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SLIDE SHOW POLITICS OF SNOW What determines an artist who makes works of art revered through the ages of time? Success in thei...

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

James Carrin: Pushkin Girl and Poem

James Carrin Pushkin Girl
I read in Artforum that the critics highly praise Carrin but that he is not a great seller. As Picasso once said, "I don't make Wallpaper." Carrin's paintings are not exactly comfortable Wallpaper, are they. How would you even discuss this painting with someone who comes into your home. Better leave it to the museums eh. 

Gone to the wind is any idea of childhood innocence when you look at this. Very uncomfortable feeling. I can even imagine this one setting you up and then turning you in to the authorities. What an evening's discussion this could turn into. An unpleasant visit guaranteed.

Poem 9-3-16

Carrin's Pushkin's Girl
Observes you;
Her young sneer
Inscribing her face;
"I must be protected
From lechery
And my own
Or not."

Sunday, September 04, 2016



What determines an artist who makes works of art revered through the ages of time?

Success in their own time? 

One landmark is a CUT in Art History such as Picasso made more than once. Is it this? 

Leonardo took on great themes of mythology, of portrait painting, of landscape.

Michangelo's great theme was Christianity in the Sistine Chapel.

IMO the great theme now is the DEATH of Planet Earth as we know it, this hospitable place for our species and all those contemporaneous with us that took hundreds of millions of years to prepare.

What other artist has spent her life detailing this catastrophe we have made?

And why has she not been recognized as such? A prophet in her own country aphorism?

Well she has been traveling, teaching drawing/painting for 30 years, raising a family and working non stop in her studio, not schmoozing and PR ing with the rich and famous. Not a lifestyle to attract big time buyers around the world.

I first met Diane Burko quietly in the cafeteria at the University of Pennsylvania. I was doing research in psychology on Piaget's Conservation Concepts and she was beginning her MFA in preparation for teaching. There was nothing about her to suggest she had visions of greatness in her field. She was getting her credentials for teaching. And that's all I remember of her.

I would come across her work hanging in homes (John McCoubrey for one) and these early paintings were birds's eye views of landscapes. A green country farm, Philadelphia from the sky or up high somewhere. The kind of thing you see on google these days of places you know.

I would hear about her but never in terms of her being the next great thing. Her early large paintings of glaciers were elegant, austere, untouchable,  indifferent to us, our eyes looking at these objects. The brush strokes did not play erotically on the canvas, did not convey sensuousness. These fierce bitterly cold and indifferent glaciers were monstrously indifferent as Herzog would say, and Burko responded in kind. Her brushstrokes followed Nietsche's advice "Be more so than the subject, be WORSE!"

Then in the early 1990's Burko would get a grant to live and paint in Monet's Giverny. Here she painted the same scenes Monet painted and her brush was inspired by his, her strokes flowed and dripped and she became a different painter.  It was then I came to know her better through a mutual friend. And then I left Philadelphia. 

When I thought of her I began to think of her as a witness of Climate Change in the world. All her paintings became paintings of a lost world to me in my mind. Her life's work a chronicle of grief which she seemed not to acknowledge in any of her interviews online or in person. 

An example of Lacan and Zizek comes to mind for her. The unknown knowns that rule our lives, our destinies. I can think of nothing else that explains all the years she did this, flying in helicopters, airplanes, touring all these inaccessible unloving places. 

By 2006 the awareness of Climate Change, then labeled Global Warming, went more mainstream. Burko's paintings were then sought out to promote what scientists had been saying in their dry obtuse way with numbers and graphs. The paintings were irresistible for making their point and Burko responded with her great generosity of spirit. 

She no longer has to take her own photos because science has recorded these changes for her in their scientific photos. Places that she visited with exhilaration and desire, camera in hand, leaning out the opened door of a plane to get the shot she wanted, were now available to her as change by change took place. As Baudrillard would say what was conceived in the Symbolic Order as passion, living, sacred, death, love, seduction, challenge was entering the Order of Production. Science, measurement, survival, fascination, control began to take over and Burko began to paint the changes in those places of long ago that would never be the same again.

Here is where we get into the CUT in art history, the age old problem of representation. 
The more recent paintings of the glaciers, the mountains of ice encrusted snow over stone have melted, so what are we seeing. We are seeing representations of NOW? No longer the same as THEN. 

Burko has expressed her early abstract leanings as opposed to the landscape by jumping out of the dichotomy, the binary box art history had long confined them in, and soaring up high to Heaven, taking the object with a God's Eye perspective. Philip Guston also merged the figure/abstract concept he had struggled with. Art is eliminating contradictions, ideology, false dichotomies.

Now we can see a figure as abstract. We can google the Earth and its lands, sea, and air which now appear as abstract paintings. The artists gave us these images first in some way knowing what to reveal to us.

Where is the original? Is it the glacier now? Or is the one now the simulacrum. Maybe the simulacrum is the one Burko photographed and painted years and years ago? Is the original one 100 years ago? 1000000 ago? It is impossible to know. 

Each one in time is a simulacrum.
There cannot be anything to be called representational for it will become different in time. There will never be an original, only copies of copies.

The illusion of an original is an illusion.
There is no such thing.It has just been made up.Time will change anything
but maybe so slow you cannot notice.

Am I the same as the young woman who met Burko in 1966? Am I the simulacrum now? Or was I the simulacrum then?
I have no identity.Only multiple selves.
There is no linear time. No beginning. No end.

I am always someone different. I just change too slowly for myself to notice.

Now the glacier has changed in my lifetime so I can see the changes.
Glaciers used to change slowly so in one life their changes were not seen.
Now they change faster and faster so we can see. 
Will they speed up like a movie?

Now Burko photographs and paints volcanoes. The melting molten rivers of fire run down and around the volcano, twisting and flowing, burning all in its path then turning to hard, charcoal stony rock petrified lava gone cold. Stopped.

And here is the resonance with Houellebecq's Lanzarote.

Lanzarote - tourist attraction now

Once a cheap tourist destination until Houellebecq made it famous, these islands had endured volcanic explosions for over 100 years. The EFFECT on the people is detailed by Houellebecq in the Afterward of the novel. They are cautious, unfriendly, suspicious people.

So Burko has just destroyed representational art.
That is a fact. Did she intend to do it?
She has said her GOD'S EYE perspective on landscape is so she can keep abstraction.

Why do just idiots review her work, ask her stupid questions?

Does Burko cry at night for these lost glaciers and icy mountains?
I do. I cry at night. Someone ask her in an interview.

Does she love them? Petit still loved the World Trade Center Towers he walked across.
Gordon Levitt as Philippe Petit

The glaciers, mountains and the World Trade Center Towers
are Strange Attractors

These buildings are seductive.  And seduction is coupled with challenge. Always. Just like mountains, like Everest. They are objects beckoning the subject. They were Strange Attractors from Baudrillardian theory. Just as particles in a particle accelerator with opposite charges seek each other, play with each other, and when they collide....pouf!

These objects, these Strange Attractors, have been luring and seducing Burko all her life. They have wanted her to know, to speak for their voicelessness.

There is no original. Both are simulacra

LINK for multi images of Burko

Reviews - I include them so you can see that they can't see.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

REVIEW: Micah White's The End of Protest-Reading Through Foucault, Baudrillard, Steinbeck and McLuhan

Add caption

White has critiqued the present template of Protest as ineffective. He says that the narrative protesters use to tell themselves is in error and he lays down the necessary and sufficient conditions for an effective protest.

1.Surprise - never protest the same way twice
2..Do not fall into the trap of thinking numbers will lead to change. It doesn't now and it won't. As Bush said about overwhelming protest numbers, "I don't pay attention to focus groups."
3. .Do not believe the narrative you have been telling yourselves.
4. A spiritual element is necessary

Reading through Foucault here in a genealogical reading of protest through history.: Genealogy is not continuous,historical,progressive,or LINEAR.

ALL the great protests of history have NEVER been linear. 

The one we are all most familiar with is 9-11. A surprise out of the brilliant BLUE sky of a September morning in New York City. It perfectly fits the definition of an EVENT cutting into the linear world we are living in. Our Episteme. It was an act coupled with suicide. It was the SYMBOLIC GIFT which requires the COUNTER-GIFT which the US has not been able to come up with yet and faces suicide if it can't according to the template of rules in the Symbolic Order. No one needs to ask if it was an effective protest.IT CHANGED THE WORLD

The other protest we are also completely familiar with was Jesus turning over the tables of the money-changers in the Temple. This was his last act of defiance and the one that the priests of the Temple could not overlook, so they demanded retribution. The priests of that time were in dire danger of losing their power - their jobs and careers as Temple Officials.Jesus was following Isaiah and he is choosing his end accordingly. LINK

Does this resonate with you for our time?

Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle

The reviews at Amazon say this fictional account of the strike of apple pickers in the California Torgas Valley is NOT a manual for protest/strike.

But I think it is.
It has all of White's necessary and sufficient conditions.
 Mac is instructing Jim, a new admittance to The Party - read Red Communist - and tells him when asked how they are going to do it, that he is going to use what is available. They are going to improvise with what they have, what happens and the situation as it develops.Surprise is all over this novel, it is all over everything they do. We are not really reading a narrative but constant dialogue and their actions.

Mac is constantly focused on the EFFECTS of what they are doing and planning to do next. It all keeps changing even on them. Mac is planning it as he is experienced, but he doesn't have a plan written in stone, so in that it is not a 1,2,3 manual but a manual just the same.
It is a non manual manual.An anti-manual we can say.

It is a thrilling account and some say Steinbeck's best book and certainly a very beloved book
Obama has said it is one of his. (cough cough)

Soon a movie directed and starred in by James Franco
Published in 1936 by Colliers

Towards the end of this novel, Jim the novice apprentice begins to assert dominance over Mac, his supervisor and trainer. He sees that the superb organization of the powers in the valley are going to defeat them. So he begins to plan, to order the workers into a military structure. At this point you see spontaneity, singularity, EVENT, being swallowed into THE PRODUCTION OF A PROTEST, A STRIKE.It is at this moment when Jim takes control with cool calculating moves that the protest changes from the SYMBOLIC ORDER of living, passion, love, the sacred, and reversibility into the ORDER OF PRODUCTION of survival, repetition, exchange, and irreversibility. It is coupled with Jim's suicide, taking it back into the Order of the SACRED.

 My point here is that it is a beginning of the subversion of the singular into the replication, the oncoming simulacrum of PROTEST.

The great social activist, community and union organizer SAUL ALINSKY
was called in to handle the union organizing at Eastman - Kodak in Rochester New York. The workers were getting nowhere and had been stonewalled for too long.

Saul Alinsky
In a Playboy Interview Alinsky said he was the type of person who would be walking down the sidewalk until he saw a sign saying KEEP OFF THE GRASS. Having had no intention of walking on the grass he immediately felt like doing just that.

Eastman-Kodak was inordinately proud of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra which they founded and funded. 


plan was simple, surprising, non-narrative and effective.
And joyous

The workers planned to attend the concert that Friday - Saturday? - night. Before the concert they had a huge banquet of BAKED BEANS and ate them all up, just like Goldilocks.

And they of course,
the night away at the concert. Eastman- Kodak surrendered and the union got their demands.
Again surprise,an EVENT, non linear, and is laughing joy not spiritual?

SPARTACUS is another great protest against the Roman Empire's institution of slavery.

 And then there is Abbie Hoffman and the Chicago 8 becoming the Chicago 7 as Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers opted out and wished to be tried separately as he was so outrageous. Us oldsters remember this PROTEST, this extravaganza against the Judicial System of the USA. Abbie entered the courtroom dressed in a shirt made out of the  American flag. Bobby Seale gave the judge such impassioned long rants that he was taken out, tied to a chair and his mouth taped shut. They all made a travesty of that courtroom. So here is that link in more detail. Don't miss it.But it is one of those EVENTS that if you weren't there it sort of doesn't count.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reading Donald Trump Through Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Message

Look at this image.Trump's wife is in shocking pink upstaging the red of the American flag. Ivanka, his beautiful and intelligent and FEMINIST daughter is in black matching Trump. Neither is adoring him.
McLuhan left the "cliche it became" and reframed his thinking into; 
Medium as GROUND and Content as FIGURE

Digressing and Summarizing: The Medium is the Message STATES that the Medium, the Media, the Technology IS THE MESSAGE. Its CONTENT is irrelevant. Print as the Medium most influential for 500 years was the TECHNOLOGY carrying the MESSAGE. Books, newspapers, etc provided the CONTENT. While content was debated, analyzed, critiqued, studied, written about, spoken about, thought about,like angels on the head of a pin in old timey times, the Message was embedding itself in our minds and bodies. This is "The Inscription of the Body" detailed by Nietzsche and elaborated by Foucault, it is invisible. We were unaware for centuries that the MESSAGE carried by the Medium  of PRINT was invisible. THE MEDIUM IS INVISIBLE. The content is visible.The GROUND is INVISIBLE, the FIGURE is VISIBLE. Children have no problem in perceiving Ground, but as adults trained in the linear reading of PRINT the Ground becomes INVISIBLE, the FIGURE - content -dominates the visual and thinking field for us adults.

