A Blank Canvas

Is it even safe and acceptable to share such an innocuous image in England today? England? Once published online, it is England and beyond. Here’s to a spot of contemplation. No offense intended.

Is it a white cat in a snow storm? Or perhaps modern art pretending to be cool and expensive? Or is it is imaginary invisible paint and I hesitate to tell what it might represent in my imagination, because just the thought, just sharing an idea of the imagination, is deemed forbidden by certain parties?

We depict Jesus, dying, dead, bleeding upon a cross. We have statues of Buddha, portrayals of the Hindu deity Krishna and images representing belief systems down through the ages.

Past Present Future
Painted 2015

There are those who believe giants once walked the earth. Is this really a ‘giant’ or a fictional construct? Which ever, I assume at least it does not induce offense portraying a giant.

The Long Barrow Giant. True Or False?
Painted 2015.

There are words that can incite repercussion. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie is an example. I’ve not read it. I find him dull as dish water, but still, a fatwa for publishing a book is not part of my cultural tradition. It may have helped his sales and income.

There is a religious figure we cannot, must not, dare not depict visually for fear of offending to the point of risking personal harm. I have little interest or desire to visually depict this specific figure and if I did it would be purely of my imagination, since I don’t know what he looked like anymore than I do Jesus. I do ponder the idea that even merely thinking about it with the onset of AI, thoughts and imagination might be monitored and ‘accessed’, judged and action taken. ‘But, I didn’t do it!’
’But, we know you thought about it!’
Q.E.D. Thought crime.

The English and Union flags have been desecrated worldwide. Bibles have been destroyed. Jesus has been depicted in derogatory terms. I am neither religious nor atheist. What do I care? I humour myself by stating I am a Gooner. My birth nation is England and I have grown up in the tradition of ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me’.

I read 1984 in 1984 and am today faced with the reality that ‘thought crime’ and ‘hate crime’ are realities. In addition to that, foreign nationals are increasingly settling here and with them different cultural values.

There are cases where the forbidden figure was imagined and visual portrayal subsequently executed as with the case of the Charlie Hebdo ‘satirical’ magazine.
I need not go over the details, but it does seem there was intent to stoke the fire in others. The intent was tragically successful in that case. Humans were executed. Whether the intention was deliberate to cause offense or not, there was a choice of how to respond or not. We have the choice to be a victim of some one else’s words and pictorial depictions or not, don’t we? At least within the cultural tradition I was born into, we do.

I visited Uganda c.1994 and was introduced to the word Mzungu:
It seemed to mean ‘white man’. I wasn’t sure if it were intended as a slur or derogatory term or light hearted humour or a benign description of a foreigner. More importantly, I wasn’t bothered or offended, indeed, I was curious and even amused. I heard Floella Benjamin www.floellabenjamin.com on BBC Pravda describing how she arrived here ‘off the boat’ and everyone stared; as if it were a bad thing. She meant she was experiencing racism. If she’d walked around my village 50 years ago, people would have stared at somebody different, they might still do today; because of curiosity, not inherent ‘racism’ or prejudice. Baroness Floella has been a member of the supermarket Waitrose Diversity Board. That just about sums it up; alongside Sharon White? The John Lewis company has become a politically correct shadow of the once wonderful traditional family company brand it was. England’s cultural tradition is being changed. I was dropped off in Masindi, Uganda for the day and walked around. I was stared at, because I was different, utterly different, and the locals were naturally intrigued, curious, fascinated and, of course, compelled to look. They were not staring because of racism.

I have a sketch book from that trip titled ‘Arther Mzungu’; that’s Arther with an ‘e’ rather than a ‘u’ to avoid copyright or confusion with other Arthurs. The book notes both ‘94 and 1995, but it was about 30 years ago.

The weaponisation of words has become serious business. I recall BBC 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan cancelling a caller to his show because he referred to ‘coloured people’ rather than ‘people of colour’. I can’t remember and am not even sure now which way round is supposed to be offensive or acceptable. The legacy media and those who accuse others seem far more obsessed with race and skin tone than me or we, the general public, are.

