£100 (detail), 2018
3 rainbow offset workings, SC marks, watermark, electrotype, serial numbers, offset microtext, on paper substrate. The design features Samuel Johnson, engravings on Johnson’s home, Johnson and Boswell, and Johnson’s dictionary frontispiece.
The negativity around Brexit reporting taps a self-conscious vein in the English psyche, which is struggling to identify itself. It knows it was something great, something that moved the world, but now – what does it mean to be English? This crisis of national identity haunts all fallen peoples. The power shifted from Britain long ago, to the City of London, New York, and then to Beijing. And since England struggles to answer the question of its own identity, the English revert to self-conscious idiosyncrasies that are believed to be typically English: talking about the weather, and complaining. I’ve lived on mainland Europe for 2 years; all nations do this. Nevertheless, the negativity of Brexit becomes all the more real and solid by the fact that the English believe they can AFFORD to complain. None can afford to complain. Complaining is the consolation prize for the weak.
The only sad part about Brexit is the way in which people parrot the rhetoric of the liberal media, as if their conclusions are somehow relevant. Mainstream media cultivates complaining as if it were the natural state of being. It is not; it is pure distraction. The real state of being is acceptance, and anything less is deviation. It is very binary. If you cannot help but complain, you’ll have a shitty life. If you cannot help but embrace, you’ll have an amazing life.
This fact of life will only become more apparent, as the chaos of the disintegration of our cultures is dividing those who are ready to walk past the flaming wreckage, and those who will sit, stare, complain, cry to be saved, or lash out. We’re seeing this chaotic behavior now. It will increase.
Britain is safe though. There are no guns in Britain. The few working guns in civilian hands are minded by two or more people at a time, and the bigger problem with UK gun ownership is finding ammunition. A gun-starved nation reverts to childish naivety, as the responsibility of firearms training requires a basic level-headedness, independence of thought, and a historical understanding of the responsibilities of citizens and governments. However, the trade-off in having the right to bear arms is that things can get very violent, especially when cultures die. As systems and structures come undone, I’m somewhat thankful that violence in England will be limited to sporadic close combat, and not gun battles.
The ironic aspect of Brexit is that is symptomatic of the separation of worlds. One is negative, one is positive. The negative world is operating on liberal ideology. The positive world is operating on the principle of self-development. The irony is that it is those who have bought into liberalism, those who claim to CARE the most – these are the people shouting and screaming like little children… this includes the liberal media. These will also be the ones who will turn violent as we progress down the rabbit hole.
The reason is simple. Ideology – any ideology – ingrains the idea that the external world must be changed in order to create static completion. Self-Development ingrains the idea that YOU must REMOVE what is PREVENTING YOU from BECOMING YOURSELF, and there is NO LIMIT to yourself. Now… which option sounds more appealing? Maldives, or North Korea? Denmark, or Venezuela? CHOOSE.
Which brings me to the £100 note…
Whenever there is a design brief that allows room for pastiche, there is always an opportunity to be disparaging and mocking. One competition from Dezeen recently asked people to redesign a post-Brexit passport. Obviously, Brexit is a binary issue, so a competition like this makes for strong, polarizing responses. Interestingly, the winning design was purposely ambiguous, much like – some would say – Britain’s future. Even so, it’s a sad passport design:
In designing the back of a £100, I wanted to avoid mocking, ambiguity, politics. It is a straight, sincere addition to the current British banknote family. No snide comment about inflation and the falling Pound. No wistful lament about Brexit. Just a straight up tribute to England’s past genius, and England’s legacy that continues to rule the world – the English language.
Samuel Johnson’s quote is long, but the liberal media, the protestors, the complainers – all those who cry victim and pray for someone else to sort it out – would do well to heed his words: