Boyd Rice desktop background

Boyd Rice desktop background
Digital collage and manipulation
2008

Oh, where to begin with this one… from April 2008 to April 2009 I was taking the New Media Design program at BCIT. This was made to be my desktop background on the laptop I used in class.

Why? Well… It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… just kidding, it was the absolute worst year of my life. To give you an idea of just how happy I was, I used to listen to NON/Boyd Rice’s “Total War” on loop during my commute to school every single day for months.

I had many problems and aggravations during that year, but one of the worst of them was that I was being harassed by a creepy classmate who went out of her way to hit on and leer at me despite being told I was not the least bit interested, and she used to always be trying to look at my work on my laptop instead of tending to her own and as a pretext to try to force me to talk to her. (She also used to wear sunglasses with a hidden camera in them in the classroom and later post the photos she took on Facebook, and I saw her wear them in the women’s washroom as well. Fortunately she never found out where I lived, because she was known to show up at other classmates’ homes late on weekend nights and insist on being let in to hang out.) And since no one ever said shit to her about having desktop backgrounds of scantily clad women in the supposedly professional environment of the classroom and flashing those around and asking other classmates which they thought was the hottest chick, I figured I should make a desktop background of a topless dude as a “Fuck you” gesture.

I first made a desktop background of a naked picture of Skinny Puppy’s Nivek Ogre that was cropped just above his junk. I didn’t even like Ogre and when I briefly met him in the fall of 2009 I found him revolting on multiple levels, but that was beside the point: I needed a nude dude desktop background to ward off the creep until I got this much less exposed but much more offensive Boyd Rice one finished.

Anyway, like I said, my main comfort wasn’t Skinny Puppy, but rather Boyd Rice’s vastly superior violent noise and bitter spoken word pieces. (Not long after that, I would start making my own violent noise and industrial rock as maQLu.)

And I always had an interest in Eastern European religious icons with their decorated halos from having seen them all over my paternal grandmother’s house when I was a kid.

This all mashed together in my messed-up head and came out the other end as Saint Boyd of Vengeance.

The text is from “Total War” rendered in a hippie font as a nod to Rice’s “war is groovy” slogan, and a lot of the visual elements echo other lyrics of his: Nagasaki mushroom clouds referencing the end of “Alone with the Calm” (“and out in my respite, alone with the calm/I pray for some despot to drop the A-bomb”), the blood splattered across the sky is another “Total War” line. All superimposed on my home turf, the Fraser River delta.

All these years later, it seems kinda junior high and juvenile, but it still makes me laugh. And the look of abject dismay and horror on that creepy classmate’s face the first time she tried to come chat and see what I was working on and saw this made all the painstaking Photoshop work worth it.

(I still should have walked out and withdrawn from that program that summer instead of enduring the misery to the bitter end, though.)