Good Art vs. Sick Content

Good Art vs. Sick Content

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 30 Nov 2020

During the Myspace years, I was once informed that I had "sick content."  Obviously a compliment, I was nevertheless as amused by this Millennial colloquialism as I was flattered by it.  Age is not an issue for me.  However, there is a fine line between being an obsolete, anachronistic fuddy-duddy and sounding a society-wide cultural alarm to inform the world that Dr. Dre's The Chronic wasn't the first album ever made.  It might be necessary to question things, if you want to graduate from "content creator" to "artist."

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

For decades, I have listened to well-meaning Christian brothers and sisters encourage me to stop writing and become a content-creator for God.

"When are you going to stop writing songs about women and love and other drugs, and start writing about God?"  

It's not a bad idea on the surface, but do they really understand what they're saying?

I don't think so.

Content creators have an agenda; artists are engaged in the process of discovery.  Creators of content are factory workers; artists are panning for gold.  Artists experience the revealing of the work before their eyes much like a child opening a Christmas present; content creators produce material for consumption (including by themselves).

The two are opposites.

They can overlap, of course.  In fact, content-creation tends to be the ultimate temptation for artists in all media, once mastery and notoriety have been achieved.  Postmodernism has dangled the filthy lucre of content-creation in front of genuinely-brilliant people, such as Ray Caesar, for decades.  Instead of enriching the world with new discoveries, he produces images that are stuck in the quicksand of fantasy and desire. 

Dystopian fairytale settings populated by an unnatural abundance of coy, half-dressed chicks with Cthulu-esque squid parts, apparently:



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It is immediately necessary to look beyond the aesthetic beauty and technical skill of the images.  Those talents have been co-opted by the spirit of content creation (among other things).  We are not witnessing the byproduct of a genius engaged in the process of discovery.  What we are witnessing is more akin to highly-fetishized exhibitionism.

"This is what I'm into, and I'm going to dazzle you with it.  Your moral core will be shocked, but you will respond to this with fear, and I will seduce you into calling me beautiful, though at heart I am a monster."

In like manner, it is necessary to look through the shiny facade of false Christian music.  A fake Christian song might have an appearance of praising the Lord, but in artistic reality does no such thing.  It "sounds" like a "Christian song," and the words "praise Jesus" are in the lyrics, so it must of necessity praise the Lord, right?  

No.  Well, maybe.  In the same sense that Ray Caesar's paintings praise Satan, maybe.  But artistically, no.  It isn't music, which is to say art, which is to say "engaged in the process of discovery," any more than Ray Caesar.  Sure, he's producing technically-impressive, aesthetically-beautiful and interesting images (sick content), but is he breaking artistic ground?  In the same sense that disingenuous Christian content-creators haven't produced a real, timeless song in decades, it appears that Ray Caesar has long-since stopped discovering things, and is now in the process of making things he likes, like a factory worker, encouraged by decades of degenerate, postmodern moral (and artistic) relativism.


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It's actually tragic, because he doesn't need postmodernism.  He is obviously brilliant.  He doesn't need to say "it's art because I say it's art."  In fact he has zero excuse to stand on the demonic treadmill of postmodernism and produce nothing but SATANIC GOSPEL PAINTINGS.

My point is:  He has surrendered his artistic process to the false god of religious factory work.

Which doesn't praise God at all. 

Not if you're an artist.


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What is the difference in discovery and intentional degeneracy and/or irreverence?

Perhaps the real question is, what does one do once mastery has been achieved?  Continue down the path of discovery, more capable than ever of breaking new ground, or repeat proven formulas from the past?

To all the well-meaning brothers and sisters who have rarely, if ever, tried to see it any other way:

While you weren't looking, SATAN slipped the Rohypnol of "content creation" into the arts, including gospel music.  This is one reason that church today resembles a "rock concert," and all the bad things that supposedly means.  I agree it's ridiculous and out-of-place in church, possibly heretical.  It isn't "rock music" or art in any way either, and is heretical on that front as well.  FYI.

Those people are reproducing the trends they've been trained to think of as "sick," and nothing more.  And indeed, it might actually be sick.  The point is:

I haven't been on a writing kick in years, writing only 2 songs in 3 years.  Both songs are in Spanish, which I don't speak fluently.  It's a new puzzle to solve.  I enjoy it very much.  I will record them if and when God provides the recording software and perhaps the musicians necessary to record it, along with the 2 unrecorded albums I've been sitting on since my recording computer died.  The worldwide sense of entitlement toward what I do has made me somewhat indifferent; this is a canary in the coal mine, by the way; it isn't smart to try to prod the dead bird into action and tell him to "get over it" and "keep writing," when literally nobody thinks the product is worth paying for.  It is smarter to observe the moribund inactivity of the bird-corpse, and consider other alternatives.  Such as the possibility that content "creators" (such a presumptuous, lofty term) are factory workers, and we are living in the radioactive world you have allowed them to produce, using nothing but their programmed sense of what's currently trendy as a guide.  Maybe you are different; payment and donation options do exist. 

Both of the new songs happen to be Christian, by the way.  As a matter of natural course, not as a contrived attempt to adhere to any social constructs anywhere.  It has to be real to be effective.  Everybody knows a disingenuous product when they see it.  People aren't stupid.

Are they?




Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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