Saturday, July 23, 2011

POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE: A Portrait of Governor Bill Haslam and His Wife Crissy

Passing new laws is all about control and Bill is a control F-R-E-A-K
As of July 1st, my home state has adopted Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 3 which bans the transmission of “Potentially Offensive Images” via the internet.   Governor Bill Haslam signed this bill into effect last month, making us the first state in the country to put forth such a measure which CLEARLY snubs The First Amendment and Freedom of Speech.   Violators of this newly formed law are subject to misdemeanor charges and a conviction to serve up to one year in jail and pay a $2500 fine.

Before we get into the potential ramifications of this glob of snot spat on the Bill of Rights, here’s where this all got started…  The new law is actually a modification to Public Chapter 362 of Tennessee Law.  The original legislation made it a crime to email, call or otherwise communicate to an individual with the intent to cause emotional distress.  The legislation was an attempt to curb what is referred to as “cyber bullying,” a growing problem amongst youth in schools.  Cyber bullying has caused children to be humiliated, stop going to school for fear of ridicule and even driven students to suicide in extreme cases.  It’s my firm opinion that stifling such juvenile behavior falls under the jurisdiction of decent parenting.   Putting forth a law making such communication illegal is a clear-cut violation of Freedom of Speech.  Keep in mind that very tough calls have to be made by our justice system to uphold our First Amendment rights; this includes allowing groups such as The Westboro Baptist Church (the “God Hates Fags” nut jobs) and The Ku Klux Klan (famous for lynching black folks and burning crosses) to assemble publicly and inject their rhetoric into the public pool of thought.  We may not always agree with the issue at hand, however it is essential that these rulings take place in order to preserve one of the basic rights our country was founded on.

As of this month, it is now illegal to post an image to the internet in the state of Tennessee which may “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”  These terms include emailing, tweeting or posting the image in any form or fashion.  In a recent interview, Knoxville lawyer Rick Hollow was asked to clearly define the limitations of this law.  “We’re left to our own interpretations,” Rick stated.  What exactly is considered to be offensive? The attorney says, “Just about anything that the individual finds to be annoying, harassing or intimidating.”


Let’s try real quick to clarify the term, “Potentially Offensive…”

Potentially is defined as “Possibly but not yet actually.”  Soooooo according to this term, the image doesn’t even have to be outright offensive to breach the law, only have the potential to offend someone.  See the grey canyon of interpretation?

Offensive is defined as “Causing resentful displeasure, irritating, angering or annoying.”  A fun fact is the example used on Dictionary.com is “offensive television commercial.”  Now that’s something we could make illegal and nobody would complain!  As human beings, I’m certain there’s nobody who could make it an hour of surfing the web and not find something annoying or irritating out there.  Throw a stone anyone?
Now if laying these definitions out doesn’t make the law vague enough for you, this next tidbit will really burst your freedom-fighting bubble.  The new law doesn’t require the picture in question to be of or about the person of persecution!  An individual only has to find an image someone uploads offensive to have them arrested and fined.  Furthermore, the government wouldn’t even have to prove the defendant’s intentions.  The fault lies on the person who posted the image- which applies to chain of possession.   In other words, don’t be scared to share my portrait of Governor Haslam and his wife, Crissy- only I am liable.

Thankfully we DO have freedom of speech and expression in our country and groups which help to enforce them.  In 1997, the ACLU took on Janet Reno and her Communications Decency Act, which attempted to make certain interactions and materials on the internet illegal.  All nine Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously voted to strike down certain provisions of this act as violations of The First Amendment.  Freedom of Speech in art has been upheld for over 50 years from cases such as Winters vs. New York (1948) where the content of comic books was put on trial.  Media Coalition and The ACLU of Tennessee are taking up the torch on this issue and have announced their lawsuit against the State of Tennessee for violating The First Amendment.  

“ACLU-TN, joined by the Media Coalition plans to file a lawsuit challenging the new state “offensive images” law which makes it a crime to post any image online that causes “emotional distress” to any individual. This new law, which went into effect July 1st, creates a chilling effect on expressive political, artistic, and otherwise lawful speech and also turns political activists, artists and others into criminals. Basically anyone with an online presence sharing images becomes vulnerable to prosecution.”
-Hedy Weinberg (Executive Director / ACLU of Tennessee)


My main motivation behind this work can simply be summed up with one of my favorite quotations-

"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."
-Thomas Jefferson

My sketch and photo reference for the ball gag on Mrs. Governor

I really capture their passion for one another

Photo reference of the patriotic couple

Beginning of the inking process

Detail of the double-ended dildo which ended up Tennessee orange!


To voice your concern about this new provision of our state law to Governor Haslam, contact him directly at his office by calling (615) 741-2001 or contact him via email to bill.haslam@tn.gov

-Brandt Hardin (Clarksville, TENNESSEE)


Is the legislation JUST or UNJUST?


Are you OFFENDED more by the ART or the LAW? 


Leave your comments and tell me...

97 comments:

  1. they are going to shoot you like 2 pac

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they take me out, now you gotta get a hologram made of me to perform live!

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

      Tupac spelled backwards is after all Kaput.

      Delete
  2. AnonymousJuly 24, 2011

    the Portrait fits him well. he is a joke.Not a 2 turm joke I hope. I think he may see himself as a Dicktater...yes its spell right.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousJuly 24, 2011

    While I agree with 99% of the context (wording) of your post the content(image) is demeaning, degrading, offensive and unnecessary. All of the "civility" expressed in the statement is lost in the ignorance of the image.

    YES, I am aware that you posted the image (most likely) to prove a point and maybe to gain some attention & maybe to take on the government & this law. Your method is no different that that of a bully or self appointed law enforcer. You are in affect causing others to toss the baby out with the water because you just pissed in it.

    Your action is equal to those who go to a KKK rally and scream the same type of vial words at the Klan that the Klan tosses at them. Civility is ESSENTIAL when combating ignorance & injustice, not more IN-civility.

    DPA
    2 pennies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

      No it isn't.

      Delete
  4. DPA,

    I appreciate the tip- an artist will do anything for money.

    The featured work is meant to serve solely as a political commentary about this affront on freedom of expression. Bill Haslam signed the law of question into reality, therefore muffling (ball-gagging) Freedom of Speech in Tennessee. I believe my portrait of Mrs. Haslam becomes her as she represents the general public, with their hands tied of power to challenge legislation put forth by politicians without a public vote of approval.

    As for civility- I agree 99% that it is ESSENTIAL when combating ignorance, injustice and breaches of human rights. It was my intent to be wholly civil with my imagery in this case. Using nudity or extreme sexual and violent content can be too easily dismissed as pornography (which could be shrugged or "pissed" right out the window.) I chose to take the higher route and not show any of Mrs. Governor's gaping orifices after Bill got done with the TN Double Dong.

    ReplyDelete
  5. HAHAH that's fucking art dude. I rather strongly disagree with 'anonymous' above who is offended by your artwork. If it didn't evoke some sort of emotion, it wouldn't be worth the paper its drawn on. If all you'd done is blog (as we ALL have) about violations of this (R) government in this (R) Red State that once voted to quit being part of America in order to secure its freedom to violate the rights of human beings... Well nobody would have read it. In fact, I just spoke my mind a bit, and I doubt that 1/8th of the people who get your message will get mine. Art is power. Don't let overly conservative people censor you. Not that you would. I seem to remember a cock gun hanging on Twin's wall for years. Peace papalove.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well put Dano- maybe I should do a more modern cock-gun and make a Fort Campbell advertisement out of it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's Tuesday and I still haven't been served or arrested. I think this law may be a joke- ya think?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very nice job. Love the provocative art work. I've bookmarked you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AnonymousJuly 26, 2011

    This certainly is an interesting vision that is far from subtle. I like it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anon: There is a huge difference between social commentary and hate speech. Huge. Massive. Immeasurable I would dare say.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hehe, perfect response to the law friend

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm offended that people are offended! Can we make a law about that as well?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for following along Richard!

    Billy- thanks for lighting a torch with me today!

    Ash- the law is so vague you can be offended by anything gal. It doesn't have to be images, it can be emails, comments, anything! Make some calls on some commenters!

    ReplyDelete
  14. AnonymousJuly 28, 2011

    Linked here from Southern Beales blog. I will be returning often. Well done sir.

    @Anon One that thinks their point valid should also be willing to take responsibility for it. ID yourself. Whether you endorse Mr. Hardins action or not the origin of the image is not in doubt.

