THE IRONY OF THE AMERICAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION

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It was good while it lasted. To all of you who have bought our CR TAROT up until now, you will be familiar with the back of the deck. It’ll probably never be used again. This is considered politically offensive. I know…tell me about it

Occassionally i wish i was politically correct. For real, i actually do. What i would have to sacrifice though (mainly my brain) just wouldn’t be worth the price. Still, it would make my life as an illustrator possibly run more smoothly. I could draw whatever i like in the small confines of what is considered politically correct and what is not, but then if that were the case the Cultural Revolution Tarot would not exist.

The Cultural Revolution Tarot took the boundaries of what tarot themes were “allowed” to be and kicked them to the side, and strangled the life out of political correctness…and for that i am damn proud.

Yes, The Cultural Revolution sure had it’s fair share of scrapes and bruises, naysayers and detractors….but it has also received a collosal thumbs up, and quite rightly so, by free thinking non comformists everywhere….and some of them happen to be really great tarot enthusiasts too. Admittedly i hate political correctness. It chokes the life out of creativity, free thinking and uniqueness. It stinks of the worst kind of facism. Political correctness is the enemy of art, of literature, film and any thinking creative person is repulsed by the idea of it.

The legendary graphic novelist and magician Alan Moore has courted controversy because of it, Donald Trump’s run for presidency is hounded by it, even Cecil the lion’s killer was considered eligble for the death penalty over it. It’s a form of extremism as contagious as cancer, as mesmerising as Hitler’s speeches and whose proponents command a conformity rivaling that of Jim Jones’s Kool Aid drinkers. I mean isn’t it ironic that the same kind of people who want liberalism for themselves want to impose bans, fines, imprisonment and even death towards those whose views disagree with theirs?

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10 of Pentacles/Coins. As an illustrator I look at these pictures and still am amazed that i was a part of such an ambitious one of a kind project. Conceptually every card is pure magick

I think it is important to combat it when it arises especially if the political correctness is not correct thinking, but also when it infringes upon the beliefs and rights of others. It is my personal view but poltical correctness is not based on anything tangible, because in order to fully support political correctness you cannot hold a particular point of view indefinitely otherwise when popular opinion changes (which is of course inevitable) you are going to be left behind. I noticed this especially amongst young students in Belfast. I’ve seen it in action everytime i log into facebook. A politically correct person cannot hold to any one strong belief for fear of the tide changing. It reminds me of the Travis song “Driftwood” with the lyrics “you’re driftwood hollow and of no use” because there is no solid foundation. Driftwood is nice and smooth, but in terms of appearance, unlike their alive counterparts clothed in bark, there is not much different between one piece of driftwood or another. Over time the uniqueness of the driftwood, it’s bark, has been washed away. That’s what political correct people look like to me. A particular popular point of view which changes over time has no foundation and is therefore like quicksand. The wiseman built his house upon the rock. Popular opinion is only as lasting as the popular culture in which it came from and as soon as it arrives, it’s not long before it moves on. There is no foundation because it has not been based on anything really tangible.

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This will now be the back for our original version Cultural Revolution Tarot. So far it has passed the “politically sensitive” censors. Heaven’s, they weren’t kidding about this “police state” malarky lol

Most Americans probably do not even realise it but they are going through a cultural revolution even as we speak. Whether that is good or bad, we will leave that for you to decide. In quick succession we have seen everything from the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states, the banning of the confederate flag (or if not banned, certainly shunned and treated with contempt), the desensitization of the liberal populace over late term abortion (but ironically the killing of a lion makes said people want to murder a dentist? Fucked up much?), and recently the taking down of statues of old presidents of the South. (Jefferson Davis recently) and everything associated or potentially associated with the confederacy. I’m not saying i am opposed to all of this, i am simply stating the signs of the cultural revolution at work in the U.S…the late term abortion thing though….shit. Auchwitz comes to mind….Kindergarten style. That’s just my personal view on it.

Yes, America is going through a Cultural Revolution. It seems to mean nothing to many Americans that their president entered into an illegal war and approves of Monsanto. They seem to simply not give a shit. I mean isn’t it a conflict of interest to have former Monsanto VP and head lobbyist Michael Taylor as Deputy Commissioner for the FDA — the board tasked with regulating Taylor’s own industry? Obama himself won’t eat Monsanto GM products but it’s ok for the rest of the populace? Fan fucking tastic.

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The new back for the bright/technicolour version of our Cultural Revolution Tarot as it currently stands

I think the biggest irony in all of this for us is that most of the print on demand companies in the U.S felt that they couldn’t print our Tarot due to its “political sensitive” material, in particular the image on the backs of the card, which basically meant every card. This is why we’ve had to completely redesign the backs of the cards to make them less politically sensitive. So much for the 1st Ammendment right? Maybe the 1st Ammendment doesn’t apply to me as an Irishman, but my partner is American so what’s the deal with that? America is up to its eyes in it’s own cultural revolution but feels offended at the title “The Cultural Revolution” on the backs of the cards?

With a great review over at Aeclectic for our Cultural Revolution Tarot (despite myself being banned indefinitely from their site for stating some important facts about Chinese propaganda posters) it has lead to a surge in sales for the deck. What a week it has been. It is our hope that we can continue to offer our Cultural Revolution Tarot to anyone who wants it but i ask everyone to buy soon because due to the political nature of the deck, the printers can be a bit unreliable, and others who potentially would publish it will be bringing the decks out at around 60 dollars.

