sex, guns, and girls

Rob Schaap rws at
Fri Aug 11 02:19:14 PDT 2000

G'day Kelley,

Just popping in to berate Kath Gates from a safe distance ...

Spouts she:

"Our popular films are filled with loving close-ups of weaponry, slo-mo "cum shots" of bullets blasting from barrels, ripping into flesh and making deep, wet wounds."

Poor ol Peirce and de Saussure, eh? They have a go at coming up with a 'science' of signification, and everyone reckons they can play. Bullets as sperm? Bullet wounds as vaginas? The gun as phallus? I mean, is anything long phallic? Anything deep, vaginal? What's the use of spouting such intellectually easy, yet experientially refutable rubbish? Having your guts pulverised by an armalite round ain't nothing like wrapping yourself around a willy for a while, else people would either be shooting themselves by the billion, or swearing off penile sex by the billion. And they ain't.

This is politically useless, intellectually vacuous, thoroughly pretentious nonsense, Kel! (I'll get to the bit about essentialist sexism later) Is this typical of this journal? Gimme a good ol' girly magazine any time ... none of that psycho-semiotic pretense in those (well, 'cept for the silly ol' every-quiet-secretary-is-a-wanton-vixen-in-waiting-type stuff - which is at least recognisable for the empty fantasia it is).

Gates rabbits on ...

"Advertisers, the fashion industry, and mass media know that guns are sexy; they use the image of guns to grab our full and immediate attention and to sell product."

Intriguing, dangerous, powerful, mebbe even sorta forbidden. Mebbe the meta-signifier 'sex' affords all those signifieds, too, but the same goes for 'funnel web spider', 'tank', 'cyanide', or 'Sumo wrestler'. Or are they all sexy, too? When was the last time you came over all wanton in the nether regions at the sight of a shooter, Kel?

And Gates comes to wondering ...

"Given our national gun obsession, you might imagine that there would be much more gun erotica, but that simply isn't the case."

This, Gates imples, is coz no-one wants to admit gun metal gives 'em stiffies. A variation of the typically smug/gutless psychologistic 'in denial' assertion. Mebbe the boyz who read this article were attracted to it by the gratuitously proffered girls? Either didn't notice the shooters, or (like me) felt they rather got in the way of the good stuff? I mean, why is it so necessary to make boys and their sexuality out to be fundamentally evil and destructive? It smacks of an essentialist sexism that'll blow no-one any good ...

I think I'm gonna be a masculinist from now on - this stuff is getting out of hand - I've got a couple of little 'uns myself, and I don't want them equating their puberty (when the time comes) with a transformation into an unstable state of self-denying rapist/murderer!

Yours indignantly, Rob.

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