015 raw and unedited
This is a study I designed of a painting for a master version titled The Truth Twister. It’s about how facts can be altered and turn the truth into something that doesn’t look like the truth or may not be the whole truth.
On behalf of my fellow Journalistic and Creative Peers who support and value art I submit this commentary.
Each new day is a sad reflection of the incidents that occurred in Paris, France at Charlie Hebdo and in Denmark involving Lars Vilks. People were injured and some lost their lives in what is made to appear as fault of art. But there’s far more to it.
Columbus Georgia has made a relationship with Copenhagen, Denmark and I just wonder whether the issues could be something that makes its way into this market. I wonder because Denmark has what they call a rehab center for jihad. A lot of people resettle into markets where there are allies involved. A lot of national and international issues touch this shadow market that hardly anyone knows about. It’s a hidden city. A test market. A transient city where people from all over the place can land.
There are thousands of creatives, but some amongst that group use their gifts to make incredible things happen for world culture, while some use their gifts to harm the world.
People would be surprised what a “real” artist can do.
I’m not even sure human civilization could be possible nor survive without art and creativity.
It’s influence, and potential influence, is incredible. It’s not something that can be stopped or prevented, because a creation can take a life and form of it’s own, at any time, depending on how it is used and utilized.
In defense of the writers and artist, entertainers and creatives, and also journalists, the reason why we are so important is because of how we can affect human culture.
It doesn’t take much to tick people off nor to tap into human emotion when the world is in chaos.
I had to come in on the ugly side of the business, but the experience I have now, and the value as a result is beyond measure.
I have a must read book that has not been published about need-to-know cultural issues involving the arts. In it I discuss why art is so important and can be so powerful.
Artists fight for everyones freedoms by way of creativity.
The real influence of the culture of this new century will come as a result of what artists create and design.
There is a war for concepts, designs and intellectual property. IDEAS
Charlie formed a system. A system that had the right pieces. Anyone with a little money and support can make something that appears as a system, but it takes more than filling positions to make an effective system that means something. Somehow the man and his group made an influential impact.
It’s too early for me to make a commentary or creation about this situation in it’s entirety, to publish in terms of the actual tragedy, because we don’t know enough facts yet. There have been no formal court proceedings that involve all parties. But, I will share with you how I was using art and writing basically all my life to confront social culture.
I’ve been in a position where my life was endangered to try to stop a culture system I designed and created from developing.
Artists and creatives can end up in battles against oppression, censoring and disenfranchisement.
Most people from modern culture appear to have not gotten what was going on long ago. I laid it out so I could understand what effect the arts had on culture, and found that either people were just not ready or uninterested in the value of it.
Everyone was psyched out, distracted, if you will. It was like a mass breaking of psychological and cultural concentration
In 2002 I was asked to be a part of a library exhibit in Milwaukee. I knew no one personally amongst the group in a way that could be described as intimate knowledge. We were just kind of brought together and put together. I was the main guy when it comes to the person with the investible cultural value, but everyone was gifted. A picture was taken. That picture could be made to appear things that never really occurred took place.
Had I been foolish enough to fall for it, a sex scandal could have been made of it because I did share a little time with one artist, but nothing intimate was involved. I was being set up and it could have been a Cosby like situation, I was not interested like that. And if the need should come I can substantiate and prove those facts without question, but I’d rather keep personal personal, like it should be. The artists that the world takes serious have a history of intimate entanglements, so I detached. I was more focused on the business side of culture and entertainments at large, not solely my gift in arts.
Our names mentioned together as a group appears to make us all know one another personally. Opening the door for propaganda. So I saved document of what occurred to verify what transpired and there is also a guest book in someones possession. A guest book can be used as a witness document of sorts in literary or broadcast fraud about someones life. So I wasn’t against anyone, I was just protecting the integrity of my life and work. I knew history was underway in the world and so I wanted to use art at every level I could from image to writing to show people a window of understanding of the present, past and future, so to speak.