Our decks are currently at 40 U.S dollars. Trust us, you won’t see a deck like this around anywhere and probably never will. Get one will you can.

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The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 4

I could not conclude my argument without including this horrific story of yet another soldier brutally raping and killing a 14 year old child and his claims of not even seeing her as human. I mean let’s get it straight here, he raped and killed this child AFTER murdering her entire family and AFTER the girl was raped by two other soldiers. The American taxpayers, unbeknown to them, are paying for pedophiles to lower their pants in the Middle East….fucking wonderful

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Sure she’s an Iraqi girl, but she’s probably no different than your own children. You’d think America’s finest could leave her undeveloped little body alone but hey, if your soldiers don’t see them as “human” what can be said?

Having a gun free America MAY in theory make people safer, but having arseholes like this guy Steven Green in charge of protecting YOUR family (you know, because you gave up your own means of protecting yourself) sure shouldn’t instill you with any confidence. Heaven forbid he sees YOUR daughter as a “non human” and decide to brutally rape and kill her.

Green’s own words…

“The deaths intensified Green’s feelings toward all Iraqis, whom soldiers often called by a derogatory term. ‘There’s not a word that would describe how much I hated these people,’ Green said. ‘I wasn’t thinking these people were humans.'”

and the friggin cheek of this guy, he thinks he doesn’t deserve life in prison and is trying to appeal it?

I’ve been called stupid, immature etc etc over defending an American’s right to bear arms, and that’s fine, but i’m no more stupid that an American who believes their government and armed forces can be relied on if (when?) the shit hits the fan. Take a look at your police force’s track record of brutality and your american military’s horrific attrocities from Tripoli to Guantanamo and you’ll get the picture. You honestly think your country cares about you. I like the artist Norman Rockwell as much as the next guy but it’s time to shake yourself out of your sleep.

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The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 3

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Tasers were originally designed to be used in situations were a gun was needed, in other words a last resort. Unfortunatly they have been misused by lazy officers who do not want to interact with their prey. The tasers are used on everyone from the elderly with pacemakers to young children.

In Part 2 i stated that most of the gun incidents are actually caused by “Peace Officers” and not by civilians.

I used to be a firm believer that a country without guns being in the hands of the public was the best policy. I really did, no word of a lie. The problem is that when you hear more and more stories about police corruption, the more you wonder if a gun free society is the right way to go about things.

Now let’s turn our attention to yet more soldiers working for “the free world” who were “Just Following Orders”, and those who just plain did it of their own accord.

We’ll start off with a quote from someone who really should know better. I’ve mentioned the following a few times over the years as an example of cold inhuman answer and it bares repeating…

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “we think the price is worth it.”

Wow, what a blood thirsty vampire!

Think about that. 500,000 children were worth the price of going to war with Iraq. Absolutely disgusting of course but not particularly surprising. Look at this story

The headline of the story reads “Fear of suicide bombers means troops have shot drivers and passengers who were simply too scared or confused to stop”

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“Why are you crying little girl. We just brutally murdered your parents but YOU’RE still alive!”

That’s happening in Iraq though, i mean that could NEVER happen in the U.S because we don’t have suicide bombers right? Don’t fool yourselves. Be they the army, be they the police, these armed servicemen are STILL only humans wearing a uniform. They get jumpy like everyone else.

An excerpt from the story in Iraq

“A civilian car approached in the dark and ignored shouts and flashing lights. The troops fired a single warning shot, and when the vehicle failed to stop they fired 13 to 15 rounds from their 7.62mm rifles. The car contained a woman and three children. Two of the children were dead, the other child and the woman driver were injured.”

Tell me dear reader. If a shot was fired in the night and you’re in your car and your country has been invaded by soldiers whose language you can not understand, wouldn’t you try to flee too? You’re not going to stop your engine, especially with three kids in the back and hope for the best. Secondly, weren’t the Americans supposed to be the salvation of Iraq? Of course they wouldn’t fire upon civilians. Tell that to the dead children at My Lai. No, you cannot even trust the “good guys”.

Although this cruel sadistic event in Iraq happened in 2008, i only heard about it this year while doing a little research for our Cultural Revolution Tarot scrapbook. The scrapbook contains a lot of propaganda imagery and as everyone knows, whether it be from the west or east, not all of the optimistic propaganda is true, nor all the negative propaganda false…and vice versa. There are heroic deeds and horrible atrocities on both sides and i feel that as long as we can keep that in mind, there does not need to be an us verses them mentality. Like here in Ireland, both sides (Protestant loyalist or Catholic Republican) both have blood on their hands. Chinese Propaganda, we are well aware and we have always maintained, is not based on absolute truth, anymore than U.S soldiers caring for wounded children in those overly optimistic paintings with the christian scriptures underneath are true of all U.S soldiers.

But let us get on to another act of cruelty from our noble soldiers….that of throwing a puppy off a cliff to it’s death. Yes, David Motari, that spineless bastard.

