Friday, August 18, 2017

It's about me and my issues. It's not about the world or politics. I own my issues and choose to start by changing myself.

Let me just get right to the errors I see in myself. Otherwise, I'll bloviate for paragraphs. I'll put my personal sharing at the end.


Let's just say I have plenty. Once someone called me a hypocrite and I replied "you don't know the half of it, man..." If you want to point out that I am contradictory and duplicitous, I'm way ahead of you. However, I am picking a big specific one for this post.

Recent events in Charlottsville really put a fine point on my errors.

L to R: Allum Bokhari, Milo Yiannopoulos, Jeremie Lederman

In March of 2016, I was in LA with my freinds Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari. We just met in Milo's office in the Breitbart Headquarters.

They were discussing a huge article that was underway that they wanted an illustration for. In March of 2016, very few people had heard the term 'alt-right' and the article's stated goal was to shine a light on how diverse the movement was.

This article was going to be one of the first to try and put it all in once place. As someone that was partially present at the inception process, I can attest to the fact that Milo and Allum believed everything they were doing. I mean that in positive terms. The stated intention was to try and illuminate how multi-faceted the alt-right was so as to avoid confusion and stereotypes.

When Steve Bannon called Breitbart the platform of the alt-right, I think he was under the same impression... but I don't know for sure.

I admit that I was not fully knowledgeable of the Alt-Right's history beforehand. I knew all about Pepe the Frog's multiple personas on 4CHAN, the growing anti-Republican sentiment, and a few other issues.

My illustration was meant as a multi-dimensional prod at the many subjects surrounding this larger topic.

I suggested it would be funny to use Pepe the Frog as the Ghost of Christmas Future telling the GOP establishment that they had better deal with reality of they were headed for the grave. Pepe has already been used by the racists and white nationalists by that point. Pepe was also the source material for memes and subjugation by nearly everyone else as well.

The inside joke of using Pepe was prophetic irony it would seem.

Our discussion around how the media paints everything conservative as racist would be embodied by Pepe. I was also embedding the idea that if the GOP didn't deal with it's own 'Pepe' it was going to face a grim future. Turns out, Pepe ( a.k.a the alt-right ) WAS nothing more than a hive of racist assholes.


I'll save you the long story. I was WRONG about the Alt-Right. It's the spawn of racist assholes. It WAS the creation of racists and white nationalists like Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Sailer, and Vox Day. It is NOT a multi-faceted movement. 

I want NOTHING to do with people like this. The idea that something I created could in ANY way give support to people like this makes me ill.

Here's what they have to say about the Alt-Right:
Spencer “Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence”

Sailer "Since Jewish predilections play such a massive role in the media, it’s crucial to understand these biases”


What I didn't know then, I know now. I am very conflicted over this illustrations' impact.

The article itself has been mentioned in Hillary Clinton's speech about the alt-right, it has been discussed recently in every news outlet, and recently discussed by Ben Shapiro.

I would never have guessed that my illustration would eventually force Pepe the Frog out into the open and ostensibly lead society into Kekistan...I'm not sure how I part ways with my own work.

My knowledge of the time ( or ignorance of the facts ) was not to endorse the alt-right. I went on to work with Milo until the end of 2016. I designed the wrap for his "Dangerous Faggot" Tour Bus, and almost designed the jacket for his book "Dangerous"

My primary motivation in working with Milo was to endorse the efforts to pry open sacred cows, call out terrible thinking, and help fight the battle on behalf of free speech.

I still consider Milo and Allum my friends. That's who I am. Despite my faults, I love my friends; warts and all. I am a loyal friend in return. I recently did a graphic for Allum to support his articles about the recent Google controversy and the firing of James Damore.

While many have asked me where I stand with Milo on many other things, I want to be clear that I am primarily ONLY addressing this article and what it means to me.

This leads me to other issues I had had to face.

My biggest issue is a lack of empathy and listening. What sits behind this is self-doubt, fear, and pride. I battle with feeling like I don't matter, so having an opportunity to express myself on such a stage is awesome. I fear that if I don't address what I fear, the future will be overrun by things I hate.

I don't disavow my convictions, but I don't honor them by steamrolling through my biases and reactionary posting. Everything I am facing stems from this.

A lack of empathy and listening means that I didn't try and be the other person.
Trump's election was claimed to have emboldened the racist and radicals. I quietly refused to accept this. The left has always painted anything conservative as racist. Most of the time it's political bluster and identity politics. I was able to convince myself that it was so manufactured, that any truth to their claims were likely minute.

The 'grievance culture' as they call it is defined by the easily offended 'snowflakes' that find anything disagreeable as intolerable. While I am in no way endorsing this victim culture's efforts to magnify everything they discuss, I cannot blatantly dismiss individual's experiences.

Women who were deeply hurt by "Grab her by the Pussy" had every right to be.

