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Redefining ‘Torture’

When I was a kid, I liked to break things. I liked to destroy stuff. You could say I liked to see how things were put together by taking them apart really fast.

I still remember the unique dripping of a plastic army man on fire. My mother may still have the army men I chopped up—legs, hands, heads gone—and then painted with dark red model paint to look bloodied. I don’t remember what her exact words were, but she indicated that it seemed a bit odd, what I had done. I remember a negatively-laced concern. Still she let me play with them after all their injuries were realized.

One of my friends showed me how to hold a straight pin with needle-nose pliers and heat the pin with a candle flame, then run the hot pin through the wings of model airplanes to look like bullet holes.

I tried it with my army men.

Looked real!

Researchers Find Barbie Is Often Mutilated
The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a ‘cool’ activity,” said Agnes Nairn, one of the University of Bath researchers.

Now, never in all my childhood did the thought of “torturing” my toys come to mind. If pulling the heads off of Barbies, or even burning them is said to be torture, we’re in for a wild legal ride down the road. I can just see my mom going off to jail [with me] for standing by while I “tortured” my army men.

And what did this all say about my future? I turned out to be an artist, with an obsession about the creation of all things beautiful, a respect and admiration for the beauty of the human figure [of the two choices, female is my runaway favorite]. I wander galleries in any town I stop in. I smell roses. I love sunsets.

And I have enormous respect for the men and women of all branches of our armed services.

All the art I paint is realistic.

I guess all the bullet holes and red paint were much more about realism than torture.

The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving.

Good grief: mutilation?

If we’d had a microwave in the 60s, ours would have smelled like army men.

And I would still be an artist.

(Guys, don’t tell them what we did to our G.I. Joes…)

1 Comment

  1. “If we’d had a microwave in the 60s, ours would have smelled like army men.”

    That made me laugh out loud!

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