The Emperor is Naked

I remember my Mom getting so angry at me because she didn’t “like my attitude.”

I was incredulous.  “What attitude!?” I would ask.  I never understood why I was getting in trouble for having an attitude I didn’t have.  It never really made sense to me.  Recently I wrote a post where I outed myself as a Misfit (As if most didn’t already know!?).  In the last couple of days, this has begun to make more sense to me.

I’m an artist.  Artists are often misfits.  Artists are often misunderstood. It’s really quite simple now that I think about it.


Over the last two years, as I spoke with the people who wanted me fired, it was obvious that they didn’t understand what I was trying to say – or do. Last Summer, as I spoke to my superiors, who were trying to change me, it was obvious too that they didn’t understand what I was trying to do, or say.  I tried so hard to explain what was on my heart, but I just wasn’t able to communicate it in a way that they could understand.

The hardest part about all of this has been the false accusations and misinterpretations.  It certainly appears as if “they” were assessing my motives, based on my actions – and that has hurt…a lot.  To me, it seems as if they would try first to understand all sides of the situation, before summarily terminating someone who has given their heart and soul to the cause – and putting my family at risk.

Could I do a better job of communicating? Absolutely!  That has always been a weak area.  And I take full responsibility for this.  But I was always loyal to the cause and the organization and the leadership that terminated me. (The key word there is “was.”)

Many artists are not truly appreciated until long after their death.  Their work speaks volumes, but the work of artists is often under-appreciated – and sometimes violently opposed by their contemporaries.  That is an interesting thought.  For me, the medium has been the message.  My actions had purpose.  I was speaking volumes, but people had certain expectations, and I wasn’t meeting those.  For them, most likely, the only possible conclusion was to assume that I was bad, wrong, evil, unbalanced, confused, and/or generally messed-up.

Let me say that more clearly, I was not afraid to point out the lack of clothes on the Emperor, but getting rid of the little boy, doesn’t change the fact that the Emperor is still naked.

The fact of the matter is, all of the above is true. I would be a fool to proclaim that I have it all together.  In fact, I’ve never claimed to be intact.  I am generally messed-up.  That’s just the way I am.  But my motives are on-track.  Judging my motives, based on my actions, is fraught with problems.

My firing says more about the people who got rid of me, than it says about me. It says more about those who sought my ouster, my superiors, and the organization that cannot tolerate open, honest, authentic, and transparent communication, especially from someone who doesn’t look, act, talk, or behave like they do – than it does about me.

Let me say that more clearly, I was not afraid to point out the lack of clothes on the Emperor, but getting rid of the little boy, doesn’t change the fact that the Emperor is naked.  Getting rid of me says far more about the organization, then it ever will say about me.

“He was a treasure and an inspiration. That he was considered radical says way more about this society than it does about him.”

“Think of what this country would be like if Howard Zinn and others like him never bothered to fight for what they believed in.”

Quoted from: The New York Times: A Radical Treasure, By Bob Herbert, Published: January 30, 2010

And because of that, I’m actually happy to be gone. My family is healthier – and happier – and that ultimately is what’s important. Plus, I don’t want to be a part of an organization that is unwilling to admit the Emperor is naked.

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