People of Color who felt anger and fear after the election had every right to.

I could go on...

I am not dismissing the abuses of the political left to use racism, feminism, equality, white privilege, 'punching a nazi' and other topic issues as bait. I will always fight for free speech and equality.

CHANGE OF COURSE (Change, of course)
In 2017, I was deep in a personal and existential battle. I was battling a bout of depression and awkwardly stumbling through a deliberate process to become 'woke.'

After my divorce in 2015, I began attending the Mankind Project's iGroups. I was no stranger to recovery and counseling, but this was very different. After I initiated with MKP in 2016, all the doors to my own issues began to open.

The effects of my communication on my lifelong friends was suddenly very clear. The way that I tried to communicate my convictions were understandably confusing. I'd wager that nobody who knows me personally would ever accuse me of being a bigot or lacking empathy. None the less, the way I approached expressing myself was clearly biting, sarcastic, judgmental, and often poorly researched.

I claim all of this as my responsibility. While trying to build a better world, I was contributing to the opposite.

I hate racism, I hate individual people being subjected to suffering or struggle because of their unique characteristics. I have come to blows with skinheads many times in my life, and I would stand with anyone against such hate and evil.

I am committing to be the kind of man that would rather have people at my table than to table their experiences. I will always fight the battle as a constitutional conservative with very socially liberal egalitarianism...
We can disagree. I don't care about disagreements. I care about YOU. I'd rather we find a way live in peace together even as we practice our divergent convictions.

I admit I wasn't listening. That is something I can actually change.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Baby Boomers in the Digital Era


IP Addresses

Digital Footprint

Looking Through Facebook

The Data Cloud

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


BB King was a legend, perhaps America's most successful blues musician. He was one of the original players of the blues generation and become a household name long 
before he died. Sadly, when someone like King passes away, history passes along with them. Very little now remains of that remarkable generation. It is now 112 years since the release of “Dallas Blues” by Hart Wand (the first copyrighted ‘blues’ composition) and America has enthusiastically embraced both the music and it's tragic creators. The least of which being BB King.

When I first began this post, the goal was to provide a simple “TOP SOMETHING” list of interesting BB King facts. We have all know about King’s guitar skills, legendary touring schedule, and his hits. However, as I began to study the facts, King’s childhood really began to make an impression. It’s an unforgettable story and it deserves to be told. So before the factoids, allow me to connect the humanity to the man.

A brief history of his childhood.

BB King was born Reiley King to a poor family in a riverside cabin on the Bear Creek plantation in Berclair, Mississippi. He saw his first electric light bulb at the age of 16.

When he was 5, he was devastated by the death of his two year old brother ( Curce King ) who is alleged to have died from eating glass.

King eventually left the delta life and moved to the hill country of Mississippi when he was 8. His parents separated, and his mother, Nora Ella took King with her. Nora wanted to return to the surroundings of her large extended family.

Tragedy again broke into Kings life when he was 9. His mother dies at the young age of 31. Nora is believed to have lost her battle with diabetes.

King now lives with his grandmother where hard work, education, and church become his way of life. His environment is very communal and lacking in basic infrastructure. The town has little indoor plumbing and no electricity, and his school year is based on the planting / harvest seasons. Many of the families in King’s life are sharecroppers and farmhands, and all of the children work the fields with the adults while school is not in session.

“I was a regular hand when I was 7. I picked cotton. I drove tractors. Children grew up not thinking that this is what they must do. We thought this was the thing to do to help your family,”

"I guess the earliest sound of blues that I can remember was in the fields while people would be pickin' cotton or choppin' or somethin’."
Despite his surroundings, BB King managed to gain two great advantages from the dominant church presence in his life. The first came from Reverend Archie Fair, the pastor of his local church. Pastor Fair was a fervent man who lead worship with vitality, playing his guitar during the service. King was said to be instantly fixated by this. He was later given the chance to play on the pastor’s guitar, and it was an obvious fit. The second came from his teacher and church administrator, Luther Henson. Luther taught King to read, be self-reliant, and how to live as a fair minded and responsible man. This would come to serve King well, as he had to begin his adult life at a mere 14 years of age.

By this time, King was alone and given one acre of land to tend to by the farm boos. At one point, King is making $22.50 a week on this plot, but never enough to fully pay back the owner. None the less, he was given a loan by the farm boss in order to buy a guitar and get music lessons. King loved the blues, aka, “The Devil’s Music” and especially enjoyed Sonny Boy Williamson. On Saturdays, his street performances would earn him more than his farming did for the entire week. He was also a regular church performer and a member of the ‘Famous St. John Gospel Singers.’

Eventually, King left Mississippi for Memphis where he was surrounded with a musical atmosphere that he only once dreamed of.

"When I sing and play now I can hear those same sounds that I used to hear then as a kid.”
King was inducted in the U.S. Army during the WWII, but was released after basic training due to his high level of skill as a tractor driver. This skill classified him as ‘Essential to the War Economy.”

