1893 Grand Exhibition. The world's intro to PBR, hot dogs, ice cream cones and the Ferris Wheel.

1893 Grand Exhibition. The world's intro to PBR, hot dogs, ice cream cones and the Ferris Wheel.
A view through the wheel. The black, horizontal line is the axle, the single largest forging to that time.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"...and there was a darkness over the earth..."


It's Easter time, the only Christian holiday the date of which is reliable, and which is probably the only holiday that ought to count.
Although Romans 14: 5 states that it's immaterial whether one esteems any day over another, we are allowed to "Let every man be persuaded in his own mind."
I'm a guy who doesn't generally "esteem the days" but we'll weigh in on this one.
The Lord is dead and in the tomb. But it's like a movie we've all seen before so we know how it turns out. Still, right now things look pretty bleak.
In this context, and with the feeling that some note hope may be appreciated, I offer up the above "masthead" photo. It shows the range of ages possible in any given conflict as well as some unexpected human interaction. An American Chaplain comforts a German prisoner of war. Around here people freak out if recruiters talk to high school seniors. How would they feel if they were courting middle-schoolers. This poor kid is just about swimming in those boots.(As you've noticed this photo is no longer with us. Because it's a good one I have parked it here. )


Moving along, since the world is presently in darkness we'll examine something oddly appropriate but at the same time repellent.
You can see, it's a crucifix. I'm more of an Evangelical, so I've never understood the Catholic preoccupation with keeping our Lord and Savior up there on the pole, but that's not important. This crucifix has a secret. If you look at the next photo you can see that it's actually a single shot cap-and-ball, 9 mm firearm. I guess it's a pistol but it's shape is mostly that of a crucifix.
The right arm of the cross unscrews to reveal storage for balls and percussion caps while the left stores a small vial of powder. The lowest portion of the cross pulls out to reveal the barrel and the whole thing is fired by pulling back on the upper finial which compresses a spring that when released sends a plunger to impact the cap which is screwed into the breech of the barrel just before Jesus' feet (lower photo).
Simple, ingenious and pointless.
This is one of those things that just make me say, "What the hell were they thinking?" It was someone's brain wave and he just had to see it through - I guess. But try to imagine a scenario where this would be a useful addition to your life. Keeping in mind that the whole unit is 33 cm tall, well over a foot. Big, but about the right size for your wall, so, if home-invaded, you could plead terror and want your crucifix to pray with while you pondered Christ's sacrifice and your own upcoming demise. Then, while the bad guys are busy trying to figure out how to disconnect your stereo, you pull out that plug in the barrel and bust a cap in their ass. Well, one ass actually. Single shot remember. And, this thing has no sights, no coherent way to hold it - it's not the type of thing you could take to the range to familiarize yourself with, so you've probably just made your situation immeasurably worse. An outcome that I suspect that may be common in a lot of the "smokin' off the bad guy" scenarios people come up with in their Walter Mitty moments.
However this thing is especially poignant to me. I don't know why. As I said, I'm not a big "Christ on the cross" kind of guy. This just seems to missing the point on more levels than you can imagine.
But, now that the brain-dead dick who came up with this thing over 150 years ago is dead, and has already had his embarrassing talk with the "Big Guy" at The Great White Throne, all we have to do is coast until tomorrow. The Resurrection. Woohoo.

1 comment:

Stephen Renico said...

Dan,

Just a note to let you know that I put up something at my site today which you might find interesting. :-)

-Stephen

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