Sunday, April 04, 2010


From The Sublimated To The Ridiculous

When you find yourself absorbed by some thing no longer do you control the musculature. The first real gun I ever saw close up was on a table in a Taco Bell during my first US tour. It belonged to a cop enjoying a mondo-sized cup of breakfast coffee. Scary and fascinating. He occasionally toyed with it, the pistol, holding it up to the light to lovingly caress its glistening muzzle, before finally returning it to its reassuring dark brown leather holster.

You can easily see why they are considered as potent phallic symbols. And yet in notable countries like the USA, along with others such as the Philippines, Indonesia, or Afghanistan, firearms have become so culturally embedded a curious reversal has occurred. The phalli have now themselves become gun symbols.

So you get guys holding their cocks, visualising. Sex is a trigger-happy sport. Uzi drive-bys. Nuthing But A G Thang. Dirty Harry shoot-out fantasy with a Magnum. Do you feel lucky, punk? A John Woo Mexican stand-off. Bang, bang, bang. Pissing is an exercise in target practice. Take aim, fire. A warm penis is an AK-47.

The tipping point between genital symbol and genital substitute is reached at a moment of sheer ubiquity (thanks to technological and cultural changes), or at the forming of a particularly close personal attachment, one which provides greater pleasure or succour. And the phenomenon appears the same for other objects such as guitars and mobile phones (the latter being the preferred choice of clitoral replacement).

Later on the aforementioned tour, in Colorado, I actually got to fire a .44 Special when  taken out to the mountains by our host. The weapon was hastily wrested back after I popped a couple of frighteningly wayward rounds at a nearby tin can. The recoil nearly broke my wrist. And that was that.


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