If you search for it on youtube you will find it, but be warned. If you are of sane mind, you will probably want revenge…a revenge you cannot really have. I found the following (true or untrue i cannot verify) from someone who posted on the following link…

http://www.care2.com/news/member/507367645/666908

“Motari later wrote in his Bebo that he would of normally shot and killed the puppy, but he was trying to be creative. From his Bebo: “I want to clear somethings up before tomorrow (sic). This might be hard to believe but I am sorry about the dog. At the time I just really didn’t care. When you are constantly under fire sometimes people develop a different sence (sic) of humor than what others are used to. That video was from over a year and I don’t know who put it out there but it wasn’t me. It has been a really hard day. I don’t know how they got my information but someone got all my information and i had to disconnect my parents and my girlfriends phone not to mention i had to redo my myspace because it got hacked. I just want it to end.
second most recent blog (as of 2 days ago):

Quote:
“****…
Category: Life

The Sergeant Major called me in today and it looks like they found out about the dog thing. I don’t know who it was who put it on ****ing youtube, but man they are not happy… They were even talking about court martialing me, but they better not. It wouldn’t be fair because they didn’t court martial the last guy they caught ****ing with a dog.

****, atleast i was humane about it. That guy from motor transport shot a dog in the stomach in front of the Major and everyone thought it was funny. I **** up and it gets on TV and all of a sudden it’s wrong. This is some BS. POS media, always sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong”

then shortly after, this one (most recent):

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When not shooting people, Motari likes to take his frustrations out on defensless baby animals. How noble!

Quote:
“When my mom found out about the MySpace, she encouraged me to write this letter so here it is.

I would like to begin by saying I am whole heartedly sorry for what I did to that animal. No creature big or small, smart or dumb deserves to feel the way it did in its last moments. I’ve spent the majority of the day in the company of my superiors. The next few days are going to be very difficult for me but I am not asking for your sympathy.

The hardest part about this is the numerous threats that my family has received and this is what I feel the most awful for. Never did I think the events of that day would result in such heartache. My wife Jessica was especially hurt when she saw the video. The reason for that being that she is not only an animal lover but a dog owner. All I can say is I’m sorry and I love you Babe.

In the field life loses it’s value when you see death every day. For those of you who are angry at me for laughing at the dog’s death, you have a right to. I enjoyed it. I didn’t think twice about it. Now I see the error in my ways.

I’d like to thank the numerous people who have understood what is going on and have offered their advice and their kind words in this difficult situation. And for the ones who are angry at me, you have a right to be. All I ask is that you leave my family out of this. What I did was my choice and my choice alone.

Finally, I want to state for the record, not blame the Corps for my actions. The Corps is a great organization and should not be held responsible for one individual.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to hear my side,

-David Andrew Motari”

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Almost as tragic as throwing the puppy off the cliff, is the fact that this article by ABC’s Emily Friedman actually tries to reason with this crazy lunatic’s mind...

“Many war-weary veterans of the Iraq War take kindly to the animals they meet abroad — some of them have even gone to great expense and trouble to bring dogs back home with them at the end of their tours of duty.

What, then, provoked one U.S. Marine to let himself be videotaped apparently flinging a yelping puppy over a cliff, bursting into laughter at the sound of the animal’s body hitting the ground below? The tape of the apparent incident has rocketed around the Internet, provoking a firestorm of criticism.

The motivation for such an act, if it did indeed occur, may be as complex and deep as the U.S. war that has dragged on for more than four years, experts told ABCNEWS.com. Chief among them: Having to live with the constant fear of being injured or killed might have led this Marine to take his aggression out on a defenseless animal, several psychologists said.”

“Most of the time war is about chaos and the fear of being wounded or killed,” said David Spiegel, professor and associate chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “And so you’re constantly confronting those fears and one of the ways to confront that may be by showing you’re the one that renders other creatures helpless.”

“The thought is that ‘I’m not the one who gets thrown off a cliff, I’m the one doing it,'” said Spiegel.”

( Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=4387128 )

Can you imagine the American psychiatrists puzzling over, and almost disbelieving, some of the “facts” about The Cultural Revolution in such a favourable manner, or indeed anyone considered an agressor to the U.S military. Completely biased, but to be expected.

The news article ends with…

“But you have to wonder what has caused them this kind of stress so that they have to react in such a violent way.”

Have to wonder? I don’t, i think the answer is pretty damn obvious. They are fucking psychopaths. Do you WANT psychopaths owning all the guns while pepperspraying your children and throwing your puppys from cliffs? Neither would i

See part 4 for the concluding part in this “Right To Bear Arms in America” blog

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The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 2

In part 1 we covered the American civilian’s rights to bear arms according to the 2nd Ammendment, why it was put in place, Thomas Jefferson’s view of revolution, and a true patriot’s right to overthrow a corrupt government, even replacing it with an entirely new one.

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A Peace Officer using his pepper spray rather liberally. Apparantly six year olds are a threat to the peace

We very briefly touched upon the “Peace Officers” and their fall from grace. I use the name peace officer to refer to the police in this 4 part blog because the name has become a bit of an irony and i want to remind the reader of the role the police were supposed to play, even if such is the case no longer.

Regardless, these are still the same people we’re told to trust with our welfare, our very lives. We depend on them to protect us from the actual bad guys, real or perceived. I’m certainly not suggesting that all “Peace Officers” are corrupt and prone to bouts of brutality, but i am suggesting that in reality not everyone can rely on these public servants to protect them.

