Interview on “Remember the 5th of November” painting

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So what is this title about in November?

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It is a line from the V for Vendetta movie in which V, the lead freedom fighter rescues a girl about to be raped by the secret police of the futuristic London and says…

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What exactly is he referring to?

In London, there is a Guy Fawkes holiday that falls on November the 5th, 1605.  It was the night that Guy Fawkes tried to overthrow the current King of England by blowing up Parliament.  Later it became a grand holiday that people dance to and light up bonfires.

In the futuristic movie, this holiday was banned and forgot, so the villain/hero decides to retry to blow up Parliament to overthrow the dictator Adam Sandler from power.

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Are there any parallels in our present day?

Well, if you look at UK they have over 1.4 million cameras run by CCTV to watch for crime.  This is equivalent to one camera every 32 people in the whole country mostly in urban settings.  This same use of cameras could be used as a way to control the population if an autocratic government came to power as in the movie V for Vendetta.

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In the US, the government set up Prism under the NSA.  The government story is that they only use it to check on the location of your phone number.  While Edward Snowden claims that they are using it to track any civilian virtually online with data up to 7 years in the past.  Sounds like a witch hunt of the civilian population.  This makes Nixon and McCarthy era look like Sesame Street in comparison.  This tool could easily be used to control a civilian population under an autocratic regime.  With the current Obama regime using the IRS to hinder the popular vote to possibly skew a popular election, you definitely have to be wondering where this is heading.  Are we still in a democracy?

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If you look at the US Constitution, the 4th Amendment strictly says government is not allowed to illegal search.  If you look at the NSA and Prism, this is an illegal search of the whole US population at will.  The government claims these are in check in under a secret court FISA.  Why does the court have to be secret?  Are the courts and President truly following the US constitution they are sworn to uphold?

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Which scene is the painting about?

In the film, the hero/villain survives a violent fire of the labs they run human experiments.  These experiments alters his DNA to have super-human traits while at the same time inventing a cure to the terrible virus the government unleashes on the population to seal the absolute power they take over the government.

How did the fictional dictator come to power in the film?

The group uses paranoia of the virus infection, hatred of minorities and fear.  As the inspector in the film finds out the genius of the plan is the fear instilled in the population.

Are there parallels in today’s world?

If you look at modern TV anchors, rather than reporting the news objectively they state their opinions.  Usually, it is how one side or the other is racist, hates minorites and is not worth listening to.  In a true democracy, people debate the issues and concede when they lost a logical point.  Do we have that in the current TV shouting matches we have nowadays?

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Are any works available? 

Check my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShawNshawNart

 

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Yes. I send about every 4-6 weeks at http://shawnshawn.co/Site/Contact

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Interview on “May the Odds be Ever in your Favor” painting

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So why did you choose the Hunger Games as a theme?

Well, I saw the movie and loved it.  It has such a beautiful brutality of reality and surreal future imbedded together.  The symbology in the film is extremely well done.  You have outstanding costumes showing immense gaudy wealth contrasted by poverty.

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Why did you choose this scene in the film?

Up to this point as a viewer to the movie, you think this movie is only about the dreary poverty of the future.  Once Effie enters the stage, you are literally shell-shocked by the utter extravagance of the Capital vs. the Districts.  At this moment, you see how cruel the Capital is.  Additionally, the microphone from the thirties and the construct of society is similar to a real autocracy. hungergames

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How important is the 3-finger salute to the film?

Well, the whole true reality is spoken by a simple gesture that the Capital cannot hide or manipulate.  This simple hand gesture becomes the symbol of the growing rebellion in the Districts as people realize they can be more than slaves.  They can choose to rebel despite over-whelming odds.  In the future as the symbology of the film wears out, there is a possibility this will be falsely mentioned as Nazi salute, but it is what it is.

Is this why you choose the title “May the Odds be Ever in your Favor”?

Yes, the title was hard to pick.  I thought of picking “give me liberty or give me death”, but I thought that was a bit obvious.  I like the idea of the mix of fiction and today’s symbols.

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So what are the symbols in the background?

I have many of the slogans of the Obama administration as the film came out during that time and there was a lot of thick campaigning bordering on propaganda.  I have MLK included as there were many references as well as logos of crushed railroads and failed green energy companies that Obama favored in his rule, Fiskar for example.  I also had symbols of global corporate rule such as Coca-cola, which is also a reference back to another painting of mine. Coke. It’s the Real Thing.

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The theme and labelling of Obama as a socialist and big government plays right into the same theme of the Hunger Games in that an obnoxious all-knowing government assumes it knows best how to allocate resources, save companies, how its citizens spend money, increasing taxes and regulate guns.  Other plays on the propaganda are from Shephard Fairey and derivatives of the message of Hope. ObeyGiant

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Why have an Osama bin Laden poster in the background?

Well, OBL was killed on Obama’s watch, so I have to credit that as well play on the meaning of that kill in the “War on Terror”.  I think that now that the foreign enemy has been beat abroad there is a danger of moving that war to US itself.  You see the beefing up of local police that now they have full machine guns to patrol its citizenry as just seen at Boston.  Other symbols include references to the Black Panthers, who were hunted down by the US government in the 1960s as a terrorist group as well. Of course, there is the Bill Ayers connection to Obama in his political youth as well. Ayers was part of another terrorist group the Weather Underground.

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Are any works available? 

Check my shop at www.shawnshawn.co

 

Do you have a monthly newsletter?

Yes. I send about every 4-6 weeks at http://shawnshawn.co/Site/Contact