Everyone is special, some are just more special than others.
Welcome Stewart Lane Ellington

Stewart, when I received your initial email (July 24, 2001) I took your compliments with a grain of salt for they were soon followed by a request for a plug and an invitation to link your site. Despite the teaser description: "Writings about my artwork which talks about God living in BMW's and stuff" I visited your site anyway.

Your front page is a resume followed by a descriptive account of all of the wonderful things that I was about to experience here.

Checking out your site and appreciating the fine, fine humor and good vibes. I am an artist who appreciates unconventional viewpoints on God/spirituality when they are expressed to ride the razor's edge of taste and humor, as your site does. I admire your selfless social work in helping people look at things in new ways. I really enjoy Jesus Dressup, mainly for the baffling code. I don't know if you enjoy art, but if you like, you can check out my own site to see and read about my artwork, which talks about God living in BMWs and stuff.
Because you love pictures, you can use the one of me on my front page if you decide to. I also enjoy riveting discourse if you care to correspond. I am not a sexy female.
Love, Stew

I clicked on, and briefly read more of your credentials along with the events of your day to day life. This concluded with a promise that you would someday be more exciting and provocative.

Starving for an image other than your wind-blown hair show in shades, I pressed onward to your work. I probably clicked on two pieces, counted my losses and filed your letter under "Other".

Of course it is me, Bobby. I wanted to capture for you my true feelings when I think about all of the nasty things I can do to Jesus when I go to your wicked, wicked web page. Just thinking about it, and thinking about you, makes me want to do wicked things to myself! My name is Hildegaard. I didn't plan to contact you, for you see, I am a sister of the Holy Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and if our Holy Mother were ever to discover a liason between me and any man, virtual or actual, I would be eschewed by the Order from the nunnery forever. I never believed I would experience temptation, but after I first encountered your site, a burning passion welled up within me which I cannot control, and now I must see Jesus shamed and tortured! I must! It gets so hot and steamy under my habit that I have to sit in front of the computer in my

underthings! Oh, the terrible and wonderful shame of it! Because the nunnery is located on a small island in the remote south Pacific, we can never be together, Normal Bob, and I must shamefully satify my wicked, carnal desires by myself. The most I could do for you is to send you a photo of me. I hope you are not disgusted by it - I want to make you happy with me. I know that I can never be a "cool chick" from outer space, for I am but a lowly servant of the Lord, and a shamefully sinful one at that! But I hope you will think of me at times, as I will be thinking shameful thoughts of you often. There is one thing I must humbly request of you: In order to redeem myself of my sins, I am promoting the web site of another humble servant of the lord who speaks His message in his art. He is already nearly collapsing beneath the load of the 15-20 hits per day he receives, but a link from your exalted site would help to spread His light to the multitudes!

You will be in my prayers and fantasies forever, Normal Bob!!
Hilde. xoxoxo

Approximately one month later you sent another correspondence only this time as the make-believe character Hildegard- the hot and horny fan. I winced as I recalled your aforementioned "wind-blown" image while I read through all of the sexual feelings and desires you describe at great length.

You finished it off with another plug request and I couldn't tell if you were trying to be funny or misleading. Having not succeeded at either, I started up a file that I titled "Stew Ellington" in the preexisting folder "Special People Club". This file would begin to grow as the days and months went on.

I remember responding to your Hildegard letter in short, asking about who you REALLY were and hopefully some sort of explanation of what you were trying to do.

Dearest Normal Bob,

Perhaps you have forgotten that I sent you my picture already? It is a very shameful and humbling picture, and I am not surprised that you would overlook it, so I am sending it to you again. It shames to me see it again myself, but if it will make you happy, it is my pleasure to send it to you. In case you are not satisfied, I will also send to you in another email a picture of myself and the other sisters performing our morning penance. Also, I believe my artist friend would not mind your sampling his photo from his homepage at http://stewellington.com/Homepage.html, if it so pleases you. He is a messenger of the Lord with a most generous spirit. Normal Bob, the Holy Mother is about and I fear she may discover my transgressions with you - I will now go perform my evening prayers to ask His forgiveness and ask Him to deliver this planet from the ignorance which envelops it. I know you are a great warrior on the crusade against ignorance, despite your deliciously wicked web pages!

