NEW Xoterica Blog Series Page Released

Xoterica Blog Series

A few years ago I created the "Xoterica" Blog Series to channel my craziness into a specific outlet. The series features some of my most aggressive, contemplative, and edgy content.

Each Xoterica blog echoes my raw truth, and questions much of our current reality, culture, and humanity.

The full series is now available on a new Series page that I recently built. You can find the full Xoterica Blog Series by clicking here, or on the image below.

I will create Series pages for a few other common strings that are woven throughout the Artrovert Blog, such as annual "Best of" album lists and my "Xposed" blog series (which I didn't release fully in 2017, but will be working on over the next year). More to come.

As the blogs were created at different times over the last few years, and in different Wordpress themes across iterations of this website, some of the formatting may be a bit wonky. I'm working on cleaning up the Series formatting as well so it has a consistent experience. 

Thanks for reading the Artrovert blog!

Art

#artemissere #artrovert #xoterica #sereticstudios #seretic

Xoterica Blog Series

Xoterica 32: The Mask

Artemis Sere Xoterica 32 The Mask

““Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.““

People act as if wearing a mask is inhumane torture.

People complain about its uncomfortablity in the covid age.

People yearn to return to normal, simpler times, a time when public health, sanitary existence, and social distance were less important, or at least didn't lead to possible exposure to a deadly illness that even our fat, fearless leaders diminish.

Truth is, we're all very used to wearing masks. We're very used to plastic smiles and personal distance. Disharmony is our human tune playing behind the identity we present to each other in person, in public, or on our social media platforms.

I appreciate the primary protagonist from "V for Vendetta" for many reasons, but most of all, because the mask is V's identity. Disfigured beyond recognition in a fire, he could use his twisted visage as a weapon against his foes. He could shrink away from vengeance and responsibility to his passion.

But he doesn't.

Poignant how I come back to the "Ideas are bulletproof" quote, which I featured in my first Xoterica blog. The wisdom resonates loudly in this day and age, a time when science is denied by swaths of Trump-following public and misinformation erodes the integrity of our ideas and ideals on a daily basis.

We each know that the masks we wear are not who we truly are. The paper and filter we use to veil from viruses is disposable, tangible. We don N95 or loop masks to interact with each other now, allowing us to relax the intangible identities we created for social survival. If anything, we're now forced to operate and exist and connect between many layers of disparate masking - one to protect our health, some to protect our secrets, and some to hide the truth.

The masks provide barriers between humans that can't honestly and honorably see eye to eye. They filter out dangerous vapors, and guard against engagement.

In an age when viruses rule the planet, we don't need walls to define a country's borders; we need shields that stand between each of us (ironically, I wrote this blog before the plexiglass reality at the Vice President debate), and new rules of connectivity that keep us healthy while enabling our connective tendencies. Until our public health nightmare is stabilized and under control, masks will be our regular reality. Not a fashion statement. Not a political statement.

A survival statement.

Artemis Sere Masked

In some global cultures wearing masks in public spaces or in crowded areas has been a regular part of human life for a long time. 

Donning masks as protection has been a part of China's society for as long as I can remember. With the size of their population, and some of the other global civilizations that involve close human-to-human contact, protecting oneself from the vapors and viruses that family, friends, neighbors and others pass through the populous is not just safety practice, it's a grave necessity.

Eventually, the detractors and deniers will come around. Influenza will compound with coronavirus to make fall and winter seasons seem like harvest events for humans. Not just this year, but repeated in future years. Bugs will mutate, antibiotics will become less reliable, and desperate races to find some kind of vaccination or treatment for novel attacks on our body will become more frequent.

Even the vaccines will be available depending on what kind of political mask you wear; Kamala Harris has said that she won't take a vaccine that is pushed by the President, unless it has been approved by the CDC or other health-governing bodies. Trump will take anything so long as it makes him seem strong to his base, despite what science tells him.

"Don't be afraid of covid", said the obese, unhealthy man who was admitted to one of the best hospitals in America and pumped with so many drugs that Herbert West would be impressed.