Eventually, King made a few seminal performances through radio, and the rest was history.

So with that history, let’s visit:


10. When Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968, King joined Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy in an all-night blues benefit in order to raise money for Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

BB King had two marriages and fifteen children. He sadly performed for one of his children in 1992. He was performing at a jail in Gainesville, Florida where his daughter Patty happened to be an inmate.

08. King founded FAIRR (the Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation), an organization dedicated to the improvement of prison conditions. Much like Johnny Cash, he played in prisons throughout his career.

07. King was a deejay in 1949. During his time at WDIA Radio ( still on the air to this day ), his nickname was ‘Beale Street Blues Boy.” This eventually shortened to B.B. and the name never left him.

06. King earned 30 Grammy nominations, 15 wins and a Lifetime Achievement award. He was also on Billboard’s R&B charts an amazing 74 times.

05. In the late 60’s, black audiences were moving away from the blues. However, rock musicians in England were beginning to immerse themselves in the genre. Artists like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck brought the blues to eager white audiences. This led to King sharing the stage with Black Sabbath, Santana, Janice Joplin and others.

When asked by Jet magazine if King felt that African Americans were abandoning the blues, King replied, “Anything that we stop supporting and others start, I don't know if you call it giving it away or we just leave it out there and let somebody else have it."

04. In 1969, "The Thrill Is Gone" was released. In 1971 it won a Grammy and became King's biggest hit and a concert standard. It was a hit on both the pop and R&B charts which is still considered rare even by today's standards.

03. King was a licensed pilot, a compulsive gambler, a non-drinker and non-smoker, he also was a vegetarian as he too battled diabetes.

02. King was a relentless showman and performer. Among his touring feats included playing 342 one-night stands in 1956, and on April 17, 2006, he performed his 10,000th live show. Throughout his life, his schedule was always full, averaging 200 shows a year.

01. One evening in Twist, Arkansas, King was performing when two men accidentally set the dance hall on fire while fighting over a woman. Even though King escaped, he ran back in to save his valuable guitar. When he discovered that the woman at the center of the fight was named Lucille, he gave his guitar the same name. He said it was to remind him never to do anything as stupid.

Thank you for joining me in remembering this amazing musician.
I leave you with this indescribable performance:


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Drawn from the Honeywell - The video that had to be

In September a rare opportunity began to unfold. I was contacted by JDA Software in Scottsdale, AZ to help them with storyboarding a series of videos.

In my first meeting with the JDA team, we ran through the current concept and discussed production. In a nutshell, the video would detail the way in which JDA software and Honeywell hardware combine to make the management of a shipping warehouse run smoother.

The head of the team asked me what I thought, and I explained how disastrous the superhero motif can be. Unless superheroes are used in an authentic and contextual manner, it will bomb. I offered some ideas as how to approach the video with this theme in mind.

The next night, I found out that the woman who contracted me as well as the team leader had been laid off. Everyone in charge of decision making was now gone. The man in charge of the video production, Kevin O'Donnell, was supposed to be flying out to Florida in four days. He needed storyboards and a shot list. I needed to know if the project was still a go. Later in the day, I received a conference call from Kevin and an executive from the JDA offices in Dallas. We were asked if we felt ok taking over the project ourselves. In addition to the art, I would need to write the script, dialog, and direct the shots for each scene.

So Kevin and I agreed to take over. Thankfully, Kevin is a top flight talent in production. We both worked together perfectly for the circumstances. He was able to improvise and frame shots while on location that enhanced everything I had in mind for each scene. His direction and final edit with sound and audio was awesome. It was a truly collaborative project.

Moving forward, with no accountability, micro-management, anyone to report to, we produced (what we feel) is some kick-ass and funny material.

We were notified that our video won the Honeywell National Partner Video Case Study Contest.

Here is our homage to everything we loved about the "SUPER FRIENDS," "60's MARVEL COMICS CARTOONS," and good old fashioned fun.

Friday, August 29, 2014

In honor of Robin Williams

I first experienced Robin Williams as Mork in the 70s. To my surprise he was picked to play the role of Popeye, and I would've never guessed that his future would turn into what it did.

Well there may be countless opinions about the fact that he took his own life, there is no debate about how much he gave of his life of the rest of us.

I hope you enjoy this piece. I'm offering prints after much request, please visit:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Guardians of the Galaxy / Rocket Raccoon speed drawing

MARVEL Studio's new film, The Guardians of the Galaxy is fantastic. Having been a fan of that team (in all of it's incarnations) since I was a boy in the 70's, I can say unequivocally that it was inspiring. They obviously let James Gunn get his way and develop a unique and 'unsafe' product. It was worth it.

Nonwithstanding the fact that I have had an amused intrest in Rocket Raccoon since he appeared in 1982...