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Blurred lines

I knew we had turned a corner when I heard a chh chh instead of a pow pow. I had been teaching drama for years and was accustomed to children picking up a stick, a pencil or even their finger and pointing it like a gun and saying bang. When sometime in the mid 90s a third grader made the automatic weapon locking in the clip sound I felt a distinct chill. I knew the innocent one-plug cowboy death was passe and pumped up mow um down slaughters would be roaring into town most likely on motorcycles.

Is it machismo that fuels our firearms frenzy or fear? Is it that TV, games and movies paint such terrifying world views that we feel we must brace for the bloody showdown with Evil which could come any time after a word from Zoloft? Do we stockpile weapons against the daily flat screen threat of suicide bombers, drug cartels, psychopaths, Rottweilers and zombies?

A fiend can no longer be identified by a black hat or a menacing scowl. Bad is personified in metal teeth, studded wrist bands, lobotomy-shaved heads, Botox brawn and scenes-of-savagery tattoos. The modern villain can’t just lamely kill you. He must flay you, pluck out your liver, dissolve you in acid and send your head to your wife.

And don’t we all want to be the hero who survives sweaty and blackened from the inevitable warehouse explosion? Being peppered with bullets and thrown through a window will never makes us yelp or say owee. We will rip off all tubes and bandages weeks before any diagnosed recovery to continue our revenge quest with a latex boo boo on our forehead and a Glock in our pants.

Imagine being raised on Dick Flicks. Imagine being inoculated with nightmarish images then offered a 9 millimeter quick fix. Imagine breaking all the sensible rules of self preservation with a demigod’s confidence and a stream of hot lovers at your side. Imagine everyone who ever annoyed you getting their comeuppance, from a bitchy boss to an arrogant waiter. Imagine never having to swallow your pride, compromise, eat your words or worst of all… apologize. With the right arsenal you could make your anxieties and insecurities beg for mercy. Between scary news, scary entertainment and the blurred lines in-between it’s no wonder we all smear on our brute force tooth whitener and buckle our shoulder harnesses to get through the day. Besides there’s a martini at the end of the bloodbath. Shaken not stirred.

Sadly by the time the cannibalistic mafia terror cell prison break people do attack if they do, we probably won’t remember where we put the key to the footlocker full of heat. We’ll tear gas the cat and trip on our shoestrings just as the warehouse explodes.

– Margaret Baker, LBSPY #51 (March 10-April 7, 2014)


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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.