I’m generally turned off by stuff like this (I blame Bono). So often we’re told political art is there to “raise awareness,” as if the issue can be solved with a some savvy public relations hustle and a t-shirt or two. Or, we’re told that the answer to problems of capitalism lie in some sort of ethical consumerism—if we all just do our research and vote with our dollar, we can save the world by shopping! (Check out the video at the end to hear Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek lay out exactly why that’s bullshit.)
But I kind of like this jewelry made from recycled guns, and it doesn’t get on my nerves for couple of reasons. One, the mission statement is pretty clear and the artistic concept isn’t overly ambitious or sanctimonious:
Liberty United recycles guns to make jewelry and art made in the U.S.A.
Guns and bullets are collected by partner communities. These are cataloged and checked by law enforcement and then released for recycling. Liberty United remakes the remnants of these guns and bullets, using ancient and contemporary techniques, into jewelry and art.
As we work to reduce gun violence, we provide jobs in America. Our pieces are handcrafted in the U.S.A., incorporating serial numbers and metal from guns and bullet shells that have been reclaimed and destroyed through the communities with whom we’re collaborating.
Second, 20 to 25% of the profits (not a bad cut) go to established anti-gun violence organizations—not just some paper moon charity the artists invented to appear “aware.” And third, it appears their labor practices are actually on the up and up.
But Liberty United doesn’t claim to be saving the world.They’re using recycled materials, they appear to be providing good jobs for skilled laborers, and they’re making something a hell of a lot more attractive than a pair of TOMS shoes.
The stuff is pretty pricey—even when a choice of metals is offered, the less precious of the two is no drop in the bucket. And we won’t save America from gun violence with swank accessories. But this is a cool concept, and I’ll be damned if I don’t need that claw bracelet at the very bottom.
Skinny Bullet Cuff: $95.00
Gunmetal Aeternum Cuff: $395.00
Bullet Ring: $85.00
Bullet Necklace: $95.00
Silver & Gunmetal Inlay Cage Cuff with Turquoise: $1,295.00
The pollsters found that overall, 29% of Americans agreed with the statement, “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” Five percent were unsure about this.
Some Democrats (18%) said an armed revolt “might be necessary,” while 27% of independents and whopping 44%of Republicans agreed. The less educated someone was the more likely they were to agree with the statement.
PublicMind also found that 25% of voters believe they’re being lied to about the Sandy Hook massacre by people trying to manipulate the tragedy for political power. Another 11 % said they weren’t sure about it.
Republican loud-mouth, attention-seeking buffoon and draft dodging he-man man’s man, rocker Ted Nugent, the manly-man-man-man who gave his very own personal seal o’ approval to Mitt Romney and now, apparently, wants to give that very same kiss of death to the NRA.
Oh yes, if you haven’t heard, “the Motor City madman” will be the guest of Texas Congressman Steve Stockman at Obama’s State of the Union speech tomorrow night. Nugent plans to make an ass of himself highly visible on television both before and after the President’s speech (“During” would be interesting). Gun control advocates predict that Nugent’s appearance—let’s face it, whether you are a gun fan or not, Ted Nugent is a complete fucking twat—will backfire, making the NRA’s arguments harder to swallow.
In honor of this, here’s an oldie, but a goodie, an excerpt from a 1977 interview Nugent gave to High Times magazine:
High Times:How did you get out of the draft?
Ted Nugent: Ted was a young boy, appearing to be a hippie but quite opposite in fact, working hard and playing hard, playing rock and roll like a deviant. People would question my sanity, I played so much. So I got my notice to be in the draft. Do you think I was gonna lay down my guitar and go play army? Give me a break! I was busy doin’ it to it. I had a career Jack. If I was walkin’ around, hippying down, getting’ loaded and pickin’ my ass like your common curs, I’d say “Hey yeah, go in the army. Beats the poop out of scuffin’ around in the gutters.” But I wasn’t a gutter dog. I was a hard workin’, motherfuckin’ rock and roll musician.
I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body. No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin’ and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie. I had long hair, and it started gettin’ kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before, I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop, little jars of Polish sausages, and I’d drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up.
See, I approached the whole thing like, Ted Nugent, cool hard-workin’ dude, is gonna wreak havoc on these imbeciles in the armed forces. I’m gonna play their own game, and I’m gonna destroy ‘em. Now my whole body is crusted in poop and piss. I was ill. And three or four days before, I started stayin’ awake. I was close to death, but I was in control. I was extremely antidrug as I’ve always been, but I snorted some crystal methedrine. Talk about one wounded motherfucker. A guy put up four lines, and it was for all four of us, but I didn’t know and I’m vacuuming that poop right up. I was a walking, talking hunk of human poop. I was six-foot-three of sin. So the guys took me down to the physical, and my nerves, my emotions were distraught. I was not a good person. I was wounded. But as painful and nauseous as it was – ‘cause I was really into bein’ clean and on the ball – I made gutter swine hippies look like football players. I was deviano.
So I went in, and those guys in uniform couldn’t believe the smell. They were ridiculin’ me and pushin’ me around and I was cryin’, but all the time I was laughin’ to myself. When they stuck the needle in my arm for the blood test I passed out, and when I came to they were kicking me into the wall. Then they made everybody take off their pants, and I did, and this sergeant says, “Oh my God, put those back on! You fucking swine you!” Then they had a urine test and I couldn’t piss, But my poop was just like ooze, man, so I poop in the cup and put it on the counter. I had poop on my hand and my arm. The guy almost puked. I was so proud. I knew I had these chumps beat. The last thing I remember was wakin’ up in the ear test booth and they were sweepin’ up. So I went home and cleaned up.
They took a putty knife to me. I got the street rats out of my hair, ate some good steaks, beans, potatoes, cottage cheese, milk. A couple of days and I was ready to kick ass. And in the mail I got this big juicy 4-F. They’d call dead people before they’d call my ass. But you know the funny thing about it? I’d make an incredible army man. I’d be a colonel before you knew what hit you, and I’d have the baddest bunch of motherfuckin’ killers you’d ever seen in my platoon. But I just wasn’t into it. I was too busy doin’ my own thing, you know?
Yeah, man, lay off, the Nuge was just doing his own thing!
Let’s hope Ted’s wearing a diaper tomorrow evening, huh?
Below, a preposterous idiot in an Indian headdress plays “The Star Spangled Banner” on his gee-tar for an audience of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals:
As the “arm the teachers” rhetoric surrounding the Newtown shootings refuses to go away, I remembered this old New Yorker cover by Maus author and illustrator, Art Spiegelman.
For a guy whose opus was about his father’s experience during the Holocaust, he managed to outdo himself in disturbing imagery with this one. And yet it doesn’t seem that far from what’s being suggested in 2013…