    Randy Johnson

    ReplyDelete
  15. You're welcome back any time- offended or not / anonymous or not!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I found your blog searching new directories for furniture. Your blog turned out good.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Occasionally, politician's wives in bondage gear CAN be used as furniture- at least that's one story Governor Haslam told me.. what a kink!

    ReplyDelete
  18. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    The legislation to which this artwork is a response is indeed reprehensible and unconstitutional. However, it is Crissy Haslam, not Bill, who is treated with disrespect in the image. Crissy is an actual, identifiable person, not her husband's metaphorical possession. Using her personally distracts from the intended message and takes a cheap, degrading, sexist, unnecessary shot at someone tangential (at best) to the law that the piece is meant to criticize. Why not an image of BILL Haslam trussed up in bondage gear? I understand what the message is supposed to be and I think that it is a well-done piece, but I don't think that specifically humiliating Crissy Haslam to make a point about her husband was called for.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Representing Crissy in the capacity I did places our Governor in the role of the dominant censor in control of our public opinion and voice by passing these laws.

    ReplyDelete
  20. AnonymousJuly 30, 2011

    Word has it that Crissy runs up a $1,500.00 debt using tax payer's money to keep up cutting edge of bondage gear. She feel's flattered by this image of her. She would like a copy of this, then "plant" it under Bill's pillow hoping he would take a hint. She has been sexually frustrated for years from Bill's neglect...which turns her to tricks dressing in bondage for her "Johns".

    ReplyDelete
  21. whether one likes this particular piece of ART isnt the issue...
    it should NOT be BANNED or your rights tampered with in any form or manner.

    Jefferson was right!

    Jay Swafford
    Thomas Jefferson
    & Brandt Hardin FAN

    ReplyDelete
  22. AnonymousJuly 31, 2011

    Your picture is just a sad little hissy fit over something that doesn't even affect you.

    This picture is typical of all of your work - misinformed and self concerned. You drawing style is as childish as your politics.

    ReplyDelete
  23. AnonymousJuly 31, 2011

    Nobody cares about what you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously you do, or you wouldn't have commented on this ;)

      Colin James Hughes.

      Delete
  24. Hah! I think I'll be movin' to Tennessee now, where I will never have to see another image of 9/11 since it's so upsetting. Glennbeck kind of upsets me too - no more of that! In fact the Teabaggers as a whole upset me. And the GOP. And conservative pundits. And idiot apologists for corporate globalization. And screaming babies. And teenagers. Whew, thank god I'll have legislation to protect me from all those in Tennesee!

    Unless, of course, as you point out, this "law" is just total Republican political correctness bullshit. Which is sounds like.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very well sir, I think you did right by showing the true face of a dirty politician, we all know that people have done way worst that what you show in your artwork, such as weiner among others. anyways, if someone doesnt like what you did, they shouldn't look at it or not even comment on this blog!! haters out there get to work

    ReplyDelete
  26. peace sells but who,s buying? nice work brandt.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Pere, the pic has been up for 9 days and I haven't been charged yet. I believe we're proving the law is a farce each and every day! Sorry the state cannot shelter you from what offends quite yet.

    Alex, You can't sell Peace, which is why we may never see it in our Capitalist society.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Brandt ~

    ... so thrilled to find your art!

    All that's missing is the A$troglide.

    ReplyDelete
  29. My God, you people are stupid old hippies.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's better to be an old hippie than a young sheeple.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My God Anonymous, who you callin' old? Peace is back by popular demand baby!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Betsy Phillips at The Nashville Scene recently posted a short article about this portrait of Governor and Mrs. Haslam. It got quite a conversation stirred up if you enjoy reading reactions to my work, you can get in on the action at http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2011/07/28/arrest-him-officer-artist-brandt-hardin-offends-me-with-his-portrait-of-the-governor-and-his-wife

