Molly Hankwitz on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:05:13 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Bad Subjects Issue #87::Weapons


BAD SUBJECTS Issue #87ÂEdited byÂMolly HankwitzÂwithÂMike MosherÂandÂTamara Watkins, investigates war, guns, bodies, and mass mediaâweapons, as part of the human condition. In the post-cinema, post-television, social media, information and war spectacle of today, a significant portion of human subjectivity is bound up with imagining, utilizing, and conceptualizing weaponry of all sorts and description. Our international "selves" (as we pass through airport security checkpoints, for instance, as bodies in transit) are scanned and scrutinized for explosives. And "National identity" is being newly redefined. From the perspective of defense, in the age of gigantic border wall constructions, high-tech gun-toting drones, and the ubiquitous mobile phone, borders between nations are increasingly physically demarcated and policed. Both experiences, the international "self" monitored and approved, and the bordered "self" effectively identified and accounted for, are part of an overall heightened, perceived bureaucracy of security brought about in the wake of the 911 bombings in New York. We have become public audience to distant web cast enemy beheadings and inter-corporate, inter-state, international cyber attacks (see Sony Pictures vs. North Korea) which continue to bring home an ever more weapons-packed geography of crisis.Â

Since the turn of the century, when the World Trade Center was ambushed live on television, unauthorized surveillance, international policing, military misconduct, and a fistful of expensive (American-lead) "just" wars have generated paralytic mistrust, widespread use of torture by powerful governments, and the destructive theft and occupation of land through ruthless war. These states of brutal, lopsided siege upon humanity offer, on the one hand, huge powerful armies and on the other, frequently impoverished, barely defended nations of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people, many brown and black people, in fact, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, and the Sudan --- have been slaughtered, and even more left homeless and landless.

From personal handgunsÂand bullet-proof children's backpacksÂto military drones, we have a problem. The technologically-enabled "global village" once utopian, has given rise, instead, to a dangerously oversimplified monoculture, disproportionately sucking up the wealth, protecting itself with guns and armies, and fusing into an all encompassing God's eye of surveillance. It is from this perspective--- that we have perhaps gone too far and that we need to think in order to show our way out of the bottle, that the theme Âof 'weapons' for Issue 87 was conceived.Â

Within, weapons are defined by some of the authors in how they manifest in specific regions or merge with memory and personal history. Still others define them through narratives structuring argument in film, television, social media and literature.

Several new Bad writers have joined us and we wish to thank them especially, and all of our contributors for the excellent work. InÂGun Lust in Hollywood,ÂThomas Powell draws a bead upon the normalization of gun violence and conflations of sex and violence in which Hollywood film and TV engage. InÂStupidity as a Weapon of War,ÂWalter AlterÂreveals the blinding use of stupidity as a pervasive tactic in war.

David CoxÂoffers an history lessonÂWeapons are Extensions of the Body,Âghost warfare and other strategies. ArtistÂCarol MorrisÂdepicts the extended body ofÂPutin on his Handcuffed Horse.

In a snowy state that might be called America's Russia,ÂMike MosherÂopens the arsenal ofÂMichi-Gun, Land of A Thousand ContradictionsÂwhile, 150 miles further,ÂPatrick PowersÂloadsÂWeapons in Northern Michigan.

InÂ19 Kids and Shooting: Jessa Duggar, Her Trip to the Gun Range, and Anti-Choice Rhetoric in the Quiverfull Movement,ÂTamara WatkinsÂgazes upon Duggar's pretty face for ugly ideology. InÂPloughshares to Swords: The Weaponization of the Internet,ÂPatrick LichtyÂlooks at the increasing militarization and weaponization of the Internet.

Molly HankwitzÂexamines survivalist monoculture inÂSurvivalism and the Global Mind: Recent Films of Dominic Gagnon,Âa French-Canadian videographer.

Colin SchollÂgives a disturbing picture (factual? fictional?) of how ad hoc weapons are The Great EqualizerÂbehind prison bars. While the forces of control try to make us think its casualties aren't racialized,ÂSteve MartinotÂoffersÂAn Examination of Some Recent Police Killings,ÂMike MosherprovidesÂA Modest Proposal About Police Killings,ÂandÂJosephÂNatoliÂis outraged byÂFatal Eruptions on the American SceneÂaround us.

InÂWhere We Live,ÂHolly EskewÂtakes us on personal journey into the memory of a young friend's life and death from a gun.

These essays and images,ÂIssue 87Âlook at the psychological and physical effects of weapons upon populations in American life and on a global scale. They are a collective nod to the possibility of another world.

âMolly Hankwitz, Bad Editor, Issue 87, Jan 2015Â

Thank you to Tamara Watkins for her graphic design.Â

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