If we cannot trust these officers to do the jobs that taxpayers are paying them to do, why should anyone give up their rights to protect themselves, their family, even their property? Perhaps the Koreans had it right in the L.A riots of 92? And perhaps they, unlike most everyone else, seemed to have a sense of community having previously come from a communist country. The following is an excerpt from wikipedia…

“During the riots, many Korean immigrants from the area rushed to Koreatown, after Korean-

Two Korean men stand on the roof of a grocery store with rifles to prevent looters from entering the store in this file photo taken April 30, 1992, in Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, four white police officers were declared innocent in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, and Los Angeles erupted in the deadliest riots of the century. Three days later, 55 people were dead and more than 2,000 injured. Fires and looting had destroyed $1 billionworth of property. (AP Photo/John Gaps III)

Koreans protect their stores during the L.A riots

language radio stations called for volunteers to guard against rioters. Many were armed, with a variety of improvised weapons, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles”

In the case of these riots, the police and the national guard were not able to contain the riots. Sadly Reginald Denny knew this all too well. With no police or national guard to be found, Denny was set upon by a bunch of black racist thugs who kicked and punched him, before smashing his head open with a brick. If it wasn’t for the courageous efforts of Titus Murphy and his then-girlfriend Terri Barnett, along with Lei Yuille and Bobby Green, it is likely that Denny would have died that day suffering terrible head injuries.

Rioters celebrate around Reginald Denny's body after the truck driver was pulled from his vehicle and beaten in the early hours of the Los Angeles riots. The photo, which was taken by Robert Clark from a news helicopter, ran on the front page of the Daily Breeze and was the only photo of this incident taken by a print photographer. It won the Gold Award for for Photojournalism from the Society of News Design. Photo by Robert Clark/Santa Monica Outlook

My pointing out the terrible attack on Denny is not to suggest that if Denny had had a gun he could have shot the bastards, not at all, but that in any riot of this nature the “Peace Officers” cannot be everywhere at once. Knowing this, should a person not have a right to carry?

Those who are against the 2nd Ammendment and the priviledges it grants people will argue that the country would be a lot safer with a ban on guns, and it’s easy to understand this point of view, very easy indeed. Everything from the Columbine shooting in 1999 to the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007 reminds us over and over of the possible need for tighter gun control. Schools are a breeding ground for hostility, bullying and so on, and sadly many have been the victims of horrible school massacres over the years. (incidents even as far back as 1850’s).

It’s very easy to say that guns are the problem in these situations, often completely overlooking the reasons why these kids take guns to school in the first place. Without guns, granted you’d probably have less casualties, but you’d have a bit of a butcher’s shop going on in the classroom with kids bringing in their macheties, combat knives and whatever else. Any Kid dedicated enough and with an internet connection can learn how to make IEDS so taking the guns might change things, but did the prohibition back in 1920’s America work? of course not. The prohibited items were distributed by the mob.

What people seem to forget is that the majority of gun related deaths in the U.S is not by the civilians but by the “Peace Officers”

See part 3 for the next part in this “Right To Bear Arms in America” blog

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The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 1

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While not the real issue, there’s an obvious truth to this. In other words if you want a gun badly enough, you’re going to get it anyway.

Gun control is a big issue in the U.S. Some are for it and some are against it. I’m the type of person that can see both points of view in this issue. On one hand you don’t want some asshole breaking into your house and murdering your family and unfortunatly it would seem that without a gun to protect yourself you are not really on a level playing ground. On the other hand, the argument is that if guns were illegal the regular joe is going to have a hard time getting a gun to BECOME that murdering asshole who kills your family.

Yes, we know what it looks like Tarot friends, no need to get excited. Except this is the real life version

Yes, we know what it looks like Tarot friends, no need to get excited. Except this is the real life version

The ironic thing is that many of the people demanding that the 2nd Ammendment be abolished are the very same people who are offended at Trump declaring that if he were president he’d build a big wall between the border of Mexico and the U.S. It’s hard to understand this kind of person’s logic, but i try. Unfortunatly if the stories are to be believed, the Mexican drug cartel won’t be as ready to sit back and listen to your point of view. Hey i’m just saying. Yet unless you were to live near the border and are familar with the situation, it’s hard to say exactly what is the truth and what is not. The mainstream media rarely, if at all, can be seen as an objective unbiased source, but from the looks of these images attributed to Mexican drug cartel executions, freely available on the internet, they don’t seem to be using water pistols. Is it true that for the sake of political correctness these protesters of the second ammendment who also hate the idea of Trumps proposal to build a wall, would put their safety in jeopardy or does it just appear that way? i expect that rather than be completely without protection, this same group of people assume that the police and, if worst comes to worst, the military, will be there to save the day.

I recently engaged in a brief conversation over the message behind thise meme. I joked that this is the very reason some Americans stand by their 2nd Ammendment rights...

I recently engaged in a brief conversation over the message behind thise meme. I joked that this is the very reason some Americans stand by their 2nd Ammendment rights…

In an ideal world we wouldn’t need guns. We’d go about our daily business and be at peace with our fellow man. Such a community spirit appeals to many. I live in Northern Ireland and would dream of nothing more than to see catholics and protestants get along together as one big community. I’m also aware however, having grown up during the tail end of the troubles in Northern Ireland, that even if there are reasonably tight gun laws, they can still be obtained by all the wrong people.(especially if you cannot be bothered tightening up the border security).

Depending on what side you’re on, it’s arguable that the British armed forces killed many innocent civilians during the main height of the troubles, these same “Peace Officers”. We see now the same thing happening in America. It’s not just your neighbour you should be in fear of, it’s your own “Peace Officers”

The message in this police meme above, whether it is true or not, is becoming increasingly more common due to the brutality of some police officers. Some suggest it is down to racism but i don’t believe so. Sure, racism may play a part but you have to keep in mind that white officers have been known to brutally beat and execute white people too. Though a politically correct buzzword, calling it racism just muddys the waters and is of no use to anyone. Racism, more than likely plays a part but it is a part, not the whole.