    ReplyDelete
  33. Boyer BarnerAugust 10, 2011

    A few years back, we had a couple of state legislators wanting to introduce legislation to make dildos illegal in our state. If that had happened, you'd be paying "double" the fine!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, seems to me if you don't mind trouble, the thing to do is find offense at every picture of Gov. Haslam you come across (purposefully search for) as well as finding distress at any other person, place or thing in Tn which goes against your grain. It might not make a difference in the long run, but it would make a point.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Quite misogynistic. It appears you are just another woman hater posing as an artist. What a waste of skin you are.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Misogynistic Anonymous, I'm certainly not posing as an artist seeing as I've exhibited in over 150 art shows world wide. As far as hating women, you can check in with my wife on that one- she'd beg differ on a number of levels, especially the waste of skin part.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Brandt wants to "Be The Woman"

    ReplyDelete
  38. Bi-Curious Anonymous, are you saying you want me to be YOUR woman? Didn't I just mention I was a happily married man?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Brandt ~ I find your art EXTREMELY thought-provoking and teetering on the edge.

    I especially like this image of Haslam as a metaphor to me for the jack-booted thug that is the State of Tennessee.

    My BetterHalf and I are so upset with my beloved home state of Tennessee that we have declared a moratorium on installations of our reservation/accounting software there. You see, Tennessee promulgates the act of stealing guests' vacation rental deposits.

    Yes, the State of Tennessee fucking PROMOTES it! http://hammerandafeather.blogspot.com/2010/01/harvesting-fruit-from-money-tree.html ... I'm sure the guys trying to make dildos illegal in Tennessee were laughed off the legislative floor.

    ReplyDelete
  40. very clidish approach to express your views...not artistic it shitistic

    ReplyDelete
  41. ... embarrassingly naive here; would someone explain to me what 'clidish' means.

    Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  42. In conjunction with the "Teach Creationism as a Science" law and "Stop Protecting LGBTQ from Discrimination" law, this governor has really put Tennessee on the road to complete ignorance. Art can only offend a person insofar as he or she is willing to participate in the artist/observer paradigm. Isn't it a cliche by now--if you don't like the commercial, change the channel. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get one. And so on. People who come to this page for the explicit purpose of hating on Free Speech are, ironically, taking that very freedom for granted. An artistic depiction of misogyny for the purposes of political satire is, by definition, in defense of women's rights. I would suggest that certain anonymous individuals read Jonathan Swift's classic satire, "A Modest Proposal," in which he advocates eating babies to ease the Irish famine. But knowledge does tend to spoil fallacy, so fair warning! Haslam's legislation has seriously harmed innumerable good citizens and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. If the good governor can dish it out, certainly he can take it in stride. And personally, this doesn't offend my sensibilities in the slightest, as an artist, a patriot, a feminist, an occasional peruser of dildos... So does that mean I should be legally banned from viewing it? If you have to trample on someone else's rights to gain your own, youhaven't accomplished anything... Good work as usual Brandt. Keep 'em thinking!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Zach, thanks for the very insightful comment.

    I love that you referenced "A Modest Proposal" as a means of helping to put this satire in perspective. Swift's work has a very valid place in my own creativity having "covered" it in High School Journalism. My Senior year, I wrote my own "Modest Proposal" in which I suggested we eat our dead, including Death Row inmates and even auction off celebrity body parts after their demise to bolster the economy. I accompanied the article with an illustration showing a young child eating a "leg sandwich" in the foreground and a hooded inmate in the background, missing that very leg and smoldering from his seat in an electric chair. My extremely flamboyant and liberal teacher approved this, only to the horror of our school board and community after its publication despite the disclaimer of it's satirical purpose and homage to author Swift.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I was agreeing with a lot of your post until you said that "cyber bullying shouldn't be illegal". REALLY? Try growing up with it, pal, you don't know WHAT the fuck you are talking about.

    It should be someone's free speech to sneak into a locker room with a camera, take a picture of you showering, and post it all over the internet? You think that's "Free speech"?

    The only thing more disgusting than your ignorance is that you are ENCOURAGING people to behave like this as "free speech" and would actually defend them doing it.

    People fucking kill themselves over this, you psycho.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Misquoting Anonymous...

    The quotation you've made above is a construction of your imagination. The only mention of cyber-bullying in my article is-

    "The legislation was an attempt to curb what is referred to as “cyber bullying,” a growing problem amongst youth in schools. Cyber bullying has caused children to be humiliated, stop going to school for fear of ridicule and even driven students to suicide in extreme cases. It’s my firm opinion that stifling such juvenile behavior falls under the jurisdiction of decent parenting."