We can no longer SEE the GROUND. It is INVISIBLE  to us.

?OK so far?

The ICONIC figure: 

Ali and The Beatles

What does McLuhan have to say about the ICONIC figure?

THE ICONIC FIGURE merges Figure/Ground in ONE figure. (Merges the Medium and the Message.)The context and the content are ONE.

This is easy to see in MUHAMMAD ALI, THE BEATLES, EINSTEIN because they are DEAD, finished, their works now part of our culture, and so can be seen WHOLLY instead of piecemeal as they emerge for us, when alive. IMO the same is true of great buildings, monuments but NOT as they were being built, only when finished, named, visited and worshiped. Music, art - Picasso, Pollack, Leonardo, et al - the same.

He has merged Figure/Ground - Medium and Content

The Media for the Masses  CONTINUES to focus on CONTENT. 

So what is the MESSAGE we are getting about Trump? What is the CONTENT we are getting about Trump?

That's easy too. The CONTENT we are getting is that he is racist,  brutal, inexperienced, a bully, etc. What is the MESSAGE of the MEDIUM we are getting? 
That is the real QUESTION.




And so it goes as VONNEGUT would say.


If you wish to destroy something you MUST carry it to EXCESS - NIETZSCHE, AYN RAND ( The fictional Nietzschean disciple) or as Nietzsche said, "You must be WORSE!"

Donald Trump is WORSE. He is an ICONIC figure. He is the hyper-campaigner, the excessive campaigner, the outrageous campaigner, the campaigner who is WORSE! He cannot be debated in the Dominating Discourse of classical Hegelian opposition, that gray boring prose of the Political Discourse. 
HOW? THE DONALD silences all opposition.


Interspersed with this outrageousness is PARRHESIA - FEARLESS SPEECH - the TRUTH that risks everything for the PARRHESIASTES! Trump has risked it all. WHY?


Trump has a deep CONTEMPT for the present charade, corruption, stupidity of the American political process and he is out to destroy it. He has destroyed the GOP which so many of us have been trying to do by our focus on CONTENT which does not and can never work, as it debates on THEIR playing field in an endless game of ping pong, he said, she said.

No one can win on that FIELD of DISCOURSE.

So Trump is playing on a different field. A field that is NOT INVISIBLY VIOLENT concealed by the ACCEPTED Political Discourse

TRUMP IS A PUT-ON and if you are in on his game you can see it and cheer, revel in the downfall of a corrupt and unfixable system. 

What will be next? 
As Plato has said, "All DEMOCRACY leads to TOTALITARIANISM since democratic candidates must always appeal to the lowest common denominator to get elected." 
Trump is following PLATO. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Help Us Stop the Murderous Slaughter at Taiji Cove in Japan - FORM LETTER OF PROTEST

Taiji Cove Slaughter

Japanese Business Name:

Your name:
Your Address:
Your email:
Your phone:

Dear ( name of business, owner,someone you know there):

You may not remember me but I have eaten many times at your restaurant. (Or am planning to buy a car, etc) and for a number of years I have been deeply disturbed by the murderous slaughter of dolphins especially at Taiji Cove in Japan. We have organized nationally now to protest this horrible bloody despicable killing of these beautiful creatures. We have decided to use more force in our numbers to stop them at Taiji Cove. We are concentrating on Taiji Cove as we think it is wiser to focus all of our attention on the place in the film The Cove instead of spreading to many different places where it is also going on.

Documentary Awarded Many Honors
This is to tell you we will not be eating at your restaurant, (buying a car from you, etc) until this slaughter stops. We need to make sure you are feeling it here in the US so you will add your voice to our protests. We would like to ask you to write to the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. to flood their office with letters and emails. We need to get them involved. Below is a form letter for you to download, print out, and send to the embassy to inform them.Please feel free to personalize it to suit your needs and desires.

Thank you and I hope we can soon do business again with each other.


sign and print your name.