Once, epidemics and pandemics were rare, notable events, killing scores but ultimately conquerable. The frequency of novel viruses will increase, while mutations and adaptations will become more frequent in the coming generations, with some more fierce and more novel than the current coronavirus that we've encountered.

Between overpopulation, indigenous practices, melting permafrost from climate change, deforestation, and other human activities that are collapsing the natural world, it's just a matter of time. Much like our approach to asteroids or other natural events, such as the Yellowstone caldera, we live blissfully day-to-day in the shadow of catastrophe, hoping that we continue to dodge the bullets and heal the flesh wounds that Mother Nature and the Universe attack us with.

Like Mr. Creedy in "V for Vendetta", Donald Trump is overconfident to the point of arrogance, numb to the real struggles of the people that look to him for protection, purpose, or presidency.

The simple days are simply over. There's no returning to social practices that don't involve masks. Now, the masks don't just hide our ideas and identities; they help us dodge the bullets of our undoing, our human catastrophe in the form of a bug.

#maskup #vote2020 #xoterica

Artemis Sere Xoterica 32 The Mask

Xoterica 31: The Bully

Artemis Sere Xoterica 31 The Bully

““I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.““ (Lee)

I've said a lot of mean, degrading, and angry things about the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, since he was elected by a slim margin in 2016. I was so exasperated and driven to anxiety by his victory over Hilary Clinton that I suffered a serious anxiety and asthmatic attack that had me on the brink of breathless until ambulances arrived to save me.

I'd never suffered an attack like that before in my life. Though prone to bronchial illness, I'd never been one to suffer from asthma. I was a soccer player and relatively active, hitting the gym or path with regularity.

I've never been in an actual fight, and, apart from raging in mosh pits, have never been in a physical altercation of any kind. I suppose I was a bit of a bully to my brothers at times while we were growing up, but that didn't last for long once I entered my teens. Bruce Lee is an idol and philosophical mentor of mine because Jeet Kune Do is more like shadowboxing than kickboxing. If you must fight, you battle with precision, purpose, and clarity.

But the election to leadership of a man I've hated since I was in my teens -- when it wasn't just fashion for rock stars to hate the rich and fight against their power, it was our duty -- felt like a Dhalsim punch to the chest.

I'm still breathless, confused, and angry to this day. The reality of King Dictator has dismantled me over the last few years - turned me from a patient warrior for harmony and truth, to an activist bent on calling out the countless mistruths, contradictions, and evil actions undertaken by Trump over the course of his life.

Understand, I wasn't a Clinton fan, just like I'm not a full Biden fan now. Obama was my favorite President, and still is one of my favorite humans. He did stand for hope, and an aspirational identity as a diverse, evolved, and harmonized people.

Some who read the previous statement about Obama will be exiting this exoteric conversation now, and probably never return. This message isn't for everyone, and everyone won't agree on my position. There's a strong dichotomy of direction in politics in America, forcing all of us to take sides.

In this case, the division is warranted.

King Donald the Dictator has operated like my antithesis since I was old enough to know who he was. When I was in high school, one of my favorite bands had the following quote in their song "The Wasteland":

"Pay your money to the landlord
Donald Trump is just a money whore
Under my bed there's a baseball bat
Goddamn taxes gonna break my back"

That was 1991. The band is Warrior Soul, a music act that was raging against the machine (and their own record label) in ways that made Motley Crue look like pacifists. They were one of the first mainstream rock bands in the modern era that could be explicit and dangerous and be true to their message. Case in point: they committed career suicide with their fourth album, which they tanked on purpose to get out of their contract with Geffen records.

Their message of revolution didn't resonate with big business and corporate interests, and Donald Trump represented everything they hated.

But this rant isn't about a rock band whose concept was eventually embraced by another band aptly named Rage Against the Machine. It's about how Trump really hasn't changed over the course of over seven decades, and how Americans have been bullied into submission by his greedy, selfish, and irresponsible actions, with very little rage left to counter.

When decorated veteran John McCain died in 2018 and US government flags were flying half-staff to observe his passing, Trump said "What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser." When he faced him on the campaign trail, Trump said about McCain "He’s not a war hero. I like people who weren’t captured."