I wanted to be in a position where my art could communicate not only what was going on in the world and for me personally at that time, but also offer an academic rationale to put the whole thing into a historic context. So people would know why I did what I did, what I was trying to achieve, and what should come as a result.
I was way ahead of the curve of pop culture and fighting for modern turn of the 21st Century issues involving the arts and freedom of expression etc.
Exposure and visibility was key.
What occurred was what amounts to trying to keep me “invisible and unknown”. It was known that once I’m seen or heard, it makes an impact, even on those who would otherwise be skeptics. The art works and other gifts I have made it impossible to go unnoticed because it naturally commanded attention in a way that people will probably never forget.
This is a copy of the invitation. The Center Street Library was literally in a central location in the city. They were invested in urban culture and art to serve the people who lived in the inner city and surrounding areas. It was a double edged opportunity but the timing turned out to be excellent. Art culture was needed in the country in terms of our socialization and cultural investments that would define the new century, but there was also heightened threat and war underway making it leak into controversy during a time when safety and freedom was most challenged. That reality combined with the past conflicts and controversies in politics regarding arts and culture made it complicated and difficult, but not for me, because I was self defined and independent.
There were many measures taken attempting to ban, censor, muzzle, silence and destroy the voices of the future at the turn of the 20th Century going into the 21st Century taking place. Trust was shattered and devastated and fear and mass panic was eminently dangerous.
These political challenges were taking place in all forms throughout arts and communications. Radio, tv, film etc. It was the first time the Constitution was ever challenged in such ways and the first amendment was challenged most greatly of all. Our right to speak and express and be ourselves was literally challenged and threatened to be eliminated over war that the people had nothing to do with. The fear and panic during that time encouraged some to willfully be okay with relinquishing their rights if they thought it would make them more safe. But no one really understood what they were suppose to be afraid of. They just knew it was called and axis of evil and that a terrible world tragedy occurred on American soil that no one was expecting that hurt a lot of people in a way like no other time in history. In one of the most well know cities and culture centers in the world, New York City.
See, it’s very difficult to accuse and lie on someone attempting to disparage or frame them in some injustice when the exposure they get from public events and acknowledgement shows that something different than the claims and lies portray was going on.
Art gives you the ability to override all the rules, so to speak, by nature of the genre.
So as result, when people can’t stop what the artist can make happen, they attack the artist.
And that’s when character assassination, disparaging comments, alienation, isolation, hearsay, gossip, innuendo, brutal lies, accusations, embarrassment, persecution and other forms of scandal, including sex scandal, come into play.
This is a painting titled Pen Whippings: Character Assassination. It is about a culture that for generations used awful words and language to attack image and reputation, to demonize and exclude. This kind of conduct for the longest time was a form of socially acceptable aggression. It’s a form of punishing and symbolically beating and injuring to assault character. I basically took some of the most awful terms I heard directed at certain kinds of people in culture intending to disparage them. To illustrate how words can be used to injure, intentionally.
Great artists are stalked socially. It’s that strange fear, fascination and curiosity combination. Sometime what an artist does or creates is what creates the intrigue and interest. Charlie Hebdo managed to find a place to take root and give creatives a place to create and express freely.
What the artist create is a validation of their purpose and contribution. It’s a cultural record of what is happening in society during specific time periods, and also tells what was of interest and purpose for the artist and the culture in which they lived.
Mr. Hebdo had a reputation of being a radical artist who sometime created and/or contributed to what some cultures consider the ultimate disrespect.
A few artists have a gift that can not be taught that can give vivid insight into our humanity and our economics.
Since I was a part of an exhibit in a library I basically tried to use literary and also visual art to encourage people to engage in art through images and documents that encouraged literacy and creative writing.
I pushed the line. But I pushed the line for a reason, cause and context. I also made clear my intent.
So basically, artists get a stigma pinned on them as being rule breakers and disrespectful. The law enforcement system keeps a list of creatives. Especially the ones who can create something that can make a big cultural or social movement of some kind occur.
People try to pin societies ills on certain kinds of things and people, even as they may not actually be the cause. So in some ways an artist is painted into a corner if they have no strategy. Society always kind of has people or groups it blames for the troubles of the world, even when in many cases it may have no truth to it.
I’ve heard some critics of the arts using subtle undertones of terms like “disgusting”, “vile”, “perverted jihad” and all kinds of other terms intended to try to find some way to turn people against the artists and indirectly stigmatize and slander the artists to portray them as immoral, uncivilized, threatening etc.
It’s nothing but political and legal slander against art.
It’s by people who misuse, abuse and or mishandle the purpose and intent of politics and law. Manipulation. Exploitation
They just want to be able to control people, not work with people.
When something happens that the legal fraternity, political fraternity, law enforcement fraternity, journalist fraternity, religious fraternity can’t stop, they come together to do what Dr. Drew Pinksy calls “galvanize their groupings” by getting together collectively to harm and re-enforce one anothers misconduct.
The following graphic is something I designed before I heard the phrase used but was a perfect illustration of what I refer to as collective lying. It becomes a conspiracy to try to gain acceptance into the groupings while infringing on everyones most fundamental rights.
And so what happens is, when the rights of artists are infringed upon, it affects the rights journalists have, because technically, art is journalism. It also infringes upon the rights and understanding of those rights for the common people
The first amendment and the right to free expression is primarily because of art.
So what happens when a political or religious infrastructure is trying to tell you you can’t be yourself, can’t speak freely, can’t express yourself, unless it’s what they want you to say and do?
And to the contrary, what if an artist appears to take freedom too far?
That means your humanity has been stolen and the critics are giving themselves a double standard and saying they can do everything you can’t do, or say everything you can’t say etc?
It can be likened to an abuse by force of political and religious authority. Using methods of shame, guilt, humiliations, embarrassment and ridicule, oppression and deprivation of some kind to try to control and person by rejecting them until they accept or become broken. Persecution.
So that amounts to them saying they can have their rights and you can’t have yours, even though the rights of the people is why they have their roles and positions.
They are suppose to uphold those fundamental rights of the common people.
I have attached the most pure, honest and difficult information I have ever released during a time when there was a bigger cultural assault on men of color than there has ever been in the history of the world after 9/11/ 2001.
At the time I knew no other way to inform the public about that level of intelligence.
It was a time of cultural transition on a new frontier of information and security, and so I’m not even sure that a lot of people realized it was important to know. They didn’t really know or realize the vulnerabilities that could be exploited as a result of technology.
It was also an era of identity theft. A piece of art is literally like a time stamp in history. A real record that verifies and validates certain things about the artist, who and where they were etc.
There was a national and international investment in race division while all this was underway.
I was one of a few younger black men who took a risk and investment on self reliance, and with my skills and what I could do, it was a no lose situation.
That means I was becoming economic competition. It was only a matter of developing some relationships. So that’s when the assault on my image, character and reputation occurred. In one article you will see there were naysayers spreading competition lies and I didn’t even know them, but they knew me.
They started to try to injure my reputation and scandalizing every little thing I did or that it appeared I was saying or expressing. They tried to turn people against me. To make me appear bad for women and children, or immoral or any little thing they could concoct as a distraction to mislead people about my image and character.
But really, they were most focused on trying to keep the voice, art, value and culture I bring to the table from being known, seen or heard. Because Oppressors can’t oppress people who achieve, only the ones who want to and have no way to or knowledge and resources to. What took place was like showing people only part of the picture or puzzle, or only one side of the coin, to mislead them.
See, when people see the whole picture, the reason, cause and context, they know how to interpret something.
So the opposition was trying to portray me adversely before the audience could ever hear from me or see what I could or was trying to do.
