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The Rot of Abstract Lies

20 Oct

I was in Grade 5. The teacher of the enrichment class for the gifted children announced that we were going to study art. We were going to learn about all of the great artists from history and then each of us would choose one upon whom to base a project. The assignment would consist of an essay about the artist and our own painting depicting something in his style. 

I was sent to this class one day out of every 6-school-day cycle and over the next two of these days, she read from this large, hardcover book on the history of art. Starting from the ancient art on caves and the Greeks and Romans, through the Renaissance and Romantic periods, then impressionism, post-impressionism and on into modern abstract art. She read through the entire book, listing painter’s names and showing examples of their work, explaining why each is important. 

At the end of the second day, after some no-doubt glowing descriptions of the latest phase of deconstructionist art and how it shapes reality, she closed the book and laid it on the desk. “Now it is time to choose the artist for your project!” she exclaimed.

One by one, the small, all-male class mentioned the name of one of the artists from the lessons whom they would study further. When it came to me, I asked if I could look through the book and decide. It was my way of saying that I could not remember the name of the artist I was thinking of. Recalling names is a problem that has plagued me my entire life – especially remembering a single name from a large list or group of people. 

“No,” I was told. I had to choose right now.

“Well, it was the one with all the tiny dots.”

“Who do you mean?”

“Well, he used tiny dots to make pictures.”

“What kind of pictures?”

“Well there was that one at a park with all the different people.”

“I thought you said it was dots.”

“Yeah, he used dots to make them.”

“Jackson Pollock used dots. Do you mean Jackson Pollock.”

“I… I don’t think so…”

“What era was he.”

“He was an impressionist.”

“Well Jackson Pollock wasn’t impressionist.”

“I think this was impressionism.”

“Well, I don’t know what kind of dots you mean then. Was it Jackson Pollock?”

“um… maybe…”

“Do you want to do Jackson Pollock?”


“Fine. That’s wonderful.”

 The artist I was thinking of was the French Impressionist, George-Pierre Seurat, and the painting I remembered was A Sunday on the Island of La Grande Jatte, the one later featured prominently in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I distinctly remember her explaining his technique of using tiny dots of paint of various colours to make his paintings. Apparently, she couldn’t remember saying that, but, I was expected to remember the name. By “all the different people” I was attempting to explain her reference to the subjects of the painting who represented each class of society in France at the time. 

I had no idea who Jackson Pollock was. I was only relieved that I had the name of an artist I could study and the humiliation of not remembering the name was over. She did seem rather tickled that one of her students had chosen such a progressive artist. All I had to do was remember the name. 

Jackson Pollock.  Jackson Pollock. Jackson Pollock. Jackson Pollock. Jackson Pollock. 

The next week, I opened the book and found the section on Jackson Pollock and started reading about him. I was amazed and dumbfounded to see the scribbling messes that made him famous. Why were these considered art, much less, important art. A classmate walked over to look and said he was doing Jackson Pollock too. 

“He’s good, isn’t he?” he said. 

I nodded in agreement, still trying to work out what I was supposed to see that was good in these messes of paint. I asked the teacher if we were allowed to do the same guy. 

“No. Cully is doing Jackson Pollock. J____, you’ll have to choose someone else.

 I felt confused, threatened, relieved and disappointed at the same time. Disappointed that I was not going to get a chance to find out who the original artist I wanted was. Confused that the other student had somehow managed to change his selection from the previous class and threatened that he had somehow figured out who Jackson Pollock was all on his own. The relief was due to the idea that had begun to form in my mind the moment I gazed at one of the works by the esteemed Jackson Pollock. It was the one thing, besides the intimidation from the woman in charge of the class, that held me back from saying “Hold on, J____ can take this hack Pollock. I’ll do someone else.” 

These paintings required no artistic skill. 

See, this project had been a huge source of anxiety from the very start. I was no artist. I couldn’t even write neatly. Art was the one subject which held me back from getting straight A’s on many occasions. Math, language, music, history had been consistent A’s or B+’s every year for me. Art always garnered a B or even C (with D’s to come in later grades). In my 5 years of schooling, I had achieved a single A on a mid-term report in Art. For some reason, I couldn’t put paint, crayon or pencil to paper impressively enough to coax an A from the art teacher. So, to discover that I could splatter and squiggle paint like a Jackson Pollock painting and get a good grade was like finding the answer sheet stuck to the back of your copy of a test you hadn’t studied for. I can make something like that and call it art? Trying to explain why it was art would still be a challenge, but, creative writing was my greatest strength and most pleasurable activity. 

