Two months ago my boss emailed, “let’s have a 15 minute convo in the taint.” “The taint” is what employees call the corridor of small meeting rooms on the 10th floor. I obliged and skipped up with my laptop. I was working on a brand strategy presentation for a major client; I assumed he was calling me up to applaud my efforts, as a few other supervisors had.
A woman I had never met is sitting with him. I shake her hand, complement her floral chiffon dress (gimme a break, I’m gay), and sit down. My boss looks up at me precariously. “Lucian, you need to sever ties with the company.” Disoriented, I say, “But last week you said you were expanding my role here. I’ve been working for months on this presentation and I finally get to give it on Mond—”, “Your work has been great — we just think that you’d be happier pursuing your other interests.”
The woman aside him passes a blue folder. It includes an NDA and severance agreement. “I know how hard this must be for you. I teach a yoga class twice a week. Yoga is a great stress reliever, feel free to stop by whenever.”
Within that solemn 15 minutes, I was fired in the taint, offered free yoga, and effectively a pariah in New York advertising. I decided to take my former boss’s advice and pursue my “other interests.”
A venue was set and a who’s-who of deplorables was assembled to contribute. But two days before the show premiered, our original venue, Pierogi’s “The Boiler,” caved to a relentless campaign of pressure and complaints from New York artists and hipsters and reneged on the lease we signed.
I looked one of these artists up. He glues subway maps to particle board, then sells the pieces to yuppie dads who just moved to Williamsburg, who hang it in their living rooms and smugly inform guests of their support for the New York art scene.
He makes a lot of money doing this. Who’s to complain though? That’s capitalism. The real complaint is that the art world, and much of the gay world in general, has become so homogenized, so complacent in its banal, self-loving consensus, that it will silence any dissenting voice.
On Saturday, October 8th, we gathered together in a Chelsea gallery, the only gallery that would have us, to throw the first conservative art show.
But it was more than just an art show. Among the artists were people who have been blacklisted from their respective industries, people who have been banned from speaking on college campuses, people who had their companies taken away from them, people who would never be allowed to exhibit at a typical gallery, not because of proficiency or skill, but because of their conservative values. We had all been charged and found guilty of thought crimes.
Milo Yiannopoulos bathed in pig’s blood in a performance piece commemorating U.S. citizens murdered by illegals.
Gavin McInnes displayed a triptych of photographs parodying SJW hashtags.
— David Ross Spielman (@DavidRossSpiel) October 8, 2016
Martin Shkreli displayed a single pill with a price tag of $20,000 poking fun at his notoriety.
James O’Keefe displayed his “Emotional First Aid Kit” in case anyone felt triggered at our event.
Marcus Epstein displayed a series of paintings featuring George Washington donning MAGA hats.
Millie Efraim created an experimental video featuring footage of Ivanka Trump at a runway show.
Jonathan Proby displayed paintings that deconstructed progressive narratives.
And, my #Twinks4Trump series was blown up to larger-than-life-sized prints, featuring naked models adorning versions of Trump’s signature hat.
Creative culture is supposed to be subversive, it’s supposed to be about fighting against ‘the man’ and his narrative. Not so much these days. Protesters have gone from chanting “End the war! Give us more freedom! Stop segregating us! Give us more liberty!” to chanting “You know best! Help segregate us! Take away our guns! Take away our liberties!”
We are living in an age where if you say, “I love Western culture!” people shout back “What culture? We stole it!”
If you say, “I am not ashamed of who I am!” people say, “You’re a cis-white man and you’re proud of that?! While trans-women of color are disenfranchised?! Disgusting!”
If you say, “I love America” people say “America is disgusting — remember slavery?!”
We counter anti-Americanism with nationalism, we counter their identity politics with individuality. But this breed of progressive keeps reaching out, offering to “educate” us. To that we respond: “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”
An ever-expanding government hiding behind identity politics is a powerful deception, and we’re fighting back — hard. That was a major point of our art show, to speak out with a unified voice, “We don’t care about PC standards, we don’t care about identity politics, we care about AMERICA!”
We’re prepared to get fired, be social outcasts, de-platformed, discredited, and occasionally physically attacked (someone bit me a few weeks ago); but, as Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”. That is why we applaud Trump, that is why #DaddyWillSaveUs.
He is the first candidate to brush aside the regressive ideologies that have permeated far too deep into American culture. This is what real punk culture is about — challenging oppressive norms, disregarding them in favor of personal liberty and self-expression. This is modern conservatism.
Punk culture today doesn’t dress itself in a ripped up pair jeans and a leather jacket; instead, it unapologetically throws on a navy suit with an American flag lapel pin.
Article written for The Hill on October 17th, 2016