    I never said cyber-bullying should be legal. The problem is (as I outlined in my article) we have to make tough calls to defend absolute freedom of speech. While I sympathize with your history of being bullied and ridiculed, this law is a gross violation of civil liberties.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Tennessee is a gross violation of civil liberties. Try living here. Do something about it and you're liable to find your house burning down around you and corrupt police waiting outside with rifles when you wake up.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks Smallville, I'm glad you found the information viable!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Very nice artist's rendition, although I'd prefer to see the ball gag in the Governor's mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Love your website! Was referred to it from your Scene post. I just linked to it from my Facebook account, because Haslam is a total farce. Great work.

    ReplyDelete
  51. He is... especially after the orders to arrest Occupy Nashville protesters this morning after a 14 hour notice of the new curfew and permit laws.

    ReplyDelete
  52. While I agree with your cause. I think your drawing is ridiculous and childish.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ridiculous Anonymous,

    That was the point entirely. My commentary is meant to be as ridiculous as the laws and legislation this puppet Governor is passing.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Brandt, I LOVE the portrait. I'm not so sure you're too far off base on this one. Most of the Republicans I know are deep down Sadomasachist. Although, you may have the roles reversed though. I'm envisioning Bill tied up with titty tassels, panties and about to be proded with the dildo. ROCK ON! my brother.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Misogynist. But hey, fuck women as long as you can make your point, right? Good for you. Women are meat, are scum, are your tools. Impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ann, the work is meant to be satirical. While you may assume I'm trying to offend the Governor, it's certainly not my intent to offend women in general. My wife among many other women see the work objectively and have defended its message.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Brandt, your artistic image is offensive - good job! The law is even more offensive. Bill Haslam's current efforts to marginalize and harass a large group of Americans because of their religion is immoral and completely unAmerican, too. I hope y'all can fix Tennessee, starting with the next vote. (in Georgia, too).

    Trip in Georgia, USA

    ReplyDelete
  58. ...I meant Rick Womick in Tennessee, not Haslam.

    Trip in Georgia, USA

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks Trip, you'll find me in line voting as always for the lesser of two evils.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Why only go after the governor? The majority of state legislators agreed with the bill, so they are more at fault than the governor. He signed a bill that the state legislature had the votes to override. Seems like you dislike the governor, and wish to blame only him.
    BTW: if someone made a picture of my wife like you did, you would not be safe in a dark alley. Shame on you. That is not art, it is a disgrace. A total waste of what i see as limited talent.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Threatening Anonymous,

    I couldn't agree with you more about blaming the entire legislature. Anyone who put their name behind such a violation of Freedom of Speech shouldn't be in office seeing as they clearly don't understand our Constitution.

    BTW: I've had the same conversation about the way Mrs. Haslam is depicted with dozens of people having a range of feedback and have explained this as metaphorical time after time. When my wife was asked what she would think if I drew her that way, she responded "I love that shit!" That's enough reassurance for me... besides I don't do Anonymous hook-ups in dark alleys. I believe there is a special section of Craigslist for that kind of action cupcake.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Please bear with me and read a tiny piece of our history below the line. Thanking you in advance.

    I totally agree that what the Governor and legislature pulled is cause for charges of treason and a trial. However, I felt kind of sick when I viewed the nude image, sadistic outfit, and "toy." Nevertheless, I know that you could have created an even more shocking statement with your art without crossing into the porn area.

    In the era our Constitution was passed, I don't believe "porno-style" art was acceptable for public consumption, based simply on the publics' view of decency of conduct. Also, you would have heard an outcry from the men rather than the women regarding an image on display such as the one above. This was a era when men were very protective of women, especially their feminine purity. Also, if a husband doing such art, who'd dared to exposed his wife to it, asking her what she thought, would never had heard her reply, "I love that shit." Call me old-fashioned, or worse, if you wish. I make no apologies.

    PLEASE READ A SMALL EXCERPT OF OUR HISTORY BELOW TO KNOW WHAT I'M REFERRING TO. (Thanks!)

    ---------------------


    "I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

    Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

    America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." - (Alexis de Tocqueville - from Democracy in America)

    Alexis de Tocqueville was a French statesman and philosopher who toured the United States with Gustave de Beaumont in the 1830s, observing America's culture and institutions. His two-volume work entitled Democracy in America paints a stunning picture of the greatness of our country through the eyes of two Europeans who had never experienced a true democratic republic. de Tocqueville's writings are filled to overflowing with references to America's morality and decidedly Christian basis as being the reason for her greatness.

