Rock On by Donnie Boman



Credit: DB


All of my light switches have been relabeled.

They are now commands not for the lights, but for the people in the room. (My lights are now controlled by an iPhone app.)

One is often told that he/she should not think and act in binary terms – there is always room for gray. However, just as something can be on or off, one must be told to either “rock on” or “fuck off.” (Certainly, I feel that people must often be told this! They can’t read my mind. These switches will help facilitate this in a less combative manner.)

One can’t “kind of” fuck off. One can’t “kind of” rock on. If you’re just kind of doing either of these things, you’re not really doing anything. These would not be “gray” areas. These are null / void. They do not exist. The state (and essence) of off or on is not fulfilled. There is only ever on or off.

These two states (fucking off and rocking on) truly do act as diametric opposites (as in the imperative commands “[You] Fuck off” and “[You] Rock on”), and can thus be considered a binary system encapsulated and represented in a “simple” wall switch.

I argue that the “relabeling” is indeed merely a relabeling. If one thinks this transformation of language and intent extreme, it is just a substitution of symbolic values that means the same thing in a binary context (even if only metaphorically (or artistically?)).

I could easily find myself in a quandary when no one is around and walk into a room that is switched to “fuck off.”

•Is the room telling me what to do?

•Should I walk out?

•Am I able to switch the “room” to rock on?

•But isn’t that what the room is actually doing since it, itself, is not fucking off because how can it fuck off of itself?

•Either way, if I turn the switch to rock on or merely leave it alone, am I then telling the room to go ahead with rocking on, even if I had been told to fuck off?

•Am I being compliant with the room by fucking off and allowing the room to rock on?

•But how can I be an active participant in an exchange of power /control with the room if I have been told to fuck off and I am leaving the room alone?

•Once /if I turn the room to rock on, is the room now settled into a natural state leaving me to “peacefully” go about my own business of rocking on and not fucking off?

•So is the natural state of a room to “rock on”?

•Is that a “natural” state, i.e. in nature: the state of rocking on?

•What does natural mean?

•What is a natural definition of “rock on”?

•Bonus questions: If it is not rocking on or fucking off, then what limbo is this? Who controls it? Do I? (And this would be a fugue state in-between rocking on and fucking off, a phase transition, not a gray area!)

In the absence of answers to these questions, I always leave the rooms to “rock on” because that’s what I’m always doing.


Donnie Boman rocks on. He does the Ohio Edit Instagram feed as well as his personal feed @butter_toe.