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12 August 2005

free software that doesn't suck: TAG THE WEB Primer & brick wall template

Seemingly since the Beginning of Time, Microsoft has been tossing a delicious little goody called MS_Paint in for free with every version of Windows.

There is far fancier and far pricier software you can use to cook up an original image from Nothing except an Idea in Your Head, but why on earth would anyone want to bother or pay?

I particularly like MS_Paint because nearly all my talents as a visual artist are very crude, primitive, sleazy and honky-tonk. (There have been suspicions -- never scientifically verified -- that I am Color Blind, or Color Addled.)

As a child, all my art teachers made me swear I would never again attempt to make any visual art. They can all bite me, those who are not yet dead. MS-Paint just naturally guides my crude, ghastly, kitschy, talentless instincts to delightful outcomes which please My Inner Thug infinitely.

The icon for MS_Paint is probably on your desktop. (Sorry if you're a Mac, but Apple doubtless has something comparable; Macs have always been hyped as good for graphics and images. I hope it's Free.)

MS_Paint generally (but not exclusively) produces and can manipulate images in the *.bmp Bitmap format. You can Zoom In and control these images one pixel at a time, choosing from a large palette of colors -- or you can mix your own colors. If Mona Lisa has a tiny one-pixel zit on her nose, you can remove it, or if Mona Lisa has no zits, you can give her a tiny zit anywhere you like. A moustache on Condoleeza Rice is easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

MS_Paint is an excellent drafting tool, and one fellow sings its praises as perfect for designing original electronic circuit boards -- the hardest task in making your own home-rolled electronic gizmos. SWMBO is screwing around with MS_Paint right now to experiment with designs for original quilts. Ditto for original sweater patterns.


Let us pretend momentarily that it is Possible to End this fucked-up War in Iraq and Afghanistan with Art, Literature, the Internet, and possibly vacant large walls in the neighborhood which are currently not displaying any important messages or images.

The TAG THE WEB Project is a response to this Possibility or Illusion or Hallucination. Specifically TAG THE WEB encourages every human being with access to a computer to junk up all the computer screens on Planet Earth and the International Space Station with Original Feelings about the Iraq and Afghanistan War.

EXTRA CREDIT if you have the technological skills to turn your Virtual Brick Wall Feelings into annoying Popup Ads -- like porno spam popup ads, or mortgage offer spam popup ads, or popup ads for Britney Spears clothing and paraphernalia, or penis-lengthening contraption popup ads -- so that everyone innocently trying to go about their ordinary Internet business will get
STOP THE IRAQ WAR graffiti in their eyeballs all the time without doing anything to request it.

MS_Paint is so astonishingly simple to learn and use that I had a five-year-old girl making her own wonderful refrigerator art on her computer within five minutes. She figured it all out almost instantly, or rather, MS_Paint self-guided her to make images that delighted her almost instantly. The only Adult Hovering required was to lean over and click SAVE now and then.

MS_Paint features Spray Paint and Paint Brushes of various widths and shapes.

To facilitate this Hallucination, I am happy to provide a new Virtual Brick Wall, of Flemish Bond, its dimensions approximately screen-filling when displayed at the intended original size. Download it, open it in MS_Paint, then SAVE AS a new filename for your own Brick Wall Message. (That way you'll still have a blank brick wall for further messages.)

Images inspired by TAG THE WEB should be:


(as if a police car might show up at any moment -- use a mechanical kitchen timer to give youself a maximum of ten minutes for your image)




How offensive? How irresponsible? How offensive and irresponsible do you find the dead bodies of your young neighbors coming home in flag-draped caskets to Dover (Delaware) Air Force Base? I think that's a good benchmark standard for Offensive and Irresponsible. (My politics were largely formed, shaped, flavored and textured during the Vietnam War. Anger is a Creative Force. An excess of Civility facilitates Longer Wars.)

Please note also that If You Have Never Been A Visual Artist In Your Life Up To Now, you can Start Right Now. Absolutely No Previous Art Experience Required. TAG THE WEB is superdemocratic, open to anyone who has at least one finger. (There is a certain operation I do on Internet Relay Chat which requires me to click on my trackball with my nose, and another operation on Windows which required my left big toe -- but I recently found a Finger Way around that.)

I would Sincerely Appreciate your Comments -- but much more, Your Images.

Yours don't have to be Crude & Vulgar & Talentless like mine. If you are Georgia O'Keefe or Michelangelo or Frieda Kahlo or Stanley Spencer or Gully Jimson, and if you prefer an Image Program which cost you U$395, knock yourself out.

But please focus All Your Energies, Talents and Skills on ending these ghastly racist greed psycho lying useless endless perpetual wars immediately.

If there is a snowball's chance in Hell that this might work in the slightest, actual Human Lives are at stake -- young women and young men might come home and resume things they loved but have yet had little experience with: Fucking, Partying, Merrymaking, Happiness, Bicycling, Gardening, Going to the Vans Warped Tour, Eating Delicious Food, Perceiving Beauty.

The Dead, and most of the Maimed or Shellshocked, will be unable to do these things.

VLEEPTRON TEK UPDATE: I am stuck with the superfucked-up WindowsME operating system, but if you have Windows 2000/XP/2003, you can check out a New, Improved version of MS_Paint which is called PAINT.NET , and can be downloaded for
. It is written in the programming language C# and seems to have something to do with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington State University. Whoever first wrote MS_Paint (I can't seem to find her or his identity) was brilliant and serious. These people seem to be Even More Serious. That's quite scary.


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