So where does this idea come from to bear arms, and why would we ever need it.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which came into place in 1791, reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Why should people hold true to this 2nd Ammendment?

Part of the Declaration of Independence states the following…

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You really expect this arsehole has YOUR best interests at heart if the shit hits the fan? Notice that both cop and woman are white, and therefore not a shred of racism to be had here? This fine police officer will protect you sure, you can tell he’s a real upstanding citizen

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security”

One of the founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and third president had this to say…

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.

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Kelly Thomas, a homeless man was brutally beaten and tased by those who were SWORN to protect him…yes, the “Peace Officers “…they made him REST in peace more like.

If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?

Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

Whether you agree with the founding fathers or even the declaration of Independence is entirely up to you, but this is part of American history and it would appear that the founding fathers, knowing that corruption was all around even in those days, foresaw a time when America would have to purge itself through revolution.

In the next blog i will explain at least some of the viewpoints of why many Americans do not want to give up their arms because they do believe that the government HAS become a tyranny.

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Just Following Orders

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Included in the slaughter are children, even babies. Believe it or not this massacre was once believed to be “communist propaganda”

Christine and I were watching a documentary on My Lai, a village in South Vietnam, where American soldiers committed a massacre on innocent civilians. Over 500 innocent men, women and children were brutally slaughtered and raped and blown apart by what they once perceived to be peaceful soldiers (at least according to the initial thoughts of some of the survivors in the documentary).  According to one Vietnamese website…

“The soldiers had raped women and killed almost all of the residents of the village: 503 civilians, including 182 women, 172 children, 89 men under 60 years and 60 elderly.” *

When compared to the roughly 2 million innocent civilians killed in the Vietnam War, 500 innocent civilians may seem like nothing to some. What makes this case different is that this was premeditated murder, planned by Captain Ernest Medina and carried out by soldiers “just following orders”.

I understand that the U.S soldiers during Vietnam were scared. Who wouldn’t be? To my knowledge they were not used to the kinds of guerilla warfare tactics used against them, the terrain, the climate and so on. What sticks in people’s craw the most though is the fact that innocent children and babies were among the dead, their limbs blown off and so on. Not only were they innocent, they were literally completely incapable of doing the U.S soldiers any harm. In the documentary it seems that these babies and children were referred to as “communist sympathisers” (can you imagine the public reaction if American or British babies were considered  capitalist sympathisers and therefore worthy of being killed? Crazy).

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North Korean propaganda poster. Some still think this is purely anti-american propaganda. Others feel that with the very real event in My Lai, in South Vietnam, where innocent toddlers were slaughtered, these are more than mere propaganda posters.

In an atrocity like this, it is to be expected that a lot of the soldiers will say they were just “following” orders, and this is precisely what happened. They opened up with automatic fire on innocent people because their superiors told them to. Following orders, it seems, is what makes a “perfect soldier” and the same holds true today. Nowadays we, who are not soldiers, may call them “sheep” (because, as any sheep farmer will tell you, sheep are well-known for following the one sheep that thinks, for better or for worse, for its own self). Sheep by their very nature will “follow the leader”, which is why the name “sheep”, when referring to followers, works. That in itself does not make the sheep fundamentally “stupid” or “dumb”, though stupidity can indeed play its part too. Rather, it makes them vulnerable and scared, cowardly even.

A word on sheep. Sheep are very nervous animals, and they also like to stick around in groups. I know this because i grew up on a farm. They are much different than cattle, more nervous. Because of this nervousness, their only real courage shines through if they are cornered individually, for example for shearing or administering medicine to them. They will do everything in their power to escape, even lunge towards you. I feel the reason is because they hate being singled out. Sheep are social creatures and need to be with other sheep.

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At first i thought “what they hell was Esquire thinking back in the 70’s” but it’s quite clear when you think about it. Here is a classic piece of American propaganda. Lt Calley was charged for murdering 22 of the hundreds of innocent civilians yet here he is, pictured with what appears to be Vietnamese children. This poster seems to be saying “SEE, I REALLY DO LOVE VIETNAMESE KIDS AFTER ALL…I AIN’T THAT BAD HONEST” It all seems rather tasteless to me

Christ refers to himself as the good shepherd, and those who follow him are supposed to follow his examples of love, kindness and courage. Sheep need shepherds to protect them from the wolves, but the problem is that if the sheep have a corrupt, selfish or cruel shepherd, the sheep are in danger. Tragically the soldiers under Captain Ernest Medina were sheep without a real shepherd. Medina’s legal team even passed the blame onto the sheep who were “just following orders” thereby clearing himself of any wrong doing.

The argument is that as a soldier you are taught NOT to question orders. This is, some say, the perfect soldier. I understand this. The problem is that when you really DO need to question orders and you continue down this road of questioning nothing, there is a very real problem. As in the case of My Lai, this problem resulted in having children as young as three years old crawling through a ditch full of corpses crying for its mother, but.. “The soldiers were just following orders”. Should we be too surprised though? It is not unheard of that before a soldier even sees battle, he is indoctrinated, not unlike an initiation into a cult, and some of this includes cadence. Here’s an excerpt from one called “Napalm Sticks to Kids”

“I’ve only seen it happen twice,
But both times it was mighty nice,
Shooting peasants planting rice,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Napalm, son, is lots of fun,
Dropped in a bomb or shot from a gun,
It gets the gooks when on the run,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Drop some napalm on a farm,
It won’t do them any harm,
Just burn off their legs and arms,
Napalm sticks to kids.”

