Dear Insane Children,
Lots of people asking for my stance (and the stance of Mysterious) on recent events in the US. Understandable request. And apologize if it seems like I’ve delayed in providing a response… It’s just very difficult to sort through my political and artistic positions in relation to the reality of my current family and living situation. A lot of nuance in all this and the internet is not well known for understanding nuanced positions. It’s “you’re either with us or you’re against us” all over again.
First off, I live in China and have done since I left the US back in 2004 (first in Hong Kong, now in Shanghai). It’s a country not famous for “American-style” freedoms. And I have to be sensitive to my host-country’s culture even if I don’t agree with all of it. This comes at a time when many of us are questioning what “American-style freedom” even means.
The death of George Floyd was a murder. And it’s a continuation of and an extension of the murders committed by that special brand of “freedom” over past decades for as long as I can remember since the era in which I was born during the Vietnam War. It’s this special notion of freedom – the sort that imposes its will on the freedoms of others – that eventually led to my decision to leave the US. I can make no statement stronger than that.
At the time of my departure, I made a game that attempted to highlight the nihilism and cultural ills that I feel have eroded the concept of “America” since before I was born. It might have been poorly executed but it contained a simple narrative – that even after we’ve given up all hope (and rightly so) we can make the sacrifices necessary to set things right again.
Sacrifice is by its very nature a painful process. And what I see the US currently going through is painful indeed. I hope that the institutional problems so prevalent in the US are dissolved in this process. And that a new more inclusive and equitable form of government and society will emerge.
Be safe. Fight the good fight. And please remember, this is not black vs. white or red vs blue… it’s You The People vs. The System.
From Shanghai with Love,