  1. Enclosed is a sample letter for your download/printed copy. Please enclose the letter to the Japanese Embassy that is below for your convenience to give to your local Japanese businesses with your own letter above. An addressed and stamped envelope will also help to speed it  up. You may print it with images or not as you choose. Or add your own.I am just trying to make this as easy and fast as possible.
  2. ______________________________________________________________

  3. Japanese Embassy
  4. Address2520 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
  5. Name of your business:
  6. Address:

We are experiencing an extension of the protests concerning the dolphin slaughter at Taiji Cove in Japan.Our regular customers are incensed over this bloodbath of dolphins which have become dear to the hearts of  many Americans. We understand that many are sold to SeaWorld to live under torturous conditions and made to entertain customers. The dolphins sold for meat in Japan are contaminated with mercury leading to the most terrible birth defects in Japan where it is consumed. We are asking you to help us as it is now affecting our business in the States. America is already in a deep recession and we have felt it. This situation is going to worsen it for us,  so again, please see what can be done to help us through diplomatic channels. We thank you very much.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

John Payne (Dolley Madison's Father): A PARRHESIASTES Who Helped Start the Abolition of Slavery Movement

No Image for John Payne, Dolley Madison's  Father
History has given us Dolley Madison with her bravery in the White House as it was pillaged and burned by the British in the 1812 War. She saved Stuart's painting of George Washington.
COURAGE LIGHT as Zizek might say.

But what her father did has been lost in the folds of history.
 He was a Parrhesiastes like Edward Snowden.
And like Snowden, he with others began a national debate.
William Penn was given Pennsylvania as a land grant. As a Quaker Penn forbid the trafficking of slaves in Pennsylvania and fair purchase prices for Native American land. Philadelphia was already established when he got it and Pennsylvania was to be a haven for Quakers to practice their religion with freedom from persecution.

A number of Quakers left Pennsylvania for the Carolinas (liberal Constitution) and Virginia where land was cheap, the weather milder, and slave ownership possible. But the slavery debate continued in the Quaker meetings.

Anyone who was involved in the Viet Nam war protests in the 60's and 70's in Philadelphia was aware of the leadership of the Quakers in the Resistance Movement. No longer in any kind of political control the Quakers were a moral force at that time and a center for attracting revolutionary minded dissidents and draft resisters.

In  other words THEY WERE DANGEROUS!
And they were dangerous in the time of the colonies also. So much so in Virginia that in 1760 Virginia passed this law on slavery:

In 1760 in Virginia the Law as passed by the Virginia House of Burgesses read "that it was illegal to emancipate a slave in Virginia except by Government act. Virginia Quakers and their meetings could oppose slaveholding and support emancipation, but they were prohibited by law from freeing their slaves. If a slave was freed, by a Quaker or anyone else, he or she could be captured and sold as a runaway."

The Law reads what you can't do. You can't free your slave. Assuming you are a decent person if you want to free your slave, what are the consequences if you do this. Capturing/kidnapping and being resold to the highest bidder, and very likely a far worse situation from which you are freed. 

You can beat, maim, kill, rape, torture, breed, set dogs on, force fights to the death, well just about anything the perverse imagination can come up with, you can do. 

The only thing you can't do is FREE  this slave. And if you do this slave will never really be free. This slave will always be looking over her/his shoulder as there are stories of abductions and disappearances. 

This Law also has an emptiness. The only thing you are not allowed to do is FREE your slave. 

Dolley Madison's  father was disturbed by the fact that he owned slaves to work his plantation in Virginia. About 50 of them. A large holding. He had converted to the Society of Friends after he married Mary Coles who had been disowned by the Quakers for marrying him, an Anglican. He becomes more Quaker than a Quaker as converts often are wont to do. And his conscience is troubled by the fact that he owns slaves. 

It is a colonial law of the colony of Virginia. There are certainly similar laws in Alabama,Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, etc. But this is Virginia, the place where Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe all have family plantations with enslaved workers. And these men are 4 of our first 5 presidents. I am stunned.

At the base of our legal system by 1760 is pure sophistry. A Law by Pharisees. It contains a poison pill. It puts the person of integrity in a CATCH-22 situation. Unable to keep a slave or free the slave. It forces hypocrisy. 

Now who is responsible for this law? Does anyone think that the largest plantation owners in Virginia, the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, and Monroes were innocent of this law? We know James Madison's grandfather served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1761-1769. He would have had to have known of this law. Who formulated it like this? And why? 

And why this law at this time? Foucault teaches to look at what else is going on. To look at the intersections of different "comings to be" and in this case it is the influx of Quakers from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas (liberal Constitution) and Virginia to farm large tracts of cheap land through the use of slave labor. Quaker meetings are not about listening to someone give a sermon. They involve silence and the necessity someone feels to speak to the group. So one can expect there were many raised discussions about slavery, and surely the well known founding fathers of the Anglican persuasion knew about these dissenting discussions, as these meeting books were impounded during the Revolution as they looked for traitors. The Quakers refused to bear arms. Most of them anyway. They were found innocent.

