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November 27, 2012

Santa Fatally Shot

This scene comes from a diorama created by the 354 Photographers Collective featured in a new post and slideshow at Wired’s Raw File. The firm combines cardboard construction, live photography and Photoshop to created provocative social scenes.

I was interested in this because the politics of Christmas always seems to catch some kind of hook every year. Even though the firm is based in Belgium, I was also thinking about the larger political themes and events of 2012 in the U.S. The latter part of the year may have been dominated by the campaign and the super storm, but the earlier part, up through the Summer, was certainly characterized by incident after incident of gun violence. Of course, the image also touches on what seems like the perennial theme of culture, youth, innocence — and the lack thereof.

(photo: 354 Photographers Collective.)

  • LanceThruster

    Santa’s getting blown away quite a bit these days. Harold and Kumar’s Xams, several of the Adult Swin toons (ATHF and Squidbillies), Robot Chicken and Futurama…
    Maybe the War on Christmas is real.

  • Thomas

    Those last two points in particular really are a sign of the times. It is remarkable that serial flurries of gun violence apparently no longer prompt the sort of widespread debate over gun control measures that they once did. The level of outrage and argument over access to automatic weapons after the Stockton schoolyard shooting has been replaced with a collective shrug that crazies are everywhere. Even in this photograph they’ve mounted a buck’s head and given the boy a hunting rifle, as though to take extra steps to reassure you that guns in the home and in children’s hands really is the wholesome proud tradition the NRA extremists claim.

    Gun sales positively erupted when Obama was elected and have been on an escalating incline ever since. I don’t know if anybody has done a study of it, but I am absolutely convinced that we’ve seen a big corresponding leap in accidental shootings and accidental deaths. I am convinced that the number of headlines about friends, family members, children shooting each other accidentally have boomed along with sales. (Not to mention what also seems like an increase in petty arguments or misunderstandings whipped up into gunplay.) So while the image may have been meant as a sort of prankish act of punkish seasonal sacrelige, this image of a child stepping into the aftermath of unnecessary and misdirected gun violence feels a lot truer and a lot more upsetting than they maybe even intended.

  • black_dog_barking

    Ralphie gets his Red Ryder, 2012.

  • Michael Shaw

    You all are on fire.

    (…Gotta go mount my buck’s head now.)

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