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnimvivi18.html

Occasionally I wonder if there is a correlation between this kind of brainwashing and soldiers wholose their minds. I could find a dozen stories of western soldiers ( you know, the “good guys”) seeing their enemies as “non human”. The following link, for example, tells the story of how Steven Green raped and killed a 14-year-old girl because he didn’t see her as human….and it’s at this point the sane person is supposed to think WHAT THE FUCK?….yes, what the fuck indeed! Green converted to Catholicism in prison though (One wonders how many Hail Mary’s he had to say to be forgiven?) This paedophilic disgusting excuse for a human, as you’ve probably guessed right, doesn’t think he deserves life imprisonment and is fighting it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1340207/I-didnt-think-Iraqis-humans-says-U-S-soldier-raped-14-year-old-girl-killing-her-family.html

And for the pet lovers out there, who can forget David Mortari? Yes the arsehole made famous for throwing a puppy over the cliff to its death brings to mind the completely screwed up side of soldiers of “the free world”. I’ll cover this soon in a separate blog.

devil-card-cultural-revolution-tarot

Initially we weren’t sure how our American audience would feel about having an Uncle Sam like figure as our Devil card. If you’ve read this blog, i hope you understand the intent behind it. Our tarot is created from a Mao era Asian perspective

And yet even in one of the most horrifying of situations, the My Lai massacre, you have those soldiers, real, true heroes like Hugh Thompson jr, Lawrence Colburn, Glenn Andreotta whose efforts to end the massacre and rescue civilians will always be remembered. It takes courage to go against the majority. If not for the likes of Thompson and co, such military organisations would irredeemably be denounced and demonized by all people of moral standing the way the west has demonized communism. I think this is why the director Oliver Stone refers to whistleblower Edward Snowden as a hero. You may see him, like Donald Trump and many others do, as a traitor to the U.S, but regardless it takes courage to bring about transparency in government (something Obama claimed he WOULD do, but did not act upon). Stone, known for his movie “Platoon”, among others, casts Charlie Sheen in the role of the moral character who witnesses the horrible rape and slaughter of a village, not unlike My Lai. While Sheen’s character may not be a whistleblower, unlike Snowden, or Brian De Palma’s “Private Max Eriksson” (played by Michael J Fox) in Casualties of War, I feel that he represent’s Stone’s own feelings and experiences during his time in Vietnam. In the case of Michael J Fox’s character in Casualties of War, he plays the role of the moral soldier who refuses to take part in the rape of a young Vietnamese girl.

Hugh Thompson jr, Lawrence Colburn, Glenn Andreotta, who can be considered true heroes, made efforts to end the My Lai massacre and rescued some of the survivors, proving that even in the most notorious and shameful of events can produce amazing feats of bravery. These are perfect representations of people who broke away from the “only following orders” train of thought and followed their conscience.

Piecing together some of the pages in our Cultural Revolution Tarot scrapbook has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. When working on the pages for the Devil card, i first came across the massacre My Lai. I’d briefly commented on No Gun Ri and the North Korean propaganda posters that inspired our ideas for the Devil card imagery, but My Lai as an actual specific Vietnamese atrocity (most of us have at least heard of the dodgy dealings during Vietnam, even if nothing more specific) is relatively new to me.

*Vietnamese source http://vukienmdc.violet.vn/document/show/entry_id/2610920

cultural-revolution-technicolour-tarot

Here is the full Major Arcana collection from our Cultural Revolution Tarot (the technicolour version). To be taken to our store, click on the image

Cultural Revolution Tarot- NOW IN TECHNICOLOUR

cultural-revolution-technicolour-tarot

They are finally here! the Technicolour version of The Cultural Revolution Tarot

It’s finally here. The Cultural Revolution Tarot TECHNICOLOUR Edition!

We’ve been working on this version of our Cultural Revolution Tarot alongside/during the last few dozen cards of what we’re calling the “original” version (aka the version coloured by myself, James).

I’m proud to present to you this vibrant technicolour version of the deck which i feel stays truer to deck author Christine’s original vision. Why? Because this one is actually coloured by Christine herself. I think that’s pretty awesome personally.

Christine’s interest in both Propaganda and Pop art combines a variety of inspirations, everything from Mao era Chinese propaganda posters to Andy Warhol’s “Maos” and of course, yet not intentionally, my own interest in comic book illustration. So there’s a variety of influences which have inspired the making of this Tarot.

There are, naturally, similarities between the original and the Technicolour edition because fundamentally they are the same Tarot. Visually though the differences are worth noting.

