What does God think of your Facebook Thoughts and Prayers?

facebook

Viewing posts tagged facebook

What does God think of your Facebook Thoughts and Prayers?

Virtue Signaling: ever heard of it?

How many times do you see people post something that – if you pay close attention – is crafted to advertise to the world how concerned they are, how righteously angry they are… that they are “worried” about the “right things”?

Being “virtuous” has never been more in style – problem is, it’s really just a game of “Hey everyone, look at me! I’m better than ________”.

Ninja level question: How often have YOU done that?

I certainly have done an embarrassing amount of it over the course of my social media career, and yes, calling out the virtue signalers can be read as a meta-version of that. Yep. I get it.

A desert dwelling guru called Yeshua once said,

“When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

I think if Yeshua had known about Facebook back then, he would have said,

“When thou prayest, remember that Thy Father is in heaven, and not on Facebook. He hateth that shit. Whilst thou may use Facebook to gently invite others to pray for the downtrodden, thou shalt not advertise thine own prayers, for thou runnest the risk of thy reward being the approval of men, rather than communion with thy Father and / or Mother who art in heaven, but are divorced and not on speaking terms with one another, so you’ll need to call them separately, but that is another story for another parable, beloved ones”.

The controversy begins

I had the privilege and pleasure of FINALLY shooting my piece de resistance, “The Blood And Sins Of This Generation”. I have not released the final image yet, as I’m still doing some work on it. I did, however post a few behind-the-scenes images on Facebook. I’ve been planning this shoot since last October, and anyone who is close to me has been hearing me ramble about it for MONTHS on end. SO…. I figured that a few out-takes and behind the scenes photos would be fun to share.

I put up several photos, including this one of myself with my model, Amie. Someone reported it to Facebook as “inappropriate”, and it was removed. I now have to sign all of these stupid agreements that I understand the terms of facebook usage, that I agree not to post inappropriate material in the future, etc. What a pain in the ass! At first I was really angry. A few minutes have passed, and I have regained my perspective. Of course it happened. That kind of response is what this shoot was calculated to evoke.

The final piece is layered in symbolism and social commentary. I’ll give you the short of it right now: On the first level, it is a recreation of a firing squad execution, inspired by the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner by the state of Utah in 2010. My goal is to create a photograph that is incredibly repulsive, to evoke even a small part of the horror that is the reality of our society’s practice of capital punnishment. To do this, I decided to sexualize it. My decision to sexualize the scene is a satire upon the right wing portion of society’s tolerance, and even fascination with, violence. The naked, sexy girl, of course represents the repressed desires of this same portion of society. The fact that she has been executed is a representation of the way many people must “kill” their desires, because they are unable to come to terms with them in a healthy way.

In summary, I am:

  • depicting the revolting reality of capital punnishment
  • satirizing and critisizing the dichotomous hatred and fascination with sex
  • satirizing the tolerance of violence and intolerance of sexuality in mainstream entertainment
  • raising questions about 2 conflicting models of moral accountability (I have not given this any treatment yet… it’s a longer story, and I’ll write more about it soon).
The role of the artist is to disturb.

I’m not here to make pretty pictures.
I am here to free t
he slaves. 

UPDATE:

As I logged on to Facebook today, I was presented with a screen informing me that YET ANOTHER one of my photos was reported as inappropriate. I had to check a box agreeing that I would not post more inappropriate photos before I could log in. I also have been banned from uploading photos for the next 7 days. Here are two more photos that got removed: