Introductory lecture on aesthetics, religion, and politics

Delivered at The Ox, August 18, 2011.

If God wrote the Bible today, he would be assassinated by the CIA because God was the most radical artist ever, creating so much in six days and only resting for one, never obeying a single law but only making up laws as he went. Socrates was, remember, assassinated by the CIA.

If you think you are an artist but do not get assassinated by the CIA, then it is probably evidence your work will not be very significant in the scheme of world history. If you do not currently hope to be assassinated by the CIA, then it is probably evidence you do not aim to achieve art that is significant in the scheme of world history. Why do you want to live so long, anyway? People say life is short but they are wrong. Life is so long. To be assassinated by the CIA for making art would be nice. I’m not saying anything bad about the CIA or America, but just that they hate really really powerful artists because powerful artists are like the God of the creation—which even James Joyce says—and the God of the creation is a threat to the power of the CIA and America. Thus, if you wish to be the best artist you kind of have to wish that the CIA and America want to kill you, even if you don’t dislike the CIA or America and you don’t want to die. It is a philosophical paradox of sorts.

On the roof of our warehouse long ago there was once a pillow clogging the drainpipe and so when it rained the whole roof became one great puddle. This would make toxic yellow water drip into our bedrooms through small leaks in the roof. The big great puddle is like your libido, this room is one great puddle of libido, and the pillow clogging the drainpipe is a famous figure called the DJ, the barbary is like a big room of pillows and you go there and DJs put pillows in your ears and mouths and it feels nice and you sometimes afterwards have sex on the pillows between 0 and at the very best maybe 75% of the time but even if you have sex, after you have sex, the big great puddle of desire is still sitting there, stagnating. And do you know what it’s doing? It’s leaking toxic yellow water into your bedrooms. It makes you unable to breathe and when you are with other humans you can never quite say exactly what you want to say or do exactly what you want to. That is why sometimes we cry. It is the great puddle leaking through our eyeballs.

And that is why you have come to our warehouse. Because guess what? We removed the pillow on the roof; there is no more toxic water leaking into our bedrooms; and you, all of you, you great great puddle of libido, you may now flow freely through the mighty drainpipe of Art, which is Revolution my rich friends!

For, everyone must understand that we are all rich. Why, you ask? Here we must follow Hegel: People with a lot of money are not rich because their wealth forces them to be wealthy, they have no freedom money. We, on the other hand, are all rich because we have no wealth that forces us to be wealthy, therefore we are rich in freedom money.

The artist is a person who has freedom money. Freedom money means doing anything you want whenever you want even though you don’t have money. If you are a true artist, money will just appear or people begin to give you things or else you can just invent things or people to give you things.

That is called creation: just inventing things and people and if you do it really well, and really mean it, then people will just give you things and money and anything you need. If you do this, if you are an artist, and you are rich in freedom, and you really do creations with all of your libido, every ounce of it, with no pillows in your mouths or ears, then you are a true artist which means you are God himself or herself and the CIA might want to assassinate you. In the bible, God began with no money at all and so he just invented the whole universe and people such as Jesus and ever since then people have never stopped giving him money. But if the CIA does not want to assassinate you then you are doing it wrong or not doing it enough, which is maybe what you want to do, I don’t know.

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Murphy, Justin. 2011. "Introductory lecture on aesthetics, religion, and politics," (December 14, 2018).