PART 3: SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS
Don’t Spread Your Negativity!
If I followed the same approach as most photographers, all I’d need for my bio page are a few quick paragraphs. “I like to take photos. I have been lucky to have so many opportunities to take photos. Life is so wonderful, and I’m so thankful to share my photos with you. The end.”
That sums up the “About Me” page found on 99% of photographers’ websites. It’s logical to assume the more you keep your real thoughts to yourself, the wider your potential audience becomes. Drop one “F-bomb” and there’s no limit on the collateral damage to your sales.
I Say “Fuck That!”
I know there are hoards of “Positivity People” who don’t want to hear anything negative. They want to keep their heads in the sand and pretend everything is cool. I think I’ve presented enough evidence so far to prove my case. Everything is not cool. But hey, to each their own.
Sure, I could post some “sunshine and rainbows” dribble where the world is wonderful and everything is beautiful, but it wouldn’t be authentic. In my twisted view of the world, beauty is rare. That’s why people will take extraordinary measures to find it.
Why should I act like “The 99%?” That’s a crowded marketplace. There’s no shortage of assholes who made it into “The 1%” club. It’s simply not true when someone asserts that you need to be “nice” to be successful. Instead of wearing a fake corporate smile all day, I can differentiate myself from the competition by “just being me.”
I don’t have anything against photographers who are trying to appeal to the masses. The corporate guys just want to make a living. I get it. If you want corporate America focused on your images, you have to project a corporate image. The decision to drop something real on a public-facing website certainly deserves serious consideration before going all-in.
I continually ask people for their honest opinions about my website. Consistently, 8 out of 10 people tell me they like the photos but enjoy the storytelling more. That’s much higher than I ever anticipated. I assumed most comments would focus on the photography because I didn’t think people bothered to read much anymore. Instead, people tell me they appreciate that I’m a real guy and not “Mr. Big Business.”
I find out that most people I meet are also sick and tired of today’s politically correct nonsense, but the media wants you to believe that everyone gets offended by everything now. There are plenty of people in this world who thrive in the new “Cancel Culture.” They believe in freedom of speech until someone disagrees with their view. The cancel button gets pressed for anyone who dissents.
It’s so ridiculous now that a country music singer was kicked off his tour bus for eating a Chick-Fil-A sandwich while wearing a MAGA hat. Benton Blount assumed it would be ok to post that photo to Facebook, considering country music shows are usually held in stadiums full of Trump supporters. Even though people post photos of their meals to Facebook all the time, this one resulted in Blount losing his gig opening for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top!
So now I can lose my career and wind up homeless because I ate a chicken sandwich while wearing the wrong fucking hat?
I just heard the President of the United States say those words on live TV. I don’t think I need to worry about the negative impact my attitude might have on my career. On the day after his impeachment, the leader of the free world took time away from grabbing women by the pussy, to interrupt Sesame Street and let the little kids know “It was all BULLSHIT!”
Believe me, people always say to me: “Adam, don’t go around sharing your political views or you’ll lose half of your customers.” Half you say? Why not just get rid of all of my potential customers by saying if you truly supported either one of these ass-clowns, you’re part of the problem in our country. Out of 330 million people to choose from, these 2 retards are the best we could come up with?
If you voted for one of these people because you hated the other candidate so much that anyone else would do, then I have sympathy for you. As Bill Clinton would say: “I feel your pain.” When you walked into that voting booth you were asked to take a whiff of 2 bags of shit and decide which one smelled the best.
People keep telling me that if I continue with my shitty behavior I won’t make it far. And then I turn on the news to find out that if I aspire to become one of the 2 biggest assholes in America, I’d have a 50/50 shot at becoming the Commander in Chief! I’d have my finger on the nuclear launch button. What could go wrong?
Maybe I can set my sights even higher and run for congress. Have you seen how quickly the hair turns grey on these presidents? Fuck that stressful job! I want to make my living by going on vacation, and congress wouldn’t be a bad substitute. They only work 50 days out of the year. And even when I do have to show up I’ll be drinking champagne with my new buddies on the hill, while laughing at the peasants. Maybe I’ll take some bribes, bang some high-end D.C. call girls, and snort some coke. How bad could it be?
In our nation’s capital, anything is possible. Greedy banksters can sink the economy, and the corrupt politicians hand over our tax money to Uncle Pennybags so he can still collect his bonus. You can work for 30 years as a public servant and walk away with mansions and $160 million in the bank. We just learned that you can make $80 thousand a month just for being the Vice President’s son! If you get busted smoking crack as the mayor of our nation’s capital, you can run for re-election and get your job back! That was years ago. Now if you’re removed from office for corruption, you can put up a GoFundMe page and make even MORE money — Ca-Ching!
Well, Go Fuck Me!
I know these are just baseless “conspiracy theories.” Can you imagine if the world truly was being controlled by a multi-generational satanic cult? We’d have never-ending war and debt, mainstream media propaganda, mass surveillance, corrupt politicians, and a rich pedophile who flies them to his private island on a jet called the “Lolita Express.” In a world that crazy, a photographer would get bathed in riches for taking a golden shower all over Jesus.