You can alter perception and intent when you are providing information and not allow the source to speak for their own intention and what occurred, happened or went on. It was exploitation of information and race. There could have been no other justification for what they did, and I wasn’t the only one, I was just one of the very best ones.
I experienced overt disenfranchisement and oppression. And the following is proof of what went on. I wasn’t the only one. And in some instances there was reverse discrimination and oppression.
It was already taking place before I got in the game, except I was the one that could actually pull off something new and make it work. Because I had my race, my generation, history, culture and the future to my advantage and I was unowned or influenced. So I had the freedom to come in clean, with no debt, negative or risky affiliations, which few people do. I used my own money and purchased my own material to get it started. Money that I earned. Very few men of any color do what I did.
This story in the Business Journal was was one of the biggest in the Southeast region in December of 2006.
The things that were done to try to keep me from achieving were unbelievable and it would happen that this business group had been tracking the issues. So now the opposition could no longer hide the facts, nor try to make it appear as if there was some discrepancy about me or how I was allegedly involved in something that justified their so called judgement and attacks. They tried to kill the source of the knowledge, information, products and experiences that were designed and created to alter history and also cover up other ills from a historical context.
It would come to pass that the same people who made the laws that encouraged globalism, and who invited people from other cultures, races and nationalities to the country in the first place,were leading the charge to divide the people after 9/11/2001.
I realized it.
It was claimed that what I was doing was impossible for someone to do that came from what I came from. So the oppressors were trying to make the fall happen to keep me from being recognized, known or acknowledged. But my talents made it impossible to not be noticed.
9/11/2001 was not the first attack on the towers in New York. They knew the threat was eminent because the same attempt to crash into the very same buildings happened in 1993.
They used that situation to shock and panic the nation then divide the country by race and economics to seize control of the White House and the cultural economics.
I was preparing people for what I know all that was going on meant, and where we would be heading in the future. Which leads to part of the cause for publishing this document.
The new assault on art will have to do with trying to enforce obscenity laws.
Really, it’s an embarrassment law. Most people who pursue it are usually trying to embarrass someone and turn people against someone they don’t like or agree with. Or that they fear by way of potential economic threat in some way.
All ours systems are centered around the symbols of Lady Justice and the Statue of Liberty and really are about sex regulation. That’s what it all boils down to.
The politics, the religion, the lawyers, the economics etc. It’s all about controlling women and sexual freedom and selling safety systems to make them believe in safety.
How many men would be as invested in God, faith and religion if it had nothing to do with women or sex?
Not very many.
And that’s kind of a shameful fact and reality.
So all you sinister corruptors who may read this and who think you can manipulate humanity and start trying to criminalize artistic freedom, we have you in radar.
You don’t get to tell people how to think feel, speak, look or be, unless there’s a reason, cause and context.
You don’t get to tell people what they can enjoy or need, or look at and say, as long as there is no eminent danger. And not just that, if you have not expressed that you do not wish to engage or participate, that is also a defense. You can’t just put words in peoples mouths or paint them with a brush of your own design and not reality.
Most artists are not trying to harm anyone. They are simply trying to be honest and express themselves, and it may not always be in the form of political correctness, whatever that means.
When a governing body does nothing to regulate the peoples rights to express and provide a beneficial window of resources distributed proportionately for people to be able to express themselves and their humanity creatively and usefully, without being attacked, punished deprived or starved, the whole system will begin to collapse.
Charle Hebdo did something incredible.
He created an alternative voice. He was able to report on and about what the mainstream press would give no credence and freedom to.
He was disparaged and “BLAMED” for the ills of the world and how he showed the people where the problems were.
Artists are “blamed” for what they do and what they don’t do too. Yet art is embedded into the core of our society at all levels.
Now the tide is changing because the people who own and design the future are the artists. But who are they? Where are they?
The problem is some artists use their work to harm. They use their art to offend. To insult and injure. And so they enable those who exploit their voice to oppose.
Charlie is said to have went out of his way to be disrespectful and hurtful because he felt he had the option to.
What we see currently is art being blamed on threat and danger. It’s like a reverse psychology making it look like the creatives are suppose to be the element where the threat of danger lives.
Some artist, whether visual, music, performance, acting or whatever, is always in the midst of some type of love-hate blame for showing the worlds issues.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the murders and violence against the tow artists I’ve mentioned were about more than only religion.
Usually there are financial issues that can be involved and it can be made to appear as another issue by what appears as violent religious extremism.
People from Muslim culture invest a lot of money in the world and in the United States too. I know. They are very good people and a very private culture who pays very generously and adequately. They are very loyal to their beliefs and they are usually not disrespecting other peoples cultures and values. It’s other sects and people disrespecting them, and that’s how the radicalism and extremism begins.
They contribute a lot of money. None of the critics and skeptics talk about their economic contribution to this nation.
I feel like we can command respect for our country without trying to convict a race and religion of specific people that we first welcomed into the country. Now they have made a network with other Muslims all around the world to defend themselves against cultural slander.
The problems never come to pass until people are being disrespectful and hurtful, racially profiling, harassing, injuring, slandering, embarrassing, humiliating etc.
I have long spoken to journalists about the difference in being honest about personal issues and feelings, and being carelessly hurtful and dangerous using public information to harm people. People of Muslim culture have wives, children and others who are impacted by what they perceive as unprovoked disrespect.
We have more invested in opposition than we do in peace, and that’s what’s wrong.
I was building something similar to a Charlie Hebdo in 1998 but not four purpose of conflict or harm. I overcame what 1 in millions overcame and was independent.
I used my own money that I earned to start doing something no one else was able to do in the way I was doing it. And there were very few black people in that part of information technology.
I was ambushed by a political system and had it ripped away from me injuriously and illegally to try to prevent black people from being empowered and catching up to the curve, so to speak, during a time when the African American vote became a critical and pivotal issue during the Al Gore/George Bush campaigns after the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in a GOP organized sex scandal that Mr. Clinton enabled due to his personal conduct. It was all a very ugly time and all these issues and events effected the whole world from the common person to the White House around the same time frame in history. Not to mention the Y2K scare and the Black Out in New York to test hitting the cultural panic button of fear about computer information and data loss and having no power supply to sustain electronics the world had grown dependent upon.
The following is one of the campaign signs from that time. The African American vote became significant during this time in a way that had never occurred in history.
Those are the facts.
Mr. Clinton was caught with his pants down and parody and humiliation was made of him. Many in cartoon form. His family was heckled and ridiculed. And so was Monica Lewinsky. Some people died because of the scandal. A few fell sick with unexplainable illness, having been gradually poisoned in some way to induce health problems, and they don’t even know it.
To silence them.
This period in time drew out modern forms of racism, partisan beliefs and anger about class and gender.
There was an agenda to try to take ownership of the country to the detriment of certain people.
Exploitation of poverty, sex, race and gender would be used to divide the country in a post 20th century agenda attempting to own the 21st century.
A lot of people were lost, trapped and stuck within political entanglements unknown to them because they were caught up in public and cultural psychology that had them blinded, and also inventoried into an electronic automated database by government. Like the blind leading the blind.
There were people who survived who were never suppose to survive.
So they came up with a show (Survivor) to see what it would take for a human to survive in the 21st Century to see what it would take to starve all the ones who did not know how to survive like that. They also came up with Fear Factor to learn what it would take to scare or panic a new culture and generation. They had already started planning and testing culture using films like Surviving the Game starring Ice T and years later films about isolation, alienation and suffering alone in Cast Away with Tom Hanks , I Am Legend with Will Smith.
Isn’t it strange how throughout history most artist were starved, but their work was never starved, and used to build economics for others who exploited them?
The entertainment and cultural systems are what really sustain this country.
Everything people work for is about want they want to do when they are not working.
