SERIES NEWS: To get 100% candid with you all, everything is being worked on in such a manner, there is no reason to keep divvying up the updates. I say that without an ounce of hyperbole on my tongue. The main stories, the exclusives, all of it is in production. I’m in the eye of a content storm, and it is exciting. Teasers will continue to drop on Wednesdays (both on Twitter and on Minds), barring significant delays in art production. I might push the 2022 Collection back as I’m still working on some of the special items for it, not to mention that it will also be my first foray into self-publication. Regardless, it will be made. Can’t wait to share this all with you in due time. Stay tuned!
Having penned this particular op-ed on the eve of the 2022 United States Midterm Elections, I find it most apropos for me to address one of the great Damoclesian swords that dangles above us all: politics. More specifically, why I regard 365 Infantry as an apolitical ambassador of the Iron Age.
To give you the blunt response: it’s because I’m sick to death of politics.
At the time of writing this, I’m 21. When the tectonic watershed of 2016 occurred, I ended the year a high school sophomore. And when I say I was jacked into politics, I was chest-deep at times. Not just in terms of “redpills” or “staying woke,” but being heavily involved, and in some cases, profoundly invested in things like “discourse” and punditry. Albeit not publicly barring some good-humored bantering or the occasional write-in question. In many ways, it was an addiction, not too dissimilar from hard drugs, sugar, or social media.
2020, like I assume it was for a lot of people, was a breaking point. Not just because of the quantity of earth-rending events, but the sheer volume of these events. A summer of nationwide and global social upheaval, a worldwide response to a pandemic that completely changed the way people behaved, often on a dime, not to mention a charged stateside election fraught with controversy and bringing blood to boil on all sides.
By the end of it all, I was a weary, depressed, and positively broken man. By proxy I freely admit, but I’ve always been something of an empath, so to say the amount of untrammeled suffering and aggression on display affected me was an understatement. I saw people I knew personally and professionally act and behave in ways I simply couldn’t grapple with, be it because of my own naïveté or a fundamental disconnect having been revealed. Amplified by personal losses and seeing my college experience getting upended in a matter of months, the rippling effect lasting to this very day, I reached a point where I simply couldn’t take it.
It was then that something comically obvious dawned on me: I’m not a politician, and I’m not a pundit.
I’m an artist.
I write music, I tell stories, I craft images. I dabble in sociopolitical themes from time to time, but it never was nor has been a cornerstone of my work. None of this politicking shit should ever have taken the forefront. And yet, in my exuberance for getting involved, I let myself get carried away, just in time to have the weight of the world swung at me.
In a conversation with friend of the Force IronAge Media, I came up with a term to describe a hyper-politicized approach to media critique in the modern day. I call it having “punditbrain,” where your obsession with mainstream crap comes at the expense of uplifting independent alternatives, having a clearheaded approach to your craft, or plain-old sanity. While I was never in danger of growing uncultured in terms of the arts, I had let the news of the day drive my studious engagement with art history and practice fall by the wayside.
The moment I got this all through my thick skull, I dove headlong into making good on that realization. And while there was as much an uphill battle to fight in the arts as there is navigating politics, I wound up producing work that I regard as some of my best as of now. 365 chief among these creations.
365 Infantry is devoted to that precious three-letter word, fun, now more than ever. Because that’s what we need. I trust there are enough creatives who seek to grapple with contemporary issues in meaningful ways. And as a filmmaker, I’m sure I’ll be engaging with such topics in due time. But for now, in a world that seems as clouded by genuine hate in all its multifarious forms as it is now, this is the time to create the heroes we look up to and the adventures we wish to live.
I can’t promise you I’ll “save the West,” and I can’t promise you I have the answers to the issues of the day. What I can promise you is uncut entertainment, from my arcane wonderland of a mind straight to your digital doorstep, and in time, your actual doorstep.
Because if it ain’t loud, wild, weird, and electric, it can’t possibly be 365 Infantry.
Long may it reign.
This Week’s Set: Dig This, Mack!
The theme is simple: old-time rock-n-roll, preferably stuff that predates or ignores the British Invasion/Merseybeat sound.
Not that I don’t dig The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, but that there is more rockabilly in 365 than mop-top, as represented by the likes of Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Also in the mix are slices of surf rock by Dick Dale, classic blues-and-rhythm records (to quote “The Moondog” Alan Freed) by Jackie Wilson, Little Richard, and The Ronettes, and bona fide pop by Connie Francis and The King, Elvis Presley.
By the grace of God (and music licensors), we also have a complimentary Spotify playlist for those who prefer the platform. And if more people dig that platform than YouTube, we might work on curating for both with specific tracks that only appear on one playlist. Don’t forget to save us on YouTube and like us on Spotify. Stay hip Hepcats!
A Tale to Tell…
An actual story this time too! Yes Friends, the flash is back, this time with a helluva tall tale for both you, and for a special young buck.
“Duelling for Blood” recounts a grand tale of good and evil, of savages and warriors, and of metallic beasts fighting at their masters’ command, told as an unreasonably intense bedtime story. Who could have spun such a gnarly slice of medieval hot-rodding? Read on to find out!
May God bless you and this Force. See you next time!