As if being nailed to a cross for healing the sick and feeding the poor wasn’t enough, Jesus Christ was forced to suffer even more humiliation thanks to photographer Andres Serrano. Back in 2008, some rich asshole pissed away $277 thousand at a Christie’s auction for Serrano’s photograph titled “Piss Christ.”
These days, people are upset about left-wing lunatics trying to silence everyone’s free speech. When I was a kid it was the opposite. The religious right were the ones screaming the loudest. Most of my album collection as a teenager was due to watching a bunch of religious nuts protesting on the news. I’d immediately think to myself “Damn, I gotta go pick up that Mötley Crü, that Aerosmith, Metallica… I gots to get me some of that Dr. Dre, some 2 Live Crew, and Snoop D-O-double-g in this motha’ fuckin’ house.” Whoever blew up the religious protest circuit that week was getting all of my allowance money.
Religious folks tend to get upset when you drop their lord and savior into a jar and piss all over it. The limited edition prints of this photograph have been vandalized and destroyed from Australia, all the way to Sweden and France. Serrano claims “I had no idea Piss Christ would get the attention it did, since I meant neither blasphemy nor offense by it. I’ve been a Catholic all my life, so I am a follower of Christ.”
Maybe it Serrano’s faith that guided him to continue creating prolific works of art, like the time he jerked himself off onto a pane of plexiglass covered in cow’s blood. That photo was used for the cover of Metallica’s Load album. Serrano came back to Metallica for sloppy seconds and his pee-fetish for the Reload album, proving there’s more than one way for your album reach gold on the pop charts. All things considered, I suppose worse things are going on inside the Catholic church these days.
My Cross to Bear
People keep telling me that I can’t make it as a photographer if I’m controversial. I was raised in a catholic family where they brainwashed me into believing I’ll face eternal punishment for taking the LORD’s name in vain. They failed to let me know I could pay my way through college if I had only busted a nut all over grandma’s rosary beads and tossed the crucifix into one of her mason jars. Follow that up with some fresh, yellow, first-of-the-morning pee and maybe top it off with a little pig’s blood for good measure.
Remember when I mentioned people getting pissed off about the things I say? Jesus bathed in urine is where they usually draw the line. A few people got offended and screamed at me: “I can’t believe you’d say such a thing on your website!” I don’t understand the animosity. I’m not the one who made almost 300 large from a photo of Jesus covered in piss! Why not be mad at the guy who peed on Jesus instead? As usual, these religious nutjobs want to crucify the messenger instead. According to the bible, they have been doing that since the time of Jesus. I guess that’s the cross I’ll have to bear.
Are these the same religious fools pissing billions of dollars down the toilet so the “700 Club” can afford private jets to get between their mega-churches and their mansions? You know how much Jesus hated sitting in coach with all the peasants. Andres Serrano said that Piss Christ was a criticism of the “billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry” and a “condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends.”
Philippians 4:19 states “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Giving your “yellow gold” unto the Lord won’t yield enough return for a tiny starter home in Silicon Valley, but shitting all over the public in the name of Jesus will reward you with heaven on earth.
I don’t need all that extravagance. For me, heaven on earth would be riding across the country on a bicycle with some camping gear and a camera slung across my shoulders. If the good LORD made me jaded so I would have more appreciation for the beauty in this world, so be it. If he tells me through whispers of synchronicity to share it with all of you, then so sayeth the LORD! Who can argue with that?
People always ask me: “Adam, how do you expect to make a living by pedaling your bicycle around the countryside taking photos all day?” Should I just give up on my hopes and dreams and start peddling false hope instead? There’s still plenty of money left to collect on that table.
In only 3 years, the company responsible for the psychic powers of “Miss Cleo” billed over $1 billion to people’s credit cards, but they were only successful in collecting half the amount. Still, $500 million isn’t too shabby for making up bullshit to tell stupid people about their future. At $2 a minute that’s 500 million minutes! Ms. Cleo would have had to work 951 years and 4 months straight without a break. There must have been a call center in Jamaica that would make the largest customer support center in India look small.
Why pay $120 an hour for a psychiatrist when you can ask a two-bit voodoo witch doctor with psychic powers to solve your problems? Especially if most of your problems stem from poor spending habits and debt.
Witch Doctor or Head Shrinker?
Why should I bother calling my local witch doctor or head shrink? I already found the cure for the melancholy and infinite sadness that Generation X is so famous for. You may notice I haven’t said much about photography yet. That’s because the reasons I chose to pursue it don’t have much to do with photography. Going on a long hike, cycling around a city, or driving the countryside in my Jeep looking for the next beautiful moment to capture heals my dark soul. These adventures are the yin to my yang.
The professional photographers I went to art school with still say that I’m not a “real photographer” because I went to art school for illustration and graphic design. However, I had a special arrangement at school to take a year’s worth of photo classes with them. Like Pinocchio trying to become a real boy, I’m just trying to find my way. Most people think I am just going to end up making an ass out of myself instead.