Mark Creegan Was Right! The Thunder Rolls…

Mark Creegan was right.

The long experiment is now concluded, the laws have been revealed to be a farce.

It was an experiment, and I learned a lot, but what I learned was foretold by quite a few people, Mark Creegan, Valuistics and others promised me I was wrapped up in quixotic passion, and they were right.

My attempts to rally my fellow artists to become philosophers and social activists, in a time such as ours, was truly regressive and utopian, and now I realize that if I remain committed to this I threaten everything good about being an artist.

Many will say.  Why the hell are you bringing all this shit up again?  Why drag this fight back into globatron?  Why not just leave well enough alone?

Well, if there are any ideals left in me, there is the idea of speaking of my experience, and perhaps of giving a man his due.  Now, Mark did fail to convince me of his argument.  In fact, it was after a long and varied process that I came to the conclusions he offered, but his inability to convince me does not undermine the truth of his instincts.  And of course, I am using him a bit to symbolize all those who fought against my campaign to turn globatron into a meeting ground for a new fellowship of politically-minded artists.

To be clear, I am not taking responsibility for the fiasco that I will now refer to as The Chicken Wire Project, and all that happened as a result of our investigation.  Such an internet event occurs because of many individuals bringing to bear a great variety of passions, and I learned so much from it, and so I don’t regret it.  But, I do want to stress that at the heart of my passion was pain, hurt, and an unwillingness to accept many of the injustices that are part of our human experience, and such willfulness is not only dangerous, as they argued, it is ultimately counter-productive, and I see that now.

So, I am no longer going to be fighting “The Man.”  In fact, the more I detach from the delusion of omnipotence, the more I see the beauty in the state of things.  If I really wanted to make things better, I would get out there and volunteer and get involved.  The fact remains, that I am an artist, and the guilt I feel over this must be transcended, and I must accept that being an artist is good, regardless of my inability to see its ultimate ends.

There is no hidden motive in this post except to speak to this singular point, that Mark Creegan was right, and I was wrong.  I must say, I am always happiest when I admit defeat.  It is a strange feeling, but I would guess I am not alone in this…well, the digression, my specialty, is beginning so I will wish those who were part of the great Laws Project all my best.

Akbar Lightning

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  1. globatron
    January 21, 2010

    Enter The Oracle:

    Neo’s first meeting with The Oracle is a critical turning point in The Matrix. Now that the trilogy is complete, let’s go back and look at that meeting to better understand The Oracle’s role in Neo’s journey. Through much of The Matrix, Neo is our doppleganger. We experience the difficult awakening and the gradual awareness of Neo’s powers much as he does. The discussion with The Oracle is no exception. As Neo struggles to find meaning in her words, the audience struggles along with him. It’s only later we learn that The Oracle “told [Neo] exactly what [he] needed to hear”. So what did Neo need to hear? What exactly was the Oracle telling him? In an attempt to answer these questions, we’re going to examine the dialogue in detail.

    [Scene: The Oracle’s apartment building]
    Neo: So is this the same Oracle that made the prophecy?
    Morpheus: Yes. She’s very old. She’s been with us since the beginning.
    Neo: The beginning…?
    Morpheus: Of the Resistance.
    Neo: And she knows what, everything?
    Morpheus: She would say she knows enough.
    Neo: And she’s never wrong.
    Morpheus: Try not to think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide, Neo. She can help you to find the path.

    This is our first hint that The Oracle isn’t really interested in telling the future. She may be interested in knowing it, but she’s not some fortune teller who’s going to rhyme off all the things that will happen to you, or all the things you’re going to do. She’s going to guide you; she’s going to help you find the path. This is a critical context for the scene that follows. The Oracle is guiding Neo with every word she says.

    Neo: She helped you?
    Morpheus: Yes.
    Neo: What did she tell you?
    Morpheus: That I would find the one…. I told you I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it.

    [Scene: The Oracle’s apartment]
    Priestess: Hello, Neo. You’re right on time…. Make yourself at home, Morpheus. Neo, come with me…. These are the other potentials, you can wait here.

    The potentials are other candidates waiting to meet with The Oracle. Notice they’re all children – except for Neo. This goes back to Morpheus’ comment soon after waking Neo: “We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age. It’s dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go.”

    Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
    Neo: There is no spoon?
    Spoon boy: Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

    “There is no spoon.” One of the most common catchphrases that has entered the lexicon as a result of The Matrix. There is no spoon – the spoon exists only in the Matrix, which really means it doesn’t exist as a physical object. This is an important lesson for Neo, to help him realize that manipulating the Matrix isn’t about focusing on an object and trying to change it. The object doesn’t exist, so he can’t change it, he has to change himself. Metaphorically, it’s all in his head – he has to look inside to exact any control, to bring about even the smallest change.

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  2. Akbar Lightning
    January 21, 2010

    i wanted to add one little anecdote as to my final understanding concerning the rebellion against post-modernism.

    i saw some clip of Christopher Walken posted, i believe, on some Facebook page devoted to post-modernism…anyways, Christopher Walken was dancing around and acting in some unknown movie, having a ball, and I thought to myself, because who doesn’t feel more relaxed anytime they see Walken, I thought, perhaps post-modernism is an adequate response to our time, perhaps such relativity, such openness is the best we got right now, and i felt better, i felt like yeah, relax…enjoy life, and that’s when i realized what a drag it was trying to make the world a better place, and how much easier it is to make my immediate experience a better place.

    anywhoo, i owe the final bursting of the bubble to that clip.

    akbar

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  3. kelly
    January 23, 2010

    I have trouble with this statement:

    “If I really wanted to make things better, I would get out there and volunteer and get involved. The fact remains, that I am an artist, and the guilt I feel over this must be transcended.”

    The first step is for you to transcend your idea of what art is, what an artist does, and what being an artist means. What stops you from being an artist who “goes out there and gets involved”? And why can’t “volunteering and getting involved” inform your practice? If you stop making work like your previous work, are you no longer an artist? Does an artist who thought they were a painter cease to be an artist when they start self-publishing and running an alternative cultural space?

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  4. Akbar Lightning
    January 23, 2010

    Hi Kelly,

    i’m sorry you have trouble with that statement. it seemed obvious that it was an attempt at being self-critical, and to submit to a certain limitation that was implied by many of our critics who said that artists ought not be bound by old forms of morality.

    i do a fair bit of volunteering…but the whole piece was about not having to turn my art itself into a soapbox…

    if there is some transcendent vision of art you would like to share, please do…but to criticize this statement in an entire post meant to admit to a kind of ideological wrong-headedness is the equivalent of kicking a man when he’s down, especially as your comment lacks a proactive answer to the question you are posing.

    akbar

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  5. Akbar Lightning
    January 23, 2010

    i just want to clarify that i will continue to paint, and i will also continue to involve myself with globatron, this post has nothing to do with either…it has everything to do with intent, an intent to admit that certain people were right and that i was wrong, about a very particular point. perhaps your comment was meant as an encouragement, but it feels very much like some of the territory covered in the old arguments, concerning my inability, my limitations concerning how ‘i’ see art. i submit perhaps you are right, perhaps everybody is right, except me, but still with no language for you to transmit your transcendent vision to me, what point is there in trying, if i am either too mentally retarded to receive it, or if the language itself makes it impossible. either way, i must assume, if i place you in the position of knowing, that you would know this dilemma. and therefore, i am left with simply stating my instinctual reaction, that somehow this comment is a criticism of me personally.

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