I was rather taken aback when I heard this episode of Warrior Creed. I view Maajid Nawaz as a brave and courageous man. I have appreciated his stance against covid1984 tyranny and his questioning other narratives from Ukraine to climate to CBDCs. However, in this episode Maajid Nawaz says the audio phonetic p-a-k-i is a racial insult. I suppose it is for some, but it still contradicts my cultural upbringing in my birth nation whereby ‘sticks ‘n’ stones…’

At about 38 mins into the video, Maajid’s co-presenter Usman Raja says, ‘It’s akin to the N-word, you know what I mean, so if you want me restructuring your face, just come and say that…’

I was staggered. ‘Restructuring your face’? I have really enjoyed these guys, but suddenly I was faced with they too falling victim to being offended by audio-phonetics. As I heard self-identifying Catholic virgin Nick Fuentes put it, ‘It’s just a word’, and according to my upbringing and culture, as powerful as words are, they are merely words and being offended by a word is a choice. Isn’t it? Perhaps the word is unpleasant and or unnecessary, but it remains just a word none the less. Nick Fuentes says silly things a plenty, but a word is just a word.

The N-word. How daft typing or saying the N-word. For those who don’t know: n-i-g-g-e-r. It must have been c.1989 that my then music journalist girlfriend had received a free promotional version of the album ‘Straight Outta Compton’ by NWA; that is N-word plural With Attitude…
She deemed it sexist and generally offensive. It was going in the bin. I found the album interesting; it had a feel and energy about it. I salvaged it, took it to The Marquee Club where I had a DJ-ing gig and played it. The rest is history. There’s since been an NWA feature film. It has been said that some people are more equal than others. If you’re NWA you are allowed to use the N-word. If you are a ‘cracker’, you can’t. Should I be so offended if called a ‘cracker’ or ‘cracka’?

Later, while living in Istanbul, this came under my nose:
The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation
Rap music has been used to induce degenerate behaviour and the prison system has subsequently profited. What I refer to as cultural Marxism has been fed into our education system for decades:
The Leipzig Connection by Paulo Lionni
This also provides insight to where we are now. I hardly need to state, I do not condone bombing places or people, but the analysis by Ted Kaczynski of what the future held, was prophetic:
Unabomber Manifesto:

Maajid Nawaz has experienced gross treatment upon himself and associates. He was saved by last minute circumstances from the same torture his friend had just undergone; electrocution to the teeth and genitalia in an Egyptian prison. He talked about Saddam Hussein personally taking a drill to prisoner’s heads. Maajid has referenced the torture at the US prison Guantánamo Bay and recordings of unfathomable torture upon children were sound recorded at Abu Graib, later played to a closed US Senate hearing. I would have thought such atrocities would put name calling and offense by word into perspective.

In the same video, at 51mins 55 secs, Usman describes how a neighbour he’s known for 20 years suddenly used the words, ‘You lot…’
Usman took exception to the term. Again, I am struck by his response. Usman talks of being tutored in martial arts, so presumably can handle himself in physical combat. I would have thought that might include a certain standard of psychological and philosophical discipline too. He also mentions his wife and daughter are ‘covered’; that is presumably wearing the hijab. I have visited Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and lived in Türkiye where I regularly saw women in full black hijab covering. It does not sit well with me. It is not part of my traditional culture. It appears to be oppressive, but if females are free to choose and choose to be covered from head to toe, let them be. I prefer it not to be so in my home village, town, city or country.

About 1983 I went to Aldegate East in East London with my Northern Irish born Indian college room mate to buy a sheepskin coat from his uncle’s shop. It was still then the East End of London my father had grown up with. Today there is a huge mosque there and it is reminiscent of Karachi central. Aldegate East no longer feels like my traditional cultural London home town. I am sensitive to being labelled racist for even observing and mentioning this. Imagine constructing a large church in down town Karachi or Riyadh or even certain parts of south-eastern Türkiye. Imagine opening an off-license or pub. In Riyadh, as we walked in the street, my young western female companion was ‘switched’ on the ankles by a ‘clothing policeman’ for showing her lower leg. She was otherwise covered out of respect for the local tradition.

In Türkiye my female friends were grateful to the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for removing the headscarf from women. My educated, modern female Turkish friends referred to the all-black burka as ‘letterboxes’ and ‘penguins’. Later, UK PM Boris Johnson was castigated for referring to ‘letterboxes’ in the same way.
Is this artwork even acceptable to publish?

I loathe Johnson. Boris did not get Brexit done; Brexit did get Boris elected as PM. He lied during covid1984 as far as I am concerned. I loathe the man, but the reaction to his use of words was ridiculous. But, this is Britain today; we are expected to subjugate our traditional cultural norms to appease the cultural expectation of immigrants, rather than they adapt to our ways. English culture has long been under attack and is being radically changed. Just noticing and mentioning it risks my condemnation from the politically correct thought police.