The most notable thing is the complete overhaul of colours in almost every card. Christine has

Mao-Warhol-Cultural-Revolution-Tarot

Christine’s interest in both Chinese Propaganda Posters and Warhol’s Pop art brings us a unique one of a kind Tarot

amped up the colours to as far as the printers will allow and the results have paid off. I am particularly fond of how the Sun card came out and also the World. In fact, while i tend to prefer more muted colours, i think that some of the colours have really given this version of the Tarot a life all of its own. I see the two versions as moods. My own is a bit more subdued, While Christine’s vibrant colours matches her optimistic, bright nature, which is essentially what Propaganda art is all about. Christine has decided on having the backs of her Technicolour version cards a vibrant red, while the originals feature a blue background, complete with a cast of our children characters and other Kawaii features.

cultural-revolution-tarot-technicolour-version-backs

The back of the cards features the same Technicolor style of visuals that Christine’s version emits

While the original Cultural Revolution Tarot features the Pentacles,Cups,Swords and Wands names for the minor arcana, Christine decided to rename her Technicolour version of the minor arcana suits as Cups, Flags (Wands), Blades (swords) and Stars (Pentacles).

Why Flags, Blades and Stars?

Let’s start with flags. Keep in mind that this is from my own point of view. Christine may come out with her own thoughts on this at some point. I feel that from my own personal view calling them flags, rather than wands, makes sense since our wands essentially are flag poles with flags attached to them. Working with a theme like this almost requires that you feature flags in it extensively because this is commonplace in Propaganda art and meant to inspire one’s national identity. They are a symbol of something bigger, something that unites the masses into, let’s say, a fiery fervour. I feel that many Americans can relate to this (especially when in the face of an attack on one’s country). I know in Ireland here people can be very passionate about flags, so much so that it causes conflict and anger if it’s messed with.

Blades : Most of our Swords cards are actually bayonets because this made more sense when

Technicolour-Cultural-Revolution-Tarot

Click on our commercial for the Technicolour Cultural Revolution Tarot to get 15% off if you purchase from the U.K

keeping with the theme of the deck. With the exception of the Queen of Swords, all of the Swords suit all feature bayonets. To my knowledge swords were not used all that much, if at all, during the time period of The Cultural Revolution, or at least in the Propaganda art itself.

Stars: Calling the Pentacles Stars seems to fit our theme due to the fact that the communist star is common in communist themed artwork. Chinese propaganda artwork is not a stranger to this. China’s own flag features a total of 5 stars.

There you have it folks. If you’d like to see more of the illustrations for this wonderful Technicolour version of this Tarot please follow us to our Facebook photo album page where we’ve taken extensive photos of the images to give you a better look at how they differ from the Original version

Thanks so much for reading this, and for your interest in our Tarot

James

The Cultural Revolution Tarot can be found on our site for 40 U.S dollars (at the time of writing). For the brits, this relates to little over 26 pounds. Go buy our controversial kick ass work of art and you won’t be dissappointed

Illustrating Asian Characters

Artwork by Jim Lee

Artwork by Jim Lee, an artist originally from Seoul

Marvel-Cultural-Revolution-Tarot-Asian-Comics-Kubert

Andy Kubert’s work from the 90’s on an asian character

Originally written on 4/4/2014 on my website and transported over to this blog…

“Over the past couple of days I’ve been looking through many of the old comic books I used to have stored away in the attic from my teens and it’s stirred a lot of memories. For the past few months now Christine and I have been working on the Cultural Revolution Tarot and it is the first time I’ve ever drawn Asian characters extensively.

As a young man I was inspired by artists like Andy Kubert and Marc Silvestri in the 90’s and as I looked through the illustrations, particularly of the Asian characters, I remember a time when I would examine the various way these comic book artists handled Asian features, particularly the eyes. These artists were illustrating x-men related characters but i remember when i would attempt to draw Asian features, i could never truly get it to look convincing. In fact, even to this day i am still completely unsure what exactly it is in terms of an actual “process” to create believable Asian features in characters, though Christine tells me i tend to do a good job.

We’ve been working on the Sun and Ace of Cups the past wee while in between projects for Portstewart and Bushmills. I think over the past few projects i’ve really learned a lot in terms of using layers because when you work on artworks with any number of people, you always want to accommodate their vision. When it comes to designing tarot cards or maps or signage, often you’ll be called to shift things around, reduce items in size or blow them up bigger than what they originally are, colour particular layers, such as the background we’ve been doing for the Ace of Cups especially.

Artwork by Chris Bachalo, Marc Silvestri and Frank Miller respectively

Artwork by Chris Bachalo, Marc Silvestri and Frank Miller respectively

Getting back to the old illustrations of Asian characters, i’ve always been inspired by Chris Bachalo’s illustrations but i feel that when it comes to Asians, they aren’t necessarily too Asian looking at times, though that could be a combination of style and also that the characters themselves are sometimes a mix of two nationalities. Frank Miller’s extensive work on Japanese characters in the 80’s have a very differnt look from that of other artists like Silvestri and Kubert.

Cultural-Revolution-Tarot

Our characters in the Cultural Revolution Tarot depict not only the Asian look, but whimsical ideas like pandas and koi fish and astronaut dogs. Children feature in our images extensively, bringing a bright cheery optimistic look to our cards.

All in all it has been quite rewarding artistically to work on illustrating Asian characters as it’s something i have never really attempted before at length.”

James

The Cultural Revolution Tarot can be found on our site for 40 U.S dollars (at the time of writing). For the brits, this relates to little over 26 pounds. Go buy our controversial kick ass work of art and you won’t be dissappointed

Cultural Revolution Style Limited Edition Posters

Our first ever

Our first ever “poster style” Cultural Revolution poster. I’ve named this one “Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman”

It’s been on my mind to do a collection of limited edition signed posters featuring our Cultural Revolution Tarot illustrations along with possibly all new artworks. Each poster would be signed personally by myself, the artist, and Christine whose ideas i brought to life in our Tarot.

