27 October 2005

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show

After posting all the Iraq War-related pics over the past two days, I think it's time for a little break in the subject matter of the figure pics posted here, so, I shot and edited a little set of pics this evening, entitled "The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show", which is a sub-set of the "Night And The City" photo-series.

The examples seen below this post come in a variety of versions-scarcely edited colour versions, colour versions where the brightness and contrast levels have been played with a bit, and black-and-white versions of the same pics.

At the very bottom of this list of pics is even an out-take from the photo-shoot featuring Amigo the Cat in all his glory!!!

As for the pics' subject matter, a secret policeman relaxing at home, watching tv, well, why not???

Even murdering, torturing swine like this one like to watch tv.

As to what the exact sort of programme our secret policeman protagonist might find enjoyable, I leave that to your capable imaginations to speculate upon.

Personally, I think he might like a silly comedy, variety show, or sentimental drama.

Hey, if you do what he did for a living, would you want to watch a cop show when you got home????

No reason to bring your work home with you, nor have a reminder of it coming into your home, if you don't have to.

This is the first pic in the sub-series, "The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show".

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 2.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 3.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 4.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 7.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 10.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 16.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 17.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 18, which is the last pic in the sub-series, shown here in its colour and lightly edited version.

The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show 20, a black-and-white version of the last pic of the sub-series.

This is an out-take from "The Secret Policeman's Favourite Show" shoot, featuring Amigo Rilea, who was intensely curious about just what the Hell Human-Tom Mama was doing in his favourite perch spot. Had to shoo 'im off the set(my bed-room's bay window) several times during the shoot. Kept this pic, because Amigo's body language and facial expression in this are just priceless.

Figure Cartoon Flyer

The following pictures are for an anti-Iraq War and counter-recruitment flyer I made up for a local peace group here in Vegas a couple of months ago.

The figure cartoon, which should appear on the flyer's front, is the first pic you'll see as you scroll down the page, while the flyer text, which should appear on the back, comes next.

After up-loading the cartoon pic, I realised that the bottom text in the cartoon will need to boldened further to make the message a lot more legible than it is now.

So, there's a little project for me for the next couple of days, eh???

Please, if you're involved with a peace group in your neck of the woods, and you're doing counter-recruitment efforts in your local high schools, whatever, feel free to click on the pics to bring up their own windows, right-click on the pics and down-load both pics, print 'em out, then, with a little application of scissors, glue or tape, put 'em together to make your own handy-dandy flyer.

Of course, if you want to put 'em on a sign, what have you, give a shot, and I hope it works.

Because of the small size of these pics, I'd say that a size not much bigger than 8x10 inches at largest would work best, as the resolution quality would seriously begin to degrade, the larger one makes the image.

Anyhow, am gonna work on improvin' the legibility of the cartoon's bottom text, and will put up the improved version here, as soon as I have it done.

Colour version of flyer front cartoon.

Back text for the flyer.

26 October 2005

This pic was shot and edited this morning to commemorate the announcement yesterday of the 2000th American combat-related death of the Iraq War. The fellas in the pic are casualities of the battle for Ramadi city in western Iraq that went on over this summer. For more Iraq War-related pics, just scroll down the page a little bit, and you'll see the rest.

Yesterday, it was announced by the Pentagon that the 2000th American military fatality in Iraq happened when a US Army Staff Sergeant died of wounds received on 17th October of this year. This photo, "Evening Land", and the set of photos immediately following it, while taken over the past two years, are my small way of commemorating that death, plus the other American, UK, and other Coalition losses, and especially the estimated 30-100,00 Iraqi civilian and military deaths that have happened since 20th March, 2003.

This depicts a trio of Kurdish Iraqi National Guardsmen and their dead comrade during the siege of Fallujah in September, 2004.

From one of the other sides of the Iraqi-American War, comes this little pic depicting a duo of dead Mahdi Army militiamen killed during fighting between the Mahdi Army and the Americans in Najaf in April of last year.

Yet another scene from the Iraqi-American War, that of an un-willing and very un-happy informant being grilled by American and Iraqi Government troops and police on the street.

This was done as an up-dated version of an old figure cartoon of mine, for a counter-recruitment leaflet for a local peace group here in Vegas. While am no longer involved with the group, here's the pic, or at least one version thereof, called "Dude, There's Gotta Be An Easier Way Of Makin' A Livin' 3".

Another figure photo depicting an everyday scene from our current Iraq nightmare, that of an ID check.

Guarding an intersection is a common enough, and dangerous, duty that any occupying army has to perform wherever it's stationed, and these American soldiers in Baghdad aren't exceptions to that rule.

Another scene from the current obscenity in Iraq, taken in 2003, and entitled "Facing The Unknown 3a".

You may notice that the figure on the right is regarding the American soldier he's approaching with some trepedation. Our fearful fella could be a terrorist, but, then, he could also just be what so many people in occupied countries have been throughout the ages-a poor bystander hoping and praying not to get into trouble with any of the various sides in this conflict.

25 October 2005

A Little Purge Will Do Ya

Well, in light of what happened with the blog this mornin', decided to go through the various comments to my posts, and delete the anomynously-posted ones, which is just what happened a few minutes ago.

The only comments I kept were to the very first post on this blog, and they came from an old and dear friend of mine.

As for the rest, they're now in the Dust-bin of History.

'Nuff Said for now!!!!

News And Weather

Just read about the deaths, respectively, of Rosa Parks and of the 2000th American soldier in Iraq.

At least, Ms. Parks died at the age of 92, and was part of a greater, more beneficial enterprise than the poor GI who ate it in Iraq.

She had her chance at life and achievement, and made the most of both. The GI, along with the 1,999 of his or her colleagues, plus the estimated 50-100, 000 Iraqi civilian and military dