I just learned of the passing, last summer, of Sam Shapiro, half of the dynamic duo behind Force Monkeys. His family has been erecting memorials: samshapiro.org and Saving Ghandiah (Ghandaiah being his best-known handle). Here is some of his writing:
WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE BECOME STATISTICS. WE ARE NO LONGER PEOPLE, BUT INSTEAD MACHINES, BODIES MOVING ABOUT AND FUNCTIONING ONLY TO ASSURE OUR BASIC SURVIVAL.
WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE LOSE PART OF OUR HUMANITY, AND WE LOSE PART OF WHAT MAKES US SENTIENT.
FOR THIS REASON, WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, NOTHING ELSE IS POSSIBLE. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD LOSE OUR HAPPINESS. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD SHED ALL VARIETY AND BLUR TO A SINGLE SHADE OF MONOTONOUS GRAY.
PEOPLE CHERISH THEIR DIFFERENCES, AND YET, SIMOLTANEOUSLY [SIC], TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. WE OFTEN DISCARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS AS INSIGNIFICANT MERELY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OUR OWN.
IF PEOPLE REALIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF EXPRESSION, THEN PERHAPS CONFLICT WOULD NOT BE SO COMMON.
A lot of his art is really stunning. Here is one that I’m fond of. Look at the eyes in particular.