Hey, do you still happen to have your official StrangeLove tin foil hat from our "conspiracy" release back in 2019? Good, because you're going to need it this coming weekend. Should you, however, have no idea what I'm referring to, that's probably because you never even knew this company existed prior to February 2020—not that that is a bad thing, of course, because the truth is we barely existed on anyone's radar before that fateful Valentine's Day fiasco. What a shit show that was! Gosh, for a day all about love we sure did bring the rain of hate. Good times.
So here's a little more pertinent background so we can all be on the same goofy foot going forward: sometime in 2019 we released a three board series inspired by those whimsical little notions known as "conspiracy theories." Only they're not so whimsical anymore, are they? A lot has happened since that quaint, pastoral time and the Qpids of our world have really gone off the deep state end with all their Qanonsense—so much so that what was once considered fringe outlier monkey business has since morphed into just another what-the-fuck day in the mainstream. Not only that but they've taken objective reality along for the ride, straight through the looking glass and headlong into a fractured, batshit realm of surreality.
Tell you what: if you so desire, click here and read more about the aforementioned release since I'm apparently unable to do so without going completely off reservation and never once shedding a single ray of light on that which I said I was going to. But if you have no interest in doing so, no worries. I get it. Life is short, time is fleeting, and unless you suffer from moderate to severe constipation who even has the attention span or will to digest anything over 142 characters anymore? So pat yourself on the back if you've trudged this far into yet another word monsoon of mine, but in the interest of brevity (ha! it's sarcasm!) the gist of the old post was this: say what you want about conspiracy theories, but they sure do make for some great graphic story fodder. Today's case in point being our teaming up with old friends at Stratosphere skate shop in Atlanta, GA, to spotlight one of the state's very own monumental mysteries: The Georgia Guidestones of Elbert County. Yes, those Georgia Guidestones, the very ones blown the fuck up this past summer in even more mysterious circumstances (but more on that in a paragraph or two).
I'll be honest, when Nick first approached me about the idea of doing a graphic around the Georgia Guidestones, I had no clue what the heck he was talking about. So off to the Google I went to insta-educate myself, whereupon I was immediately embarrassed for not having any knowledge about them before. Seriously, things like the Guidestones are precisely the kind of bananas that are supposed to be right up my tailpipe. But if one thing was made abundantly clear to me while skimming all the content it's that there really aren't a ton of concrete details known about this great granite construct. What there are, however, are lots and lots of zany theories about how the Guidestones came to be and the nefarious cabal responsible for their blasphemous erection. Is it the NWO? Could it be the illuminated Bavarian ghost of Adam Weishaupt and his rotten ol' Rosicrucian ways? Another clear cut case for Satanic panic in the Bible Belt? Good grief, what if it's Guy Grand himself?! It sure as shit ain't the Catholics or Christians, though, because we all know how they feel about population control.
But enough about conspiracies! Let's make this about us, and by us I mean the StrangeLove curse. I've always joked about plates of shrimp and the cosmic coincidental like, but the truth is we have had a rather bizarre series of freak occurrences over the years where our graphics have collided with real life events in unforeseen and unintentional ways. For instance, our original ode to the purple one by Todd Bratrud was conceived, produced, and released just prior to his very unfortunate and untimely death. The "JESUSA!" graphic  was already shipping to the warehouse right when the United States Supreme Court got its prehistoric rocks off by overturning Roe v. Wade. And... and... well, shit. I swear there are more instances of these coincidences—two does not necessarily a pattern make—but I've also come to the sad realization that my short term memory has more holes than Blackburn, Lancashire .
But now we have yet another confirmed case where the Stratosphere boards were all screened and biding their time in boxes when we woke up to the startling news on July 6th that an explosive device had gone off at the Guidestones , bringing down one of the four primary slabs and damaging the structural integrity of the capstone atop. Curiously, authorities proceeded to sweep in that very same day with a backhoe to destroy the monument in toto for alleged reasons of public safety, thus ushering the Guidestones back out of our world as mysteriously as they first came into it back on March 22, 1980. This being what it is, a half-ass essay on conspiratorial beliefs, allow me to do the numerological math for you: the magic number is 42 . Yes, 42, the very same answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything .
So what have we learned here today? Absolutely nothing. Well, that's not true. One, I may suffer from apophenia, and two, if you were ignorant like me to the existence—correction, previous existence—of the Georgia Guidestones, then perhaps you've just added another transitory flight of fancy to drift through your transom in the offhand hours. But if any fact at all is to be gleaned from this, it's that our graphics have an odd tendency to portend the future or at least hold some significant sway in the great cosmic scales. That said, don't be surprised in the least if you catch us putting out a board graphic next year featuring Nick and I cavorting in a backyard Doughboy pool filled to the flimsy walled brim with scads of money a la Scrooge McDuck , because we're fucking over wasting our apparent powers of fortune-telling on death, destruction, and political/social regress.
1. Miscellaneous fun fact: This graphic had actually been sitting in my drawer of sketches since the mid-2000s when I was asked to come up with some shoe concepts for Nike SB. Obviously this one didn't even begin to make a run through the corporate gauntlet—why even bother?—so it slowly sifted to the bottom of a paper pile where it would languish for years and years until I used it as a throwaway detail which can be further read about here.
2. Once upon a time I would've gone for some other descriptive metaphor like "more holes than the toilet stall walls of a suspect highway rest stop," but I have no idea what is or is not acceptable anymore so I went for a safe day in the life of The Beatles instead.
3. Unless you're one of the many super geniouses on Twitter who first exulted, "Good riddance!" and then determined the blast was not caused by a manmade device at all but rather a bolt of judgmental lightning cast down by the Righteous Hand of God Himself.
4. I know, I know, I didn't share my work in how I arrived at this number, so take the year of creation (1980), then the year of demise (2022), employ the basic method of subtraction (-) and voila (=) Forty-fucking-two. Also, that's the absolute extent of my remedial arithmetic skills.
5. Don't die wondering. I'm really just throwing this reference in for anyone else who once stuck out their thumb and hitchhiked through Douglas Adams' galaxy as a teenager.
6. I'm only half kidding about this, by the way. For whatever reason I've been unable to shake the visual of this out of my head—Nick diving off an ironing board in a Speedo—which historically means I'll somehow have to either perform an exorcism by drawing the demon out or let my short term memory do the heavy-lifting.