An artist I met a couple years back at a gallery where we were both showing, messaged me two days ago asking if I had any baseball paintings. Her friend was curating a show on the theme, and for some reason she thought I might have something.
I had nothing two days ago. I do now.
For years I believed Fidel Castro tried out for The Washington Senators, failed, and evolved into the Cold War bat boy for the K.G. Bee-bees. A very popular children’s American history book series said so, therefore it must have been true. I began to paint from my thought-dreams what I imagined a different outcome had Castro 3rd-stringed on the Senators. How dare this super jock take away my hopes to live out the rest of my days like an old man of the sea. Why didn’t he try harder, go into coaching, teaching, anything but anti-J.P. Morgan socialism? Then I came upstairs to get the spellings right (when applying the permanence of paint I check every day spellings online, like “Washington”), and I discovered the truth. Fidel Castro was no great ball player. All the photos circulating the globe of him in a baseball uniform (Barbudos) was from just one game, a fund-raiser to keep the nation’s triple A team financially stable. He was never scouted by professional baseball. Nor was he even left-handed, as the false history claimed (people of the 60’s must have assumed that left-handed people leaned left in politics). Even the photos in the book show him wearing a glove on the left hand.
So I changed the painting midway through. I hope the Spanish translates, “The bearded one was not left-handed”.
Let this serve as cautionary tale. If you believe in a C.I.A., and the good it makes of a world, then turn off all wired connections in the house, listen to NPR, watch government sponsored television like the PBS nightly news, have a scotch on Sunday afternoon, and allow high school history teachers to repeat the stories of their parent’s childhoods. If, on the other hand, you wonder as freeborn American why you could not travel 90 miles south of the border for most of your life, connect to the Internet to discover a recent history of world lies. And please remember this, if you get anything from my painting… Knowledge is not power. In my experience, the people who know the most, tend toward aloneness. Power is maintained by control. And control is born of lies. Lots and lots of lies. So many lies.
I call Neil Young to finish this post.