Yours in His light, Hilde xoxoxo

Howdy Normal Bob,

I wanted to send you a very sincere and appreciative letter for constructing such a very entertaining and perhaps important(?) site. I have been enjoying your sardonic and seemingly inexhaustable creative ability as well as your astute/hilarious retorts to Hate letters for a couple of months now, with a growing admiration for your authentic manner of self-expression.

Being a thinking artist myself, I appreciate your motivated attacks on certain ignorant sectors of society. In my own work, I also take an ironic look at spirituality, although I'm thinkin' maybe I put a little more stock in the need for spirituality which people, as a species, have demonstrated like forever. I read another letter someone had sent which suggested you make your attacks on what I would call "Church-ianity" a bit more clear, so people understand better that what bothers you is dogmatism and ignorance, rather than spiritual belief itself. I'm wondering if you ever look at your own creative process as a magical process? I'm certain you must find spiritual gratification in it, whether you decide to define it in those sorts of terms or not. I'd like to know what you think about that.

Anyhoo, I would think perhaps an aspiring artist like myself, a person of impeccable taste who likes to be connected with good work and who feels an affinity with your creative motivation, might find himself doing things to get linked to your site, such as jokingly disguising himself as a delinquent nun named Hildegaard (for the purpose of *entertainment* and not *deception*), sending cool/exotic pictures which he knows make you happy, etc. etc., while all the time he is in fact a "real" fan, and probably justs wants to have that in the open with you, whether or not you decide to publish his letters. Hmm...yes.

Thanks for being you!
Very sincerely,
Stew Ellington

I am the one sitting closest to the camera, in the back row. In secret love, Hilde xoxoxo

It was the last "link seeking" email (displayed at right) you sent me a few days ago that interested me enough to finally respond.

So let me begin by saying that whenever someone starts talking about "spirituality", my mind goes to work contriving a list of excuses to run very fast. I've done the "imaginary bumble bee chase" and "left cake in oven dash".

I find the word "spirituality" to be pretentious and silly. I am an atheist Stew. To me "spirituality" is the equivalent to faith healers, psychics and alien abductions.

I am going to assume that your repeated attempts to get me at your site were so that I would give you a blunt opinion of your work. But before I do I will tell you that my expectations were set high as a result of your persistence, your Bachelor's degree in art, and the raving reviews that you've given yourself on the art that you have made.

You have humbly described your collection as "addressing the ideas of language, spirituality and consciousness as well as addressing the concept of language as a cognitive to which determines identity. Not only that but it speaks of what it means to live in a technologically advanced society of consumables as it comments on your own identity as a painter operating within the contexts of grand ideas and digitally produced advertising."

I would title this one: "7 Years of Schooling"

Stewart, it's a cross. It's clip-art you've taken of a car. It's someone else's art that you've copied, altered and called your own.

I am going to tell you this in an attempt to save your life. STOP YOUR SCHOOLING IMMEDIATELY! Your pieces have only been thrown together so that you could write a thesis on them!

Not Stewart's images. Someone else's images.

There is little effort, zero struggle and an anxiousness to fill space quickly so that you can begin theorizing. Not only are you taking other people's art, but you're taking the same pieces again and again! This car image showed up in 3 of your projects! Not your car image, someone else's car image. Most of your pieces are slight manipulations of other people's stuff! If I had drawn that car, I'd feel robbed. You've got SEVEN years of art education under your belt?! This is a travesty! Fire the teachers! Throw your paint at the walls! Take whatever it is that makes you think you're an artist and try drawing something! No more theses. People don't want to read your reviews of yourself.

Welcome Stewart Lane Ellington.
You are now a member of the Special People Club.
Oh yeah, here's that link you've been requesting: http://stewellington.com

Part II
Stewart Lane Ellington's response

Not Stewart's image. Someone else's image.