Never before have artists of any craft endured a dark age like this—the 21st century.
I write this on August 18th in the year 2022. I can say with confidence that today and the past 22 years have been, as a whole, but one of the rottenest parts of a vulgar era, an era of unchecked Philistinism, an era of contagious ignorance, an era of unprecedented anti-intellectualism, an era of unrivaled anti-beauty, an era of extremist anti-art, an era of prejudice and intolerance, an era of juvenile cynicism, an era of iconoclasm and betrayal, an era which has been steadily worsening ever since the very beginning of the 19th century.
Artists have a hard job these days, for never before have they been so silenced, so chastised, so censored, so regulated; regulated even by other artists, those pretenders who create nothing of value while commanding others to obey the big corporations, big publishers, big government, big tech companies, who all appear as if they want to divide everyone, who seem to want to spread misandry and illness.
Artists today have to fight against the social control, social engineering and brainwashing if they want to say anything of value with their art. Art should not be political. Art should be offensive. But the true artist today is forced to become more than artist; they are forced to become teacher and leader.
Artists have an important duty now: to teach the masses the importance of interacting with art; but more than that, artists of today must teach the masses how to interact with art and how to value beautiful art, how to recognize beauty.
Consider the following questions. Why are so many people unwilling to talk about indies as much as they talk about the mainstream things they hate? Why is it extremely difficult for indies and small publishers to get reviews, followers, and sales, even from their own “fans” and followers? Why is it extremely difficult for indies, small-, and self-publishers to connect with shops and venues for consignment, book-signing, and etc.? Why are there so few shops and bookstores available or willing to help indies? Why is it extremely difficult to find places to put up flyers to promote indie work? Why do the political, tech, Hollywood, Feminist publishing, clickbait, and mainstream grifters get more attention and profit than the superior self-pub, indie, and small alternatives so many people have been vocally begging for? Why are so many people addicted to hate-watching, hate-reviewing, and hate-listening to the mainstream powers, but they refuse to even try indies? Why do so many people go to the theaters to pay for garbage mainstream entertainment (propaganda) when they could be supporting the local indie talent who appreciates the audience? Why are so many people who say, “There’s no good art anymore,” often the ones who refuse to try indies or even look for other alternatives to the mainstream filth?
You want good stories, good art, good content? You want places where you can find great writers? Look towards DMR Books, The Bizarchives, Cirsova, Castalia House, Aureus Press, and such. Those are the best places to start.
We are living in a savage time. Any creativity you have is a fire in the industrial darkness. Use it to help people climb out of the abyss and into a world of art and beauty, a world of dreams and passion and spirit.
The artist must now be the hierophant and the magician, bringing people back to culture, history, tradition, gnosis. There is no other way, for the only way to be a true artist today is also to be a light, a guide, a guardian and builder of beauty, showing the way back to the shrines of art. It is now more important than ever that we gather people and bring them hope, spirituality, light, imagination, and wonder.
We must build the temples to beauty. Make a pilgrimage to the sublime. Reconnect with the lands of the ancient mothers and fathers of poetry and language. Rise up the sepulchers and the cathedrals of love and art.
This message should hold resonant with anyone, from the nihilist to the atheist, to the philosophers, to the mystics, to the pagans. Art can unite us. There is no going forward without first a looking backward, but forward we must go. Real modernity, our modernity, the modernity of us, who we are as artists of today, is being robbed from us. Every sphere has been infiltrated by the regressive elites and their authoritarian propaganda which is self-destructive, anti-feminine, anti-masculine, anti-individual, disastrous for nature, cynical, irreverent, and materialist, realist poison to beauty.
Let us create a real cultural identity. Even if one believes nothing has meaning, that shouldn’t stop anyone from creating meaning and beauty here in the present for us. Let us unite on a shared dream. Go beyond the surface of nihilism; transcend through the absurdism. Let us truly create something, not merely the destruction or subversion of past works. Let us make our own reality here in this moment.
If all be nothing but nothing, naught but illusion, then live that illusion, own it, and make it real. Trip the illusion. But never give up looking for truth and beauty, even if you have to make them yourself. We are made to create, so let us create that beauty, create the aesthetics, and let us honor the trails and the temples that we have inherited, not breaking them down, for they are the roots and the guides and the wisdom.
Being able to forgive the past and to reconcile with what we were born into is not something everyone can do, but it is important to attempt those things. It is vital that we respect those who succeed at this. First one must fully understand and accept who they are before one can begin to transform into who they can become. Metamorphosis is not easy, and there is no shortcut; one cannot simply play at it, just as one should not pose as moral authority.
That is why learning about tradition, classicism, history, and culture is so important. Let us learn from what I believe were the greatest civilizations to have ever graced this globe. Let us relearn from the ancient Graeco-Roman world, the Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian, and the Egyptian pharaohs.
Gone are the skills of old, but they can be resurrected. Gone is the mighty architecture, but it can be rebuilt. Gone is the strength of yore, but it can be regained. And it must be made so, for art cannot flourish in our society, this brutal world, this barbaric world of money-mindedness, crime, poverty, globalism, inflation, political correctness, high-speed, commercialism, bottom line efficiency, and woke.
Now it falls to us artists to create a world of strength and beauty and ceremony to lead us out of the gray wasteland that currently is the 21st century. Do away with the politics of today. Do away with the social programming of today. Return to the mountains, to the rivers, to the animals, to the sky, to the ocean, to night, to dreams, to blood, to spirit, to the gods, to the divine. Reclaim that Romantic freedom and exultation.
And it is great that new artistic identities are forming, but no substantial society has yet formed, despite the hype.
Now, please allow me to briefly discuss the indie-fiction–related term “#IronAge,” which I assume is a term first created and/or used in that sense by The Rageaholic/RazörFist? I’m not too sure about the specifics of the origin or meaning of this “Iron Age” term, so I could be wrong. I only bring up this tag because I am glad people are looking at art in new ways. I wish the Iron Age tag could align with my own artistic values, but it is still too nebulous, crude of a tag for me. I hope it does not turn into an exclusive club; it should be a mood open to all. Yes, I feel a sense of affinity with the Iron Age movement, with what it is becoming, and with those who call themselves part of the #IronAge ring; yet, the Iron Age movement is not even really enough of a movement for me. I see people talking about Iron Age with hype, but I don’t know much about it, I don’t know how long it can last, and I know it doesn’t speak to me completely. I think that what has been so appealing about
#IronAge for many is that it has allowed new artists to feel uncommon kinship around a combined idea of nostalgia, revolution, and tribalism. For now, I support those using the
#IronAge tag, but I’m not certain if I could call myself one of them completely—much like how I support those who use
#Superversive tags but am myself not those things; they are hashtags I use time to time to signal people with similar interests.
See, I really consider myself an Aestheticist, a Decadent, a lover of beauty and the macabre. I would love to revive and rejuvenate the artistic circles of Aestheticism and Decadence, and, if I were to create any art society, I would want it to have Decadence at its core. I love art, I love beauty, I love Love and Wisdom and words and aesthetics and the strength of will and body and blood and bone. I love freedom, family, and noble leadership.
I am a peacock admiring a garden of swords. I am the flower of lacquer, gems, and gold. I am like a hermit following a Sphinx on the Nile. I am not sure where I belong, but many spirits have called out to me, and I have sat at many different altars. How long our time together will be, I know not, but the allegory is not as important as the feeling of joy it invokes.