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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Selected for the "Gun Show" exhibition, a commentary through art on the ramifications of gun use and control in the United States.

"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is one of my favorites by the Beatles, and also comes from my favorite record from them entitled "The White Album."

The great thing about the song is that it's open to interpretation, and you can kind of take away from it what you will. There's plenty of potential "meanings," and though as a young man I initially assigned a literal meaning to it, as I grew older it took on a more sexual undertone.

That said, I was researching it's lyrics one day, and came across an interesting tidbit. The idea for the song actually came about when John Lennon read in a magazine the slogan for the National Rifle Association, which of course was "Happiness is a warm gun." He thought the title was insane, but yet fantastic, so he and the gang ended up making an arrangement out of it.

When I first read this, I immediately thought about the scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent and Jules are about to shoot Brett and "Flock of Seagulls" because they double crossed Marcellus Wallace by stealing the briefcase.

It's an iconic scene, and fit well because both John Lennon and Paul McCartney are iconic figures in their own right. I also chose Pulp Fiction, and Jules in particular because all throughout the movie he seems content, unaffected, and very ho hum about murder. It's not until the divine intervention does he reform his ways and turn over a new leaf.

Ironically, the divine intervention is in the same scene as them killing Brett. His friend is the one who comes out of nowhere and unloads an entire clip into Vincent, but miraculously none one single bullet hits him.

Prior to this, both Jules and Vincent have a very non-nonchalant attitude about their job as hitmen, but also seem to find joy in it (Jules' famous Ezekiel 25:17 rant comes to mind).

That said, I believe this to be a piece that cross references genres and mediums. It conveys a smooth sense of style and humour, while coming across as somewhat lighthearted and fun in appearance.

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    • Oil on Canvas
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