Here’s an album of vintage snapshots showing people larking around with violence, pain, what could be S&M and very possibly death. Given our age and time, let’s begin with a health warning (don’t do it for real – none of it) and a trigger warning (don’t look at these make-believe tableaux, all of which would be criminal acts if real). This is make believe. Stills of am-dram foolishness. Each image tells a story. There’s fun to be had imagining them between the photos from the extraordinary Robert E. Jackson collection.
When I was just a baby, my mama told me, “Son
Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns”
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowin’, I hang my head and cry
– Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues
Give me time to realize my crime
Let me love and steal
I have danced inside your eyes
How can I be real?
Do you really want to hurt me?
Do you really want to make me cry?
– Culture Club, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Somewhere a clock strikes midnight
And there’s a full moon in the sky
You hear a dog bark in the distance
You hear someone’s baby cry
A rat runs down the alley
And a chill runs down your spine
And someone walks across your grave
And you wish the sun would shine
‘Cause no one’s going to warn you
And no one’s going to yell, “Attack!”
And you don’t feel the steel
Till it’s hanging out your back
– AC/DC, Night Prowler
When she woke up and found that her dream of love was gone
She ran to the man who had led her so far astray
And from under her velvet gown
She drew a gun and shot her love down
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today
– Ella Fitzgerald, Miss Otis Regrets
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
– Tom Jones, Deliliah
She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
– Nick Cave, Henry Lee
Now on the sidewalk,
Lies a body just oozin’ life,
And someone’s sneakin’ ’round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?
– Bobby Darin, Mack the Knife
I woke up this morning
Got myself a gun
Mama always said I´d be the
– Alabama 3, Woke Up This Morning
“You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”
— Graham Greene, The Third Man
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