If a dream is a memory of something that didn’t happen and human memory is the most unreliable form of testimony, can we rely on any of that loop of visuals in our brains we call memories? I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter.
That little boy in the war-torn country will become a man who lives with that past. He will have to decide what to do with it, how he uses it to interpret the world, how to interact with it, whether to become a hero or villain in this hallucination we’ve all decided to call reality. Violence may win the short-term battles but it won’t win the war of ideas.
I do want to see a revolution. But I just know, with all my guts, that the only changes that last are those that are gradual. A single charismatic bully can plow over people and change the course of a nation. It could be argued that history is simply a rogues’ gallery of ambitious men; a documentation of their rise and fall. But for change to truly last everyone needs to be a part of the conversation that builds that new world we’re envisioning. This is the vision for Justified Hype: a creative collective that builds slowly and deliberately, with smaller intentional movements and deep personal connections. To build an international tribe of storytellers who can write the next chapter of our society.
I want to see a graceful revolution because we’ve already seen the violent one and it doesn’t last. We’ve seen it’s brutal and oppressive aftermath and we’ve seen what happens when instead of meeting our opponents at the table, they’re simply told to shut up. When the oppressed become the oppressors.
Be radical. Be revolutionary. Be controversial. But instead of simply shouting at the world, take the time to tell a story, create moving imagery or build a slow and intentional community. I want to see a revolution where the mob picks up paint brushes instead of pitchforks. Let’s show them the infinite patience they didn’t show us. Regardless of if you are a Justified Hype Creator, collective member, supporter or fan, you are a part of this movement. Let’s change the world with multilayered art, infusing all perspectives with creative joy instead of violence. Because ideas, thoughts, stories… Those are immortal.
The photo accompanying this piece is a self-portrait (when a professional photographer does it, it’s not just a selfie) I took at AfrikaBurn, where our camp had an endless supply of pre-rolls sitting on the table like a candy bowl, which may or may not have contributed to my tripping over a tent wire and face-planting in the African desert at two in the morning, leading to an endless source of laughter and a great story to share on the Vegas strip upon my return to the United States. I kept remembering my buddy, Mikey’s reassurance: “It’s cool man. Chicks dig scars.”