It does appear that burning the Quran is utterly unacceptable and risks physical repercussion, but burning the UK flag or bible is apparently not so bad. As a point of note, my Microsoft Word spellcheck suggests a capital Q for Quran, but not a ‘B’ for bible.

This scene came under my nose on Twitter; a few men assaulting a female for apparently walking unaccompanied. The cultural divide between there and here is significant:

I long ago decided that -ists and -isms are largely a cultural Marxist school of Leipzig construct to divide and conquer. As a little boy I don’t think the concept of racism came to mind, but it was taught into my mind. Whether feminism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, now transphobia and a whole gamete of labels of alleged prejudice, I’m not interested. Sure, people hold prejudices, but so what? So long as personal sovereign space is not invaded, no theft of personal property or being is incurred, let it be. Recently there has been controversy that this song incites hate or racism or some such accusation: Try That In A Small Town

It is frequently the legacy media that pushes the controversy where the general public wouldn’t think to notice. It made me smile to see ‘black cowboys’ embrace the song:

As for BLM, I am again staggered that my team, the Gooners, take a knee for BLM and the whole George Floyd incident. He was a fentanyl addict with a criminal record including holding up a pregnant woman at gun-point while his buddies robbed her home. There is suggestion he died because he had swallowed a significant amount of fentanyl. I recommend this:
Black Lives Matter Documentary: Going Blackwards

For the record, I know the maker of this documentary has a ‘black’ wife with mixed race children. That documentary features extracts from this:

I heard a story about why Arsenal supporters are now called Gooners, which is a new nickname in the last 20 years or so and involves a politically incorrect, even allegedly ‘anti-Semitic’ term. Arsenal fans referred to their North London rivals as Yids, short for Yiddish. I still do not understand why the shortened version of Yiddish is offensive, but I feel the same about the shortened version of Pakistani and should I be offended if called a ‘Brit’? I know, I’ll be told it’s not the same; that I do not appreciate what it is like to be on the receiving end of a racial slur. The ‘Yids’ took offense and decided to return the perceived offense by changing the nickname Gunners to Gooners; presumably because ‘goon’ is supposed to be a derogatory term. Instead of taking offense, the Gunners embraced the new nickname Gooners and it’s stuck ever since. The lesson being, cease being a victim and even find humour in your response.

Since today reparations are being recommended and even paid for colonial misdemeanours of the past, I point out that I have never owned a slave and am unaware of any personal colonial ancestors who did. I am not responsible for the past deeds of others. Slavery was once a global business and not a monopoly of my ‘white’ ancestors e.g.
White Slavery In The Barbary States By Charles Sumner 1853
White Cargo The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America

Try telling art publisher DeMontfort. They aim ‘at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in either our business or in all our supply chains.’
Does that include electric battery production? How about Smart phones? Oh dear, all this ‘wokery’ today; never mind the international $multi-billion business that traffics children, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole that BBC Verify and Zebedee’s niece Marijuanna Spring would no doubt term ‘conspiratorial’.

I guess in England we have history of censorship such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover; the conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches; the law against sodomy; Spy Catcher by Peter Wright. I have no deep yearning to depict a particular prophet. I am curious that if I did draw even a child-like stick man scribble and titled it ——- ——–, (I’m not even going to type the name) would it risk the wrath of those who would choose to be offended? Sure, some imagery might be criticised, even barred from a private gallery or scorned at in public view. But, generally we are free to express, not be controlled by self-appointed victims. It is changing. My country and cultural traditions are changing; perhaps have already changed beyond repair. I don’t know the answers or solutions, but I do know even noticing and publishing such observations may even be risky today.

It’s sad. Very sad. We have 7 names upon our village WW1 memorial. Whether they were sacrificial lambs for someone else’s unnecessary war or not, they symbolically died for our freedom and liberties which are now being relinquished and forsaken by my fellow country folk. There are those who take silence and inaction as consent, so speaking up and making a stand is important.

England RIP? I trust good will out, that England will rediscover its soul and the tide will turn against the agents of divide, rule and conquer. So, my canvas remains blank rather than risk violence against me and my own in my own country where we have been at liberty to write words and portray images freely, until now?

Ned Substack:

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