Well, I prefer leaders that can take public health and security seriously -  not obese blowhards that think getting captured by a virus is somehow more prideworthy than a war hero who fought selflessly for a country and cause.

Trump dodged military service, was handed his riches, and has crashed companies like they were disposable. He regularly disparages his opponents or those voices that disagree with him. He cannot be debated, he cannot be questioned, he cannot follow structures or rules, and he cannot play nice. He has no integrity, respect, or patience.

His words are fists, and with them, he pounds anyone before him into acquiescence. Whether tweeting, on a Debate stage, in an interview, or at a rally, his force will not be denied. He hammers with hotheaded fury until he has razed every good and right thing around him.

He is razing the country, our Democracy, the Constitution, our freedoms and rights, and our global standing. He acts like he's the Dictator from North Korea, and sounds like he's the supreme leader of Russia. He envies both of their positions of ultimate power. He is squeezing the life out of our liberty, his chokehold asphyxiating the breath out of our once great society and identity.

Ultimately, he wouldn't be such big of a problem if he didn't have an audience that cheers on his bullying. His vile humanity is reinforced by a universe of selfish and self-serving parrots cloaked as Patriots. They cheer his violent and divisive message, and they "stand by", waiting for their sign to jump into the fray. This isn't your 60s or 70s peaceful protests; there is true unruliness and hate behind the lines of each side these days.

And now, in what may be the strongest example of bullying in American history, the President completely controlled the messaging and experience of his severe covid illness (never giving the full picture of his illness and limiting the truth of his Doctors). He left Walter Reed hospital before he was fully healed; returned to the White House to participate in a surreal propaganda event intended to project both political strength and superhuman ability to overcome his health challenges; and, did all of that while spurning long-standing medical advice from the CDC and Global Public Health experts around mask use, and spewing his viral clouds throughout the tax-payer funded mansion provided to him, coincidentally at the same time that the CDC updated its covid transmission guidelines to confirm that the novel virus can be transmitted through air, and can linger on surfaces and in water droplets in air… for hours.

Donald Trump is no longer using just his words to bruise and endanger those around him; the bully is using his obsession with power to damage the fabric of equilibrium and society.

The sad truth is that there are many in this nation that applaud his deplorable actions and despicable words. There are neighbors and friends that support his irresponsibility, arrogance, and lies.

As I delivered pizza for Dominos and rideshire for Uber, I have met these people across the landscape of this broken wasteland. I hear their side of the story, but can't relate; the people that understand and enable the bully are complicit in his abuse. They've been dizzied by his misdirection, misguided by his partisan imbalancing. Most are weary from four years of conflict between parties and people.

Yet, the punishment continues.

Down deep, a bully mostly wants attention, and gets it through violence. The bully plays to his/her crowd, pounding fists and pushing victims down in order to stand taller. The bully is energized by the applause of the audience, emboldened by every successful punch he/she lands. No social media campaign, no hashtag, no volunteer cause can stop a bully who is protected by arm-locked enablers.

Donald Trump is a demagogue and a bully who uses his power, affluence, and status to paint himself as a martyr to the suffering castes and classes. He doesn't represent anyone but himself and those familiy members that carry the Trump name with loyalty to him. I don't have enough time in my days to detail all of his instances of bullying across his history - recent or otherwise. He is a violent manipulator and power-thirsty dictator. He has already said that he will challenge the results of our coming election, and not step down as president if he loses (completely disregarding the fact that the Electoral College elects a president, not the popular vote, no matter how stark the difference between the two voting results). He is no president. He is no classy, honorable, or sane leader.

America is on the precipice of unravelling. Donald Trump does not have the best interest of the American citizenry on his mind, and is not to be trusted.

Nor re-elected.

Welcome to the wasteland, where madness reigns supreme.

#vote2020 #xoterica

Artemis Sere Xoterica 31 The Bully
Artemis Sere "Madness Reigns" Demagogue Octave 4 x 6 Acrylic & Resin on Canvas