So, I watched J____ go off to find another painter to research while I tried to figure out why Jackson Pollock was worth looking at. All I could find was that some art critic had discovered him in an apartment filled with paintings in New York. He was featured in some galleries and became the talk of the art world. I couldn’t decipher any meaning about the work or what it was supposed to mean other than the canvases were vast and moving and blah-dee blah-dee blah, something about nature and space. He died in a fiery crash with 2 women on board. Turns out my teacher had steered me toward a depressive, womanizing drunk.

 When it came time to do the painting, I set the large sheet of paper on the floor and stared at it. Sometime later, the teacher came by and encouraged me to actually put some paint on the paper. I had my cans all ready with brushes dipped upside-down in the yellow and black and red paint. I finally chose which colour to start with and began a flurry of dripping and dabbing until the paper was mostly covered with dots and squiggles. Oops, I spilled yellow from the can as I leaned over to the top of the page. No problem, just make the splash part of it. The actual painting was probably done in about 10 minutes. It was fun and actually looked like something – what, I had no idea.

 So, when I was done splattering, spilling and squiggling, I set the painting to dry. At the next class, the teacher presented our works with construction paper frames she had made herself and asked us for the names for the bottom plate. 

“Cully, do you have a name for your work?” Names, she explained were extremely important for abstract art to give them reference. My mind squirmed with this idea trying to reconcile it with the actual names of Pollock’s works like Number 1, 1950 and No. 5, 1948. Could I call it Composition? Work 1? Nothing came forth from my churning mind. Silence resulted. The heart-wrenching classroom silence that an unanswerable question from the teacher produces.

 “Don’t you have a name?”

I looked at the confusing mess and my mind drew a blank.

“What does it remind you of?”


“Come on. Use your imagination.”


“OK, what is something that you find confusing?”

I reached into the shallow recesses of childish memories and thought of the family gatherings where adults filled the room with incomprehensible chatter. “A room full of people talking.” I muttered.

Eventually, she steered me to a more articulate-sounding word for “people talking” and my page of scribbles and splashes was named Conversations. Exasperated, but, glad to be unburdened of the task, I slunk back in my chair. Something felt empty. The work was a joke, but, looking at the works of the rest of the class, mine was the only one that didn’t look like a joke. The others all had to make attempts at painting people and none were remarkable. Still, I respected them more for their failure than for my success. The teacher might have been a passable art history teacher, but, she was definitely not an art teacher. Confusion, embarrassment mixed with a mysterious feeling of unearned pride made for a strange mix of emotions. 

My mother looked at the painting and beamed. “Wonderful!” she proclaimed. She made room on the wall beside the dining room table and mounted it prominently in the room. We ate dinner every night with the painting hung prominently on the wall. On the opposite side of the table was a formal dinette set filled with fine Royal Daulton figurines and bone china decorative plates my mom collected. I regarded it with bouts of admiration, resentment and apathy. Trying to shrug off the most overwrought compliments but unable to fend off the inevitable vanity that comes with too much praise. Underlying the sugary compliments, I knew that if I had tried to paint what I really wanted, something difficult and challenging, it would not have elicited any admiration nor would it have hung on such a wall. It would have been displayed on the fridge for a few months and then dropped in a drawer somewhere, forgotten. 

“My son, the artist.” my mother would say. I had to admit that there was a certain aesthetic quality to the work, but, I had only copied the style of a charlatan. There was less artistic merit to this than there was to wall paper.

The class for gifted children was supposed to help us grow. I grew a conceit and pomposity for having experienced modern art. I could “see” it. When people looked at a circle and a dot on a blank canvas and proclaimed that it wasn’t art, I claimed to know better. My mind had been opened to seeing what wasn’t there. I could pretend to comprehend and appreciate modern art. The main thing that grew was a kind of rot. I had learned to lie.

True to its name, the painting did spawn many actual conversations. Every time a guest at the house looked at it and told me how much they loved it. I attempted humility but internalized hubris. They looked at lines and made interpretations of what was happening in the “conversation”. The big splash of yellow was an argument. The black against red was oppression. The name that had been coaxed and dug out of my mind like a painful tooth imposed a false subtext on the random scratches and splashes on the paper. Except there was nothing wrong with the tooth to begin with. The confusion I felt as a child was normal. It was meant to be there inside me at that stage of growth like a baby tooth hiding its adult replacement. Instead of gradually loosening and falling away to make room for the larger more robust adult version, it was plied out prematurely and displayed for all to see. It left a hole into which the adulation poured and festered as shame and narcissism, rotting the growing adult before it could emerge.

