In Defense Of Shiny Red Nothing
My family has been targeted by a malicious actor who’s determined to destroy our livelihood. No hyperbole. Their weapon is their Christian faith. Their ammunition against us is my creative output, otherwise known as Shiny Red Nothing.
It should go without saying that I’m no evil Satanist or sleazy pornographer.
I can’t believe I have to say this.
Satanic images I posted were specifically called out by this person. These were made for Halloween and my band. I’m participating in a long-standing tradition of rock and roll showmanship. Just as with the myriad of blasphemous rock and roll bands before me, or a scary movie, my work is a curated act. Literal Halloween shenanigans as most, if not all, of the horror content I’ve produced was designed for Halloween. It’s not real. It’s fiction with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
FUN FACT: My wife doesn’t like the music I make, she tolerates it. She has not been involved with my band in any aspect whatsoever. She doesn’t even come to our shows. Or dress me! I make my own decisions on what I wear. Sometimes with tongue. Firmly planted. In cheek.
It’s a ludicrous notion that someone would worship Satan for real. Rosemary’s Baby was not a documentary. Neither are the short films I’ve made (also without participation from my wife).
Nudity in my work was also cited as a reason for the attack. Celebrating the human body in visual art is also a long-standing tradition dating back to our origins. Nudity is not shameful or intrinsically sexual, and neither is my art. My current series of artworks is called “Art Techneau” and is an exploration of the intersection between humanity and the digital age; nature and scientific progress. Sex isn’t a subject of these images anymore than it’s a subject of Michaelangelo’s statue of David.
My name is Jeremy Strickland, and I am a loving husband and father to two amazing stepchildren. I’m a Humanist and secular Buddhist. I’m an award winning musician, two-time ArtPrize alumni, and a published author. I challenge social norms with my work, but I live my life motivated by a sincere desire to be of service to my fellow humans, entertain them, and love them the best I can. I have never hurt anyone intentionally. I won’t even hurt a bug because I believe all life is rare and precious in our universe. I am not a monster, and my family has not earned the hate that is being directed at us. My family is innocent, and it rips my heart up that my work is being used against them.
My Grandfather, Charles Taylor, was an Airborne Ranger. Dropped off-course behind the Nazi lines in Normandy, France, he and his fellow Rangers had to fight their way to the beach to bail out our troops who were landing on that beach to intense resistance. Grandpa had enlisted the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, and when I asked him about it, he said he knew he had to fight for his country and family. He knew our freedoms are special and not to be taken for granted. The Nazis were evil and had to be stopped. They had already taken Europe, and Charles Taylor would not let those murderous book burners bring their hate to our soil.
I think of my Grandfather often and have deep appreciation for what our World War II veterans, for what all of our veterans gave for us so that we could keep those freedoms they fought for. We enjoy the rights to Freedom Of Expression and Religion in the United States Of America. I exercise those rights as an artist. It is fundamentally anti-American to attack those rights. You have the right to like or dislike my work, to agree with me or not, but it doesn’t concern my family, and you’ve no right to judge me or mine or attempt to ruin our livelihoods. We are real people, and these actions have real consequences on our family.
Thank you for your attention.
Some folks say,
“Well, not today.
Lord Satan, weep,
Cause I got away
By luck's design
I've won this time
Fuck you, Satan
But I won't
Live life that way
Just biding my time
'till Satan tempts yours and mine
No, I'll take a stand
Make a fist with my hand
Fuck you, Satan
When you unfurl your wings
I'm sorry to say that you're just not as scary as you think,