The conflicts are all about some form of social abuse.
Political and economic abuse by sectors who want to control everything and are willing to harm and disrespect people who think differently and express it.
To control people you have to have everyone locked into the same psychology. Great artist make people think beyond the conform.
Lets just say it this way. Artists are being blamed for all the things the politicians, lawyers, police officers and others, like those in the church who use faith wrongly, are actually cause of. Saying that and making that known is considered political and religious controversy.
The artist is simply showing the reflection of society to the people who are making themselves visible. That reflection shows who they really are and what they really do.Or attempts to make humor and parody about something they do or should do.
Veteran journalist Bernie Goldberg talked about the Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili and called it “crap”, which he says was used to create it, and in the past journalist Eric Bolling talked about a piece called Piss Christ by Andres Serrano.
So, what they did was disparaged ALL artists because of a few artist who are a little more extreme about their style to technique. I don’t really think they were trying to be insulting to all the arts, but my point is, that’s how it can be taken.
And some people go into radical resistance when they are feeling like they are on the receiving end of it. They were trying to make a reference to something they did not agree with, and that’s okay, but again, we have to also try to be responsible when we disagree too. So don’t take offense to them, they are good guys, things just came out wrongly sometime.
Because they take offense to single pieces of individual artwork and their creator, they made statements that generalized all artists.
Obviously there was not a pile of crap with a title on it. They were beautiful images just using controversial topics, subjects and methods.
It was anger about what someone tried to tell other people they can say, think, believe and feel based upon beliefs that are not their own.
Bernie doesn’t make art. Eric doesn’t make art. No disrespect to them, but they could be cause for sparking up something that can get people harmed, simply because they don’t like or agree with something.
And even if they did create, it’s not really what they do, so the cultural value would not be the same, unless someone was just paying them off.
All of the national and international concerns are about trying to kill the voices of the future and trying to ruin economic competition because they don’t want to share.
And blaming creatives to distract and divert attention from the money. I focus on the economics.
I know for sure that even if they don’t admit it, or if some are yet unaware, I have the respect of all the artists and creatives who make real content and provide the entertainment that gives the world purpose and sanity.
What really needs to happen is that our political system needs to stop being so disrespectful to artists.
And artists have to be careful about how they use their medium in ways beyond necessity.
We are in a culture where no one seems to care how and when they offend.
And going farther no one seems to care who offends or harms the artists.
Charlie, and other artists too, had long been attacked. But Charlie appears to have provoked something beyond art, intentionally, to upset and willfully offend in ways that are felt to be intentionally disrespectful to harm over an endured time.
We have hundreds of thousands of journalists and political people talking or thinking adversely about art and many don’t even know what really happened yet and don’t even really support art. Just jumping on a bandwagon.
They want to express their beliefs but don’t want everyone else to have the same freedom. That’s crazy.
Charlie Hebdo released an edition with Mohammed on it making mockery of the Prophet. He provoked people to be violently upset, on purpose.
Muslim culture has a great sense of humor. They are not upset because of humor. They are upset because of what they believe to be harmful, hurtful and willful disparaging disrespect against their faith system. And really it’s not Muslim culture of all sects. It’s the section that is more radical against disrespect.
And perhaps there is something to be said for the belief that it’s accepted that it’s okay to hurt people on one side but not okay on the other.
Some are puzzled at why a cartoon could lead to something like what occurred. That goes to show that art images and words can be more than what it appears to be. There is no one definitive definition.
Charlie Hebdo as an organization would forge on releasing a new cover and image in the name of art and freedom to express, but most certainly more mindful of how images can impact culture both for good and for bad. And as history and fate would have it, art would again turn the wheel of culture for mankind.
There is an audio program on the issues surround this topic and freedom of speech at www.regradney.com to inform you and also be a source of education, entertainment and awareness.
There is also a tab to contribute if you have enjoyed this quality material and want to be a part of making it possible.