    These two Frenchmen knew, as did our founding fathers, that no government or social system can exist in perpetuity without the guide of moral restraint in the lives of the citizenry. They knew the truth of Proverbs 14:34 which states, "Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." They saw in America a greatness which was the direct result of a people who believed in moral responsibility and righteous living; indeed, they saw an America that barely exists in 2011. de Tocqueville was correct in his assessment that America would cease to be great if she ceased to be good.

    ReplyDelete
  63. One more for the road....from

    Our American history:

    John Adams (an author and signer of the Constitution) famously wrote, “We have no government, armed in power, capable of contending with human passion unbridled by morality and religion . . . our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” And our 1st President, George Washington said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to a political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

    ReplyDelete
  64. Tory,

    Thank you for sharing these insightful quotes and information. I believe in order for any Government to successfully defend its people from bias, there must be a separation of Church and State. The issue you present has always and will always be a gray area for our country.

    I believe religion has much to offer to the general public by maintaining a society and human interconnection based around love. My belief also embraces ALL religions having seen the ugly side of Christianity as well as the joys of it being raised in a family which it devout to their calling to Christ.

    Our Constitution defends Freedom of Speech and Expression as well as Freedom of Religion. The imagery I have used is certainly open to interpretation as are the quotations you have provided. These quotes refer to the people in general, seeing as these men fought for Freedom from Religious Oppression and inherently defended one's right to worship in any way they see fit.

    It WAS indeed important for me to avoid going into the void of pornography where my work could be so easily dismissed. While leather fetishes and sex toys are taboo to one family (including my own,) they may be commonplace in a more open household where sexual expression is more embraced. Either way, my intention as I've stated was to metaphorically represent the people of the state of Tennessee and no other subject for this comparison would hit closer to home with our Governor than to use his own wife.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I recently asked Governor Bill Haslam about SOPA, and he claimed he wasn't intelligent to answer his thoughts on it. I have it on video.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I would be very interested in seeing this!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Good Luck with your art....don't let anyone "gag" you! - I am a teacher in Maryland and the No Child Left Behind Act is forcing principals, like mine to just focus on going over testing strategies and practicing reading comprehension and short answers every day in class....we've literally STOPPED teaching anything else because this guy is determined we are going to make AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) Also --- I teach Special Education and my 6th graders read at a 2nd grade level....BUT with NCLB they are going to be tested and have to pass a 6th grade reading level test.... fair? NO.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Am I offended by the art work...Yes...Will I report it...of course not, this is the Internet and all I have to do is just go to another page...And you do have the right to protest things going on in the Government, EVEN if I am offended by the type of protest I will fight for your right to do so.

    Good luck with your blogging on what is wrong in Tennessee....As a Tennessean myself I hope you can get more people to understand what has been happening here the past year or so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll keep trying to bring attention to this gateway legislation which threatens a much larger blanket of censorship which the Government has already toyed with via SOPA. Thanks for the comment and lending an unbiased opinion despite your reaction to my imagery.

      Delete
  69. Definitely offended more by the law. In a free country with free speech people are going to be offended. It's one of the prices we pay for a free country, and I think a small one at that. I'm surprised I hadn't heard about this before. It's certainly something we need to fight against.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the input Dave. The law has gone unchallenged aside from a Press Release of the Intent from the ACLU of TN who interviewed me then left the issue alone to my knowledge. We have to acknowledge that Freedom of Speech is being hindered by the State and Federal Governments though various legislation the past two years. If we allow it to be taken inch by inch, we'll wake up tomorrow in 1984.

      Delete
  70. Mike Sherline from TucsonMarch 31, 2012

    The people who are "offended", as well as those who passed a law against "potentially offending" anyone should learn the Bill of Rights, as well as the Bill of No Rights. Note particularly Article II:
    ARTICLE I -- You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
    ARTICLE II -- You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone, not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots and probably always will be.
    ARTICLE III -- You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
    ARTICLE IV -- You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generations of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
    ARTICLE V -- You do not have the right to physically harm other people.
    If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
    ARTICLE VI -- You do not have the right to the possessions of others.
    If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen TV or a life of leisure.
    ARTICLE VII -- You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight, if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
    ARTICLE VIII -- You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
    ARTICLE IX -- You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness; no guarantees.

