Friday, March 10, 2006

la escopetarra









cesar lopez is a colombian musician turned activist. it began with the innitiative to play music on the fresh sites of violence or killings in his home town. one day he was playing and the police were standing by and it hit him- "i don't look much different with my guitar than him with his gun." his creative grass-roots campaign against violence in south america had begun. he transformed the escopeta (shotgun) into a guitarra, calling it the escopetarra. soon the colombian government began to donate confiscated guns. the bad news? fender is working on their model to mass produce 'em- read more here.

7 comments:

erk said...

This is really fascinating...I hope that with all this support for this guy that they are able to end violence in Colombia. I just wonder, though, if gun/guitars are a way to end violence...Maybe.
How great is it that Fender is picking this up? That way any retard can have a gun/guitar in their hands for the right price...God bless the capitalist way!

Catorce said...

Activist inspire me. Yet, where is the line drawn? I feel like dropping some names: Ghandi, Zach de la Rocha, Anthony of Egypt (I think...doing this from memory), Augustine...

Jonny T said...

Thinking about the gun guitar I can think of only a few reasons why a consumer would want one. a) Just because it's different or interesting b) the simple fact that they are rare or c) because they see it in similar light as the Lopez, a symbol for peace.

Obviously Fender thinks there is a market for these guitars but I have my doubts as to whether it means more to them than just another product idea. I guess it's just like everything else, we can formulate opinions but only God can see the heart.

elnellis said...

catorce- as far as christians being involved in social issues and activism, i think we have tended to err on extremes: either we are paralized and un-involved (because we sing "this world is not my home, i'm just a 'passin through), or we are "religious extremists" (bombing abortion clinics and having anti-gay ralleys)

the problem that i see as large is the motive for christian activism. some christians want to hold the world to christian values and use the bible as a source of authority or leverage ("because i have encountered christ, i will force others to abide by these standards") when a far more hopeful rout is seeing the good news as the call for me to do good for the world. the world may join in or not- but are we living the gospel? the the word of god is only "authoritative" in someone's life if that person has had an encounter with the person behind the text. otherwise it remains only as a fine piece of literature and not "the holy scriptures."

another "monkey wrench" as it were, that i'd add to your list is the german theologian dietrich bonhoeffer who was executed by the nazis for being involved in a conspiracy to assassinate hitler. where do you go with that?

Catorce said...

The extremes you mentioned are all things to avoid, of course. I view all those things with a distain and those who would enact upon them with a sadness. Yet, the willingness to go to extremes for what you believe does inspire, and I hold to that. I wonder, sometimes, why, if we truely do experience the faith claim (perhaps we don't, and that's that problem...) then why are we not radical christians, wowing people with our loves and willingness to engage and cherish those in the image of God?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer...Interesting; I had forgetten that he was invloved in the violent aspect of all that. I'd grown used to thinking of him as the theologian who carried on Martin Luther's teaching. But, then again, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin...all these believed in some sort of violence enforcing faith, even death. I tend more on the side of Pacifism and perfer dealing with the hard issues it brings

pedro said...

Hey, didn't El Mariachi have one of those things? Phnil, could you shed some light on the Latin American facination with guns and guitars? I guess they are both pretty sexy when you think about it.

elnellis said...

i think you named it well pedro. they are two sides of the macho coin- the ability to conquer by force and the ability to conquer by wooing.