happy spring from henri manguin, the paranoia of the small arms race, time lapse earth

Flowers Henri Manguin (1915)

Flowers by Charles Henri Manguin (1915). Manguin (b Paris, 23 March 1874; d St Tropez, 25 Sept 1949) was a French painter.  He studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from late 1894. He became friends with some notable fellow students, including Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse, Jean Puy and Georges Rouault. They would all later be labelled the Fauves. They assumed that title after they exhibited together at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. There are so many paintings of flowers – many memorable ones by the Fauves, the Impressionists and Van Gogh – it is somewhat easy to dismiss them as minor works. Until one tries to create a painting like this.

The nuclear arms race might have had some merit at the beginning. Someone has a weapon that can destroy millions, if not the world. So you get one as a kind of insurance of mutual destruction, should one side decide to use one. Though not unlike Dr. Suess’s The Butter Battle Book, things went from marginal insanity to raging paranoia. The constant escalation of weapons in reaction to real, though largely imagined threats only recently ended. Though we may have the actual weapons for some time. That kind of paranoia has taken hold in the world of small arms. The cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales

Fear is a major factor for many firearm purchases. Recent trends in gun sales suggest that many citizens are becoming more fearful: Gallup poll data suggest that Americans are more fearful, at near-record high levels, about big government, compared to big business or big labor. This fear overlays the long-term public fear of crime and terrorism.

Reactions to mass killings, particularly the shooting of first-graders at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked a national debate about gun control. But that, in turn, has heightened fear about government’s role in regulating assault weapons, especially popular semi-automatic models like the AK-47 and AR-15 that are bought and sold throughout both the US and the world.

The cost of an ” AR-15s that, a year ago, sold for about $400 have lately been fetching $925, with some assault rifle models selling for $1,500 or more. Large capacity magazines that sold for less than $20 are now fetching $100.” The nuclear endgame made sense in it’s own morbid way. If the other side should use nuclear weapons – mutual destruction was assured.  In the small arms race, this gov’mint that people think they’re going to fight and win against, that is going to be a very lopsided and deadly end for the heavily armed anti-gov’mint side. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld let things go sideways in Afghanistan, but initially U.S. and allied forces cut through the opposition like a hot knife. They did in months what the old Soviet Union could not do in years with one of the world’s best tank forces. Do these frequently beer bellied tough talking AR-15 fetishists really think they’re going to survive if the same gov’mint forces comes for them. There is no light at the end of the small arms escalation. There will not be any equality of destruction on both sides.  A good example is the recent Christopher Dorner rampage and ensuing manhunt. He was doomed after he fired the first shot. Regardless of one’s views on the Occupy movement, were any of these anti-government paranoids paying attention to what happened to the protesters – who were in their own way protesting against both Wall St and the lack of action by the gov’mint. It is an understandable reaction to the threat of street level crime to own a gun. It might be mental overreach to see guns as magic.

Time-Lapse | Earth from Bruce W. Berry Jr on Vimeo.

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