Virginia was a bastion of slaveholding.  In 1765, the Quaker minister John Griffith wrote that "the life of religion is almost lost where slaves are numerous....the practice being as contrary to the spirit of Christianity as light is to darkness." (p. 64) By 1769 the Paynes had come to believe that slaveholding was morally indefensible.  Three months after the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Payne, Dolley's father freed one of his slaves in a formal declaration leaving no doubt as to his intent. Then he freed the rest of them. In defiance of Virginia Law. 

In Full:

I, John Payne of Hanover County, Virginia, from mature, deliberate Consideration, and the Conviction of my Own mind, being fully persuaded that Freedom is the A Natural Condition of all mankind, and that no law, moral or Divine, has given me a right Or property in the persons of my fellow Creatures; and being desirous to fulfill the Injunction of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by doing unto Others as I would be done by; do therefore declare that having Under my care a Negro man Named Cuffe, aged about Twenty-four years, I do, for myself, my heirs, Executors and Administrators, hereby release Unto him the said Cuffe all my right, Interest and Claim Or pretension of Claim  whatsoever, as to his person, or to any Estate he may hereafter Acquire, without any Interruption from me, or any person Claiming for, by, or under me. In Witness whereof I have Hereunto set my hand and Seal this third day of the Twelfth month in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Six. (p. 65)

This is both a statement and an act of PARRHESIA, following from the time of Socrates in the Western World - and only in the Western World. It is our heritage and our tradition. 

Frankness:The word parrhesia, then, refers to a type of relationship between the speaker and what he says. For in parrhesia, the speaker makes it manifestly clear and obvious that what he says is his own opinion. And he does this by avoiding any kind of rhetorical form which would veil what he thinks. Instead, the parrhesiastes uses the most direct words and forms of expression he can find. …in parrhesia, the parrhesiastes acts on other people’s minds by showing them as directly as possible what he actually believes.

…..To my mind, the parrhesiastes says what is true because it is really true. The parrhesiastes is not only sincere and says what is his opinion, but his opinion is also the truth. He says what he knows to be true. The second characteristic of parrhesia, then, is that there is always an exact coincidence between belief and truth.

If there is a kind of “proof” of the sincerity of the parrhesiastes, it is his courage. The fact that a speaker says something dangerous — different from what the majority believes — is a strong indication that he is a parrhesiastes.

Danger: Someone is said to use parrhesia and merits consideration as aparrhesiastes only if there is a risk or danger for him in telling the truth. …when a philosopher addresses himself to a sovereign, to a tyrant, and tells him that his tyranny is disturbing and unpleasant because tyranny is incompatible with justice, then the philosopher speaks the truth, believes he is speaking the truth, and, more than that, also takes a risk (since the tyrant may become angry, may punish him, may exile him, may kill him.) And that was exactly Plato’s situation with Dionysius in Syracuse….

So you see, the parrhesiastes is someone who takes a risk….Parrhesia, then, is linked to courage in the face of danger; it demands the courage to speak the truth in spite of some danger. And in its extreme form, telling the truth takes place in the “game” of life or death.
Quotes from Foucault
It is because the parrhesiastes must take a risk in speaking the truth that the king or tyrant generally cannot use parrhesia; for he risks nothing.
When you accept the parrhesiastic game in which your own life is exposed, you are taking up a specific relationship to yourself; you risk death to tell the truth instead of reposing in the security of a life where the truth goes unspoken. Of course, the threat of death comes from the Other, and thereby requires a relationship to the Other. But the parrhesiastes primarily chooses a specific relationship to himself: he prefers himself as a truth-teller rather than as a living being who is false to himself.
I am saying that John Payne is a PARRHESIASTES of his time.

His risk was great as he defied the law. It began the beginning of financial ruin for him. He would never recover from the loss of about $45,000 and in 1776 that was a huge sum. And yet history does not record his courage. Only the online internet has been able to protect Edward Snowden and keep him safe and known throughout the world due to Assange's work with wikileaks. Snowden will not be forgotten as John Payne was. He is buried in the Free Quaker Cemetery in Philadelphia. I cannot find a gravestone image. Perhaps someone will send it to me or post it in a comment. He was a great man who is only known as the father of Dolley Madison.

For more on this reading through 12 Years A Slave LINK because the capture and reselling continued for almost 100 years afterwards as the law had no teeth. New York Law got Northup back to his family and it was a complicated legal process to free him.