I particularly like the idea of doing a few based on the the posters that were designed to educate young children (which i intend to include in the next blog).  I think those, above any other, are what stands out for me as examples of the high ideals Mao had for his country.

To the left we have our first poster entitled “Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman”.

The Cultural Revolution Tarot can be found on our site for 40 U.S dollars (at the time of writing). For the brits, this relates to little over 26 pounds. Go buy our controversial kick ass work of art and you won’t be dissappointed

Our Commercials in Other Languages

I’ve decided to have a go at releasing little commercials in Chinese, Russian and Portugese. While most of our fanbase is from the U.S and the UK, we also have a fair amount of Brazilians,  Russians and Chinese. I’m no language expert so i am learning little by little, but here is our efforts today.

First up is the Chinese…

文革塔罗牌 Cultural Revolution Tarot

我决定有一个去中国的中,俄文和葡萄牙释放广告。 我们的大多数球迷成分都来自于美国和英国,但我们也有巴西人,俄罗斯人和中国人谁喜欢我们的工作。 我不是语言专家,但是今天在这里是我们的努力。

我决定有一个去中国的中,俄文和葡萄牙释放广告。 我们的大多数球迷成分都来自于美国和英国,但我们也有巴西人,俄罗斯人和中国人谁喜欢我们的工作。 我不是语言专家,但是今天在这里是我们的努力。

文革塔罗牌  Cultural Revolution Tarot

请喜欢和分享我们的工作

感谢您的耐心等待。虽然我不会说或写中国通常情况下,我想向您展示我们的感激和尊重你丰富的文化通过试图说上几句话。这是一个很高兴說明這中国为主题的宣传毛泽东甲板。我们非常感谢那些你们谁评论说,很喜欢和分享我们的工作。

Next on our list is the Russian commercials…

Культурная революция Таро The Cultural Revolution Tarot

Опять же, как наши китайские друзья часто похвалил и разделили нашу работу , мы должны также показать нашу признательность за наших российских друзей

Опять же, как наши китайские друзья часто похвалил и разделили нашу работу , мы должны также показать нашу признательность за наших российских друзей

Культурная революция Таро Cultural Revolution Tarot

Пожалуйста, нравится, и разделить нашу работу

Finalmente, temos de agradecer aos nossos adeptos Brazillian pelo seu apoio ao longo do ano passado e mais como ilustramos nossa Revolução Cultural Tarot . Como expliquei anteriormente, eu não sou um especialista em linguagem , mas eu tenho tido tempo hoje para traduzir algumas palavras. Obrigado novamente por seu apoio contínuo de nosso trabalho. Com tendo mundo amplo apoio, este se sente como se fosse um projeto da comunidade , que dado o tema comum deste Tarot , parece adequado.

For our Brazilian friends…

A Revolução Cultural Tarot Cultural Revolution Tarot

Obrigado, amigos. Por favor, como , partilhar esta image

Como o artista para este tarot , eu gostaria de expressar minha gratidão a tantos que têm comentado e gostou do nosso trabalho.
A Revolução Cultural Tarot Cultural Revolution Tarot

Obrigado, amigos. Por favor, como , partilhar esta image

And finally, we have the all new English editions of our commercials…

文革塔罗牌 Cultural Revolution Tarot

Please share our images if you would be so kind🙂

Last but not least…

There we have it folks. Our Cultural Revolution Tarot, based on the highly collectible Mao era propaganda posters is still available for the time being. to order your copy, click on any of the pictures in this blog and be taken to my store. Christine and i greatly appreciate the support and encouragement we’ve received worldwide for our work. Thank you for reading.

James

文革塔罗牌 Cultural Revolution Tarot

Please share our images if you would be so kind🙂

The Cultural Revolution Tarot is a set of 78 beautifully illustrated images inspired by the propaganda art of the Mao era. The Cultural Revolution Tarot has garnered many fans from all walks of life and from such diverse places as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, India, Europe, the U.S and Canada, a testament to the strength of both the imagery and the conceptual ideas that are packed into this brightly coloured highly unique, highly controversial deck of cards.

文革塔羅牌是一套78靈感來自於毛澤東時代的美術宣傳精美的插圖圖像。文革塔羅牌已經獲得了很多球迷的各行各業,並從這些不同的地方是沙特阿拉伯,巴西,中國,印度,歐洲,美國和加拿大,
证明了这些争议卡的唯一性
A Revolução Cultural Tarot é um conjunto de 78 imagens belamente ilustrado inspirados na arte da propaganda da era Mao . A Revolução Cultural Tarot tem atraído muitos fãs de todas as esferas da vida e de lugares tão diversos como a Arábia Saudita , Brasil, China , Índia, Europa , os EUA eo Canadá , uma prova da força de ambas as imagens e as idéias conceituais que são embalado para este altamente original convés brilhantemente coloridos , altamente controversa de cartões

Культурная революция Таронабор из 78 прекрасно иллюстрированных изображений , вдохновленных агитационного искусства эпохи Мао . Культурная революция Таро получил много поклонников из всех слоев общества, и от таких разнообразных местах , как Саудовская Аравия , Бразилия , Китай , Индия , Европы , США и Канады, свидетельство силы обоих образах и концептуальных идей , которые упакованы в этой яркие высоко уникальный, весьма спорным колоду карт

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