I learned something about abstract art. But, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned what that lesson actually was. The falsehood that consumed my inner artist was real. Even if I didn’t define it, the effects of living a false persona were felt deeply. My life was lived with this false vanity and pretense. I walked around art galleries and pretended I was enjoying it and actually believed myself. I tried to live that inner life but it was rotting with lies. I didn’t find out that Pollock’s art was funded by the CIA in any of my research. Perhaps my pompous teacher would never have heard of Pollock were it not for the cold war. I didn’t realize that his life was empty and he tried to fill it with alcohol and sex. Still, that same emptiness was poured into my being and I was corrupted. The vanity and group-think that makes people stare blankly at a senseless painting and fool themselves into believing that it moves them corrupts everything now. When we applaud children who make mundane proclamations and call it insight, we corrupt the soul of the world and the decay spreads further.

I finally saw it in myself and have done my best to purge the rot. We all need to recognize it now and make the same attempt.

Why Come Down for Dinner?

15 Dec

This is from an actual conversation.

Dad: [Name removed]! Can you come down now?

Son: Why?

Dad: To eat dinner.

Son: Why?

Dad: So you won’t be hungry.

Son: Why?

Dad: So you’ll grow big and strong.

Son: Why?

Dad: Because it’s fun.

Son: Why?

Dad: Because there is lot’s to do.

Son: Why?

Dad: Because it’s a big world.

Son: Why?

Dad: Because of gravity.

Son: Why?

Dad: No one knows why gravity works.

Son: (sliding down the stairs on his belly face first, like a skeleton rider.) Why is the sun on fire?

Dad: Because of the energy produced by the force of gravity.

Son: Are other stars bigger than the sun?

Dad: Yes, some are.

Son: How do you know?

Dad: Because scientists with big telescopes can look at them and use math to figure out how big they are and how far away.

Son: I knew that.

Dad: Then why did you ask?

Son: Because I like to.

Dad: Then you are going to be a smart man one day.

I Am Not Able To Live Up To The Ideals of The Church Of Splendor

8 Sep

But, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

The second rule of the Church Of Splendor is I am not arguing with you. You can read more about the rules here. I believe that Greg Swann is at 5 now, but, he may have added more. I avidly watch his videos when they come out and try to keep up with his prodigious writings at . I am busy maintaining my middle-class status which requires work more than anything. I work at a job and I work at home and, most importantly, I work at my marriage. The last item is the one that listening to Greg helps me with the most. “Marriage is the second most important relationship in your life. The most important, being your relationship with yourself.” “Working at” your marriage: What does it mean – and why bother?

So, I take the rules kind of seriously. Even though the rules themselves are a little whimsical sounding, they are incredibly serious – or more rightly, seriously important.

I still have trouble living up to the rules, especially number two. I love to share ideas. I love to think about my own ideas and test them out and test my own understanding of ideas, my own or otherwise. This makes it difficult to live rule #2. I still feel the need to try to pursuade people to my opinion through arguments.

Although I realize that this may cause me to inflict pain which lowers my own self opinion, I feel that I am entitled to defend my positions in so far as my opponents advocate for action, through elected government that causes me harm. This is a form of self-defence. One day, I may be in a position where I believe I am capable of withstanding government inflicted harm where upon, arguing with people will cause more harm than good. This is still my goal and it is my goal to attain such self-reliance.

For the time being, I am very vulnerable to actions taken on behalf of government and government only seems to be getting stronger. In the present situation, I maintain that I am better off sharing my opinions and arguing with others to defend my positions as well as voting to affect the government to do less harm to my person, family and property. This may make me a bad anarchist, but, pragmatism is still influencing my actions.

So, I continue to argue, argue and argue as long as my fellow citizens are so enamoured by Marxist ideas they can’t even understand. I am currently being goaded by a couple of what Rand called the looter class on Facebook. I wrote this post instead, trying to back myself down from making harmful comments. The comment I want to write is basically this:

The leftist in Canada could shit his pants and blame Stephen Harper. Then he’d call on government to clean up his mess.

This is a devastating comment that will certainly cause anger and could cause irreparable harm to the relationship I have with the person who’s profile I’m commenting on. I hope that I can come up with some way to make my point without damaging the person involved. This is an example of why Greg wants followers of the Church to avoid arguing. I can see why it is right, but, I have difficulty living up to the ideal.

Isn’t that what church is supposed to be about?