    Would there be any point in sending this to your governor, esp. as I'm not a constituent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, I wish any number of my emails and letters to Governor Haslam would get a response other than a generalized letter with a stamped signature which he probably didn't author himself. Thanks for the wonderful comment!

      Delete
  71. Wow! This is scary stuff. Passing something as absolute as a law that uses grossly subjective terms like "potentially offensive" or "may cause emotional distress" is a dangerous and ineffective method to solve a societal issue instead. Laws should be used to outlaw acts that are unequivocally illegal. It's like using a sledge hammer to hang a picture.

    One more politician's botched attempt to appear effective and garner votes.

    Lee B.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I am aghast at some of the remarks. What became of the "sticks and stones may break My bones but names will never hurt Me?" I was taught that.

    It is the responsibility of the parents to teach Their kids this. And I am no virgin of bullying. I was made miserable often by the kids at school. But that's what I learned. Sticks and stones. And that I could CHOOSE to think about it differently. I could think, Wow. I'm so much BETTER than those idiots. *I* don't behave that poorly towards others.

    So... I am responsible for how I feel by virtue of how I choose to think. Don't pass "laws" to "protect" People from Their own poor choices in thinking.

    LOVE the art! Excellent satire/message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the comment! Thanks Solar!

      Delete
  73. While I find the law absurd, and hope a court overturns it, in the meantime, they should start monitoring FoxNews.com and start prosecuting all the hateful and offensive comments posted there! Might as well get some benefit from the law while it, hopefully, has a short life. :>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a good place to start Prosecuting Anonymous! I've seen quite a bit of racism and hate-mongering over there myself.

      Delete
  74. Thanks for the link in your NYT comment on the latest TN guv's idiocy. May your web site be swamped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for helping express the absurdity of the Haslam administration's slew of laws making the south look so backwards and retrogressive.

      Delete
  75. Looks good: kinda S. Clay Wilson genre - Wes and the Pirates!!

    Artwork : GOOD!!
    Law: BAD!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Good Looking Anonymous!

      Delete
  76. You got some serious issues. Its people like you with a sick twisted mind that the devil has a hold of. I hope they pass a law that men can't wear any type of earrings. Boy that will fill the jails.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jail-Them Anonymous, my ears are pierced, my hair is long, I'm covered in tattoos and all three mean nothing other than my own self-decoration, mimicked from hundreds of thousands of years of human tradition predating The Bible. Locking people in cages for victim-less actions is a pitfall of our damaged American system and only used to make money.

      Delete
  77. Thats ok. God opened the ground and swallowed up a bunch of Israelites that didn't wanna follow Moses. They had made them an idol out of gold and worshipped it. I just hope you are not an atheist or blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Laws for our government started with Moses.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Not to be mean...but you look gay.

    ReplyDelete
  79. When you die, you don't take your body with you. It deteriorates in the ground or is burned. No flesh enters the kingdom of Heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  80. This conversation is finally getting stranger than even I can handle.

    ReplyDelete
  81. AnonymousMay 03, 2012

    I am so glad to see your art is still provoking. Some people seem to overlook the difference between freedom of speech and the gross negligence of basic human rights. Artists are not responsible for the ignorance of those that can not distinguish the difference between cyber bullying and those that just can't ignore the downward spiral of American forward thinking and progress, especially at the hands of our so-called leaders. Anyway keep it up Sir Dreg, not many appreciate the beauty of little green just becauses.

    ReplyDelete
  82. You could have just found an image posted by the Governor or one of the state legislators and sued them under the law for posting an offensive images. If they argue that the image is not offensive, you just have to quote the law and state that it doesn't matter since the law just says that it has to be potentially offensive and you are offended. The media would have a field day and the court would have no choice but to invalidate the law for being over-broad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea Tex! I wish someone would carry it out. I'm certainly not the guy for the job though. I don't have the time or emotional energy to make a mockery of a Justice System which does a damn fine job of making a mockery of itself. I guess I had more fun poking the bear... but he didn't take the bait.

      Delete

If you brought two cents, leave them here...