On today of all days I painted the Senator.
This is my version of Tarot #4 - the Emperor. Sure, sure, the Emperor. You know what? I prefer the imperial system, over the nation state? I say Empire. It's a better, maybe even more robust and correct version of organizing people. More humane. That's my position. Now. I grew up with Star Wars, a little movie you might have seen. The Emperor - he's the bad guy, and Senators are kind of good. Kind of. See this is America. Now I have to get upset and say some political things - for a minute-I just have to. Listen.
So you have representatives, and they're supposed to represent you! It's a whole thing, the Republic. But the thing is - I've noticed that politicians keep deferring to ideologies. Now - I hate ideologies, and by god you should too. You know why the person who represents you wants to talk up ideologies? Because they don't care about you at all, and by talking about pie-in-the-sky notions, they can trick you into thinking that they do. True Fact - if I were the representative for my congressional district - I would hold out, and hold out and hold out and cast tie-breaking, filibuster defeating votes for any bullshit that came across - anything at all - as long as thy would concede that my constituency was granted a $100,000 tax credit. There, job over, represented your interests. Gamed the stupid system and won - for you. Your representatives don't do this -because they do not have your interests at heart - at all. They will tell you some kind of libertarian claptrap about ideals - and that's because they won't do anything for you - at all. Ever. Anger over.
So aside from being kind of angry about politics - today of all days! I painted the Senator. Here's your guide to the iconography. The Emperor is Card 4 in the traditional tarot and it's the Emperor -the universal and maybe sublime father. As I've said - Emperor as a title sits uneasily - what with the nurturing ministrations of star wars. But Father, older, elder, system of governance, the world. Senator is a Roman way of saying 'old man' true fact- the Senex, from the latin for codger. Senators are supposed to be old men who are staid and steady, pillars of the status quo. So - since I like these things: Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood (ya heard!) I went with a democratic symbol of terrestrial dominion and antiquary patriarchy - the Senator. Senators are old men (overwhelmingly) - and they govern, they choose the world you live in. Heck, even if you aren't an american (on today of all days) the old Senate will govern your life in a meaningful way. These are the old guard. I... I'm not trying to make my Senator card a villain. I'm not, just today - it wants to be. I live in Ohio and we haven't had a decent Senator since Glenn returned to the stars. True fact.
So a symbol of terrestrial dominion, masterful excercise over the system of the earth and a patriarch- which, if you value Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood - you don't value or respect all that much - but the Old Guard. The Ancien Regime. The Senator fits the bill.
Now - old timey tarot will put the Emperor as a domnitor, a substitute for the All-Father. Now, this I get. I have a love of the WOTAN of the they Sky Father, the embodiment of childish desiring. Of a want for comfort. I'm a father in fact,and I tell you true- I give some thought to my activities and say: "What would Odin do?" Because Odin plucked out his own eye to see the motherfucking future. You can talk about divine sacrifices, but I am here to tell you that making your hand take out your own motherfucking eye is pretty much the winningest style. So... Okay a door slammed, and I'm... okay I was here. There is a power in the FATHER of all things - and that is something I want to touch and know and care about - not because I want that comfort - but because I want to emulate that strength and goodness. This is lost. There is a lot of talk about the villainy of patriarchy, and I feel - that this talk is fair, it's totally fair. But I also feel that there is a place a vital needful place for the potent, correct and Good Father. So there is that. I abided by convention and gave my Senator a little Col. Sanders Beard. Greying at the temples. And throw in a cane - to complete the iconography.
Or anyway approach completion. I painted the Senator's Cane and kept thinking of Preston Brooks (wikipedia is protesting, google for yourself - unless you're wise). Senators should all have canes, and maybe pistols. There's a strength in the world and in Democracy and maybe the best version of that is the Senator. It's only that when it all goes bad, when it's the worst that it can be -the Senator, the Emperor, the Father - he's the villain, he's Darth Vader, he's the bad-bad-man. Which is a turn. But interesting. First in greatness, least in deficiency. That's my Senator.
I topped it, you know, with the goat-head. Capricorn you know - pretty satanic right? I didn't mean for the excess of Satanism. True story though - I think this is one of the better paintings I've painted. I thought hard about casting the whole thing in the shadow of the Goat-Head- but resolved instead to replace the anthropomorphization of democratic ideals with a terrible goat head. Because it's relevant to the esoteric symbolism - but also Creepy As Hell. So while you contemplate sinister goat-heads - look at this: