I posted this image here some time ago and promised to add a color version later, which took me forever to actually accomplish. Nevertheless, here it is, my own personal logo and avatar on many a web forum, "No Small Minds".
This was originally created about 10 years ago as my version of a "Mature Readers" label for my comic book, "The Journals of Simon Pariah". My reasoning behind this can be found here. While the points I make in that essay are still valid, I think the usefulness of this idea extends far beyond the comic book world. Sometimes, I think that I need this warning label on every wall or door that stands between myself and the outside world.
So, to update this a little bit, who does "No Small Minds" refer to?
-anyone who demands acceptance of an idea without proof.
-anyone who tries to create and enforce rules for everyone based on their own subjective opinion.
-anyone who flatly denies the possibility that a dissenting opinion may be correct, despite overwhelming evidence in its favor.
-anyone who tries to stifle discussion rather than engaging in dialogue.
-anyone who tries to make the limits of their understanding into the boundaries of someone else's experience.
These are the people that I, personally, do not want to speak with because I cannot reason with them. I don't want to deal with them (if it can be avoided) because it cannot be done on a fair and equitable basis. When it comes to my work (in any field or forum), I want them to understand that they may not like what I have to say.
I've always known that any creative person encounters small minds of one stripe or another at some point. No matter what you say, somebody's going to take offense at it. As an adult, which I desperately hope to be one day, I've discovered that these same minds operate in almost every aspect of life, be it politics, religion, or interpersonal communications. Their purpose in life seems to be chiefly to make everything as unpleasant for other people as possible.
So this emblem is meant as a visual "check your premises at the door" warning. It's for anyone who wants to tag their work as being for "mature" readers without immediately labeling it as "porn". It's for anyone who wants to give warning that free thought is being applied, and free speech is being engaged. It's for anyone who wants to clearly state that the exchange of ideas is encouraged, and the stifling of dissent will not be tolerated.
It's also for anyone who wants something cool and quirky to display on their website.
When I first released this on the web in 2002, it was made freely available to anyone to use in any way they wish, with the stipulation that credit be given and that I be sent a link to the work in which it is used. As I have come to understand it, this perspective has come to be codified as the Creative Commons licence, and its under that licence that I post this here now. Feel free to use this on your website, in your comics, on your books, or in any other creative way you can imagine. To misquote Woody Guthrie, anybody caught usin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. I created it, that's all I wanted to do.
All I ask is that you give credit (preferably in the form of a link to www.paladinfreelance.com) where credit is due, and let me know where you've used it, just because I'm curious about that sort of thing.
If you take it into your head to use this logo to sell products...well, I can't stop you, because I've just given you permission to do it. But be warned: you'll have competition, because I'll likely be doing that myself.
Oh, and in case anyone finds it useful, here's a black and white version of the same thing.
No Small Minds by Mike Dominic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at paladinfreelance.blogspot.com.