The Safe Play

24 Jan

Each day grinds me down like the lead of a pencil. Each night I whittle the pencil down into a sharp point with dreams of the previous day’s markings and the world I hope to build for myself one day.

I once proudly showed a co-worker the macro I had created to save me hours per day in data analysis. “Spreadsheets.” He said. “Is that what you want your life’s big accomplishment to be? When you tell your son what your life’s work resulted in, are you going tell him you made rows of data look nice?”

It was disconcerting to receive this reaction. I was using my knowledge and skill to organize data and make it meaningful. He didn’t know an integer from a text value. He had inherited a different set of ideals and ambitions than I had and had not focused on learning skills with data tools that I found essential for keeping my place in the economy. I know he sensed that there was more to me than picking through numbers in a corporate office. We were both in the wrong place for different reasons. I was there out of necessity. I needed to work to support myself and my family. He was there because a family member, a senior executive, had gotten him the job. My group had been the recipient of a nepotistic-political hire.

Of course, he was treated with kid gloves, even when it became apparent that he didn’t like the work we were doing. Technical data analysis was not exactly what he considered interesting. Eventually, everyone noticed the real reason for his placement. The executives of our department gave regular speeches over the phone. The whole department would gather in small groups in the various meeting rooms to listen together, but, he always went missing shortly before these events. We found out that he was in the board room with the executives, one of whom was his family member. Whatever menial task had been assigned to him for our group was not as important as the work he did for her. He was writing her speeches.

Executive speeches are the most carefully crafted language that exists, outside of the political realm. The messages have to be congratulatory without sounding pandering, optimistic yet cautious, inspiring and encouraging. Every sentence spoken in Executivese is designed to sound as if it contains authoritative and concrete statements while only giving glimpses of the real meaning behind them. The latest business buzz words are mixed with diplomatic language hinting at what departments might expect to reduce the number of employees, where the money will be invested and which departments are going to have to change their focus and methods.

Once I learned that he was writing these speeches, I sent every politically delicate email that couldn’t word properly to him for final editing. Each one came back with my lumbering sentences transformed into the most articulate, concise, professional wording that I’d ever seen. He was a real magician with language.

The man left soon after his relation moved on. My boss got tired of him; he didn’t belong there. I learned a lot about writing professionally and a few other tricks of the trade while we worked together. He showed me a few of his blog posts. I thought they were rather brilliant. I showed him some of mine from that period. He thought they were well written, but, on the gloomy side. I guess we had different perspectives entirely. Whatever schooling he had received, private no doubt, prepared him for a career I had no right to dream about with my unambitious youth. Still, we found common ground.

I looked him up and found a Linkden account and he seems to be doing very well. He was made for the executive lifestyle.

Me, I’m not an executive. I keep at it with my spreadsheets and databases, knowing that while I am good at it, it is not my ideal work. I’m trying to build something besides a long corporate tenure, pension plan and retirement plan. It’s the safe play I took when I was young, after wasting my younger days with no direction. Now, I know I have to make a solid attempt at making something bigger before the pencil whittles down too far. If it fails, at least I can say that I tried to build something more than spreadsheets for some executive.

Feminism is a Power Play

20 Jan

You are likely familiar with the friendly face of equality feminism. You were told that all feminists want is equality of the sexes. However, you may not realize that feminism has turned the basic human relationship between man and woman into a power struggle. Enter the Cultural Marxists. Instead of an agreement or union between two individual human beings, feminism, when it isn’t openly at war with marriage, has inserted itself as an agent of the female party to fight against the male party who they’ve decided belongs to the most evil of male creations, the Patriarchy. The Patriarchy, so they claim, informs all of your biases and beliefs. It causes everything from marital violence to rape to the wage gap. Males, according to feminists, invented marriage to oppress women under The Patriarchy. The Patriarchy enforced rigid gender roles and invented the whole concept of gender just so masculine people would have someone to oppress. Everything is political, politics is power and power is divided unequally between groups and groups constantly battle to oppress one another. You are either an oppressor or oppressed. You can see how such a divisive philosophy intruding itself into your personal relationship could cause problems. If your wife accepts the notion that she is a victim of oppression and you belong to a privileged class that enforces this dynamic, you are going to lose every argument because you will likely try to see it as an argument between two equals. However, feminism instructs its female adherents to see it as an argument between two members of unequal classes. The purpose of this is not to achieve equality, it is actually to undermine, alter and destroy society.

To put it short, feminism ceased being about equality about the same time that equality, as defined by individual freedoms was achieved years ago. No individual is prevented from pursuing his or her dreams until you invent concepts (excuses) like privilege and micro-aggression and insist on constantly inventing new segments of society that are further and further ostracized by the mainstream. Now we have more and more groups like LGBT and trans-people who claim that society oppresses them for not going out of its way to be inclusive for them. As a male, they say that everything you have earned is due to male privilege. Your abilities, your hard work, your commitment have had nothing to do with whatever success you’ve achieved. To feminists, or anyone who follows identity politics, you just got lucky to be born male. Multiply this privilege by 50 if you happen to be white as well.

You’re saying that you probably don’t have to deal with this, because, your wife-to-be is not feminist, or at least doesn’t take it this far. The problem is, feminism has been working its way into the mainstream in  a myriad of ways. It permeates virtually everything – politics, law, culture, academics, business and so on. Everyone who doesn’t actually make themselves aware of the inner workings of feminist politics is susceptible to its malignancy. It must be actively resisted like a contagion or a tumor.

Since the mainstream has completely swallowed the feminist pill believing that it is only about achieving equality. Even people who claim not to be feminists, will often be heard spouting feminist propaganda that has infected everything. The only way to be sure that someone is immune is if they actually denounce and reject feminism. So, your wife-to-be has likely learned to nod along when Oprah, some Hollywood Celebrity or some pop singer spouts on about helping women with whatever problem seems to be plaguing them while males are denigrated and male suffering is ignored. She is likely trained not to be judgmental when young women behave in self-destructive, slutty ways and just say you go-girl. I call it, aptly Oprah feminism or you go-girl feminism.

The result of failure or inability to pass judgment on behavior is Miley Cyrus, who I say is a result of too much GO-GIRL and not enough WOAH, GIRL! It’s all well and good for her to act as if slutting around the world is no big deal because whatever personal problems result from her behavior, she can afford the damage control, rehab and therapy money can buy. It’s not so, for your future daughters. They will have to face every consequence their actions cause. It’s no better for your sons who will have to face hyper-sexualized, hypergamous young ladies.

Now, even if your wife is sensible and understands your concerns with feminism, or simply doesn’t think about it and it’s not a discussion you have, feminism allows friends and family to ask questions about your “treatment” of her. Did you disagree with your wife about something? Well, friends, family and acquaintances who buy into feminism think it is their right and their duty to berate your for not letting the woman have her way in all matters. They’re afraid that your wife is not empowered enough to stand up for herself in your marriage. It doesn’t matter how fairly matters in your marriage are handled, feminism will try to make it seem as though the two of you are not alone in the room.

Now cheer up. There are many strategies for combating feminism in your personal life. Remember, every strong marriage is like a stone in radical feminism’s marching boot. It bothers them that a man and woman can be happy together. There are feminists who do not think this way. There are MRA’s who fight for fathers rights, should things go wrong. But most importantly, there are truth-speakers who will help you find a way to make a strong marriage work by learning about the true nature of human relationships and the political system.

Everything A Man Needs To Know Before Getting Married (Part 1 of ∞)

20 Jan

So you’re going to get married.

First, I’d like to say, congratulations. You have found someone you love, trust and respect enough to share your life. Someone who will help you attain everything you want out of life and who will accept your love and support to help her get everything she wants. A good marriage will lift the individuals within it to higher levels of life satisfaction than could possibly be attained alone. I’m happy for you.

I have one more thing to say: Are you nuts??? How sure are you about this person’s integrity and honour? Are you capable of earning this person’s love years and decades into the future? Do you understand the risks that you are taking to tie your fate and fortune to a woman who may choose not to honour her vows or falters in her emotional commitment to you? Are you ready to stand up for yourself in the face of a woman influenced by a combination of natural imperative, emotional turmoil and an victim mentality instilled in her by outsiders insisting on inserting their agenda into your union?

Are you still interested? Good. You must be brave. Marriage takes courage. Despite the risks, I strongly believe that marriage can be beneficial for the participants. I also believe it is the foundation of society. For a human culture to survive and thrive, it must have strong, healthy relationships between people and marriage is the strongest, most important of these bonds. Two strong people committed to each other for their entire lives enhance each person’s abilities and help them face adversity that they couldn’t face individually. This strength makes for confidence that governments, corporations and other organizations cannot compete with.

Now, in order to create a strong marriage, men must understand some basic facts about their own nature and the nature of their wives as well as the politics and culture that they must face.

1. Feminism is a power play.

2. Marriage is for the purpose of procreation.

3. Female Hypergamy

4. The Man Must Lead

5. You must earn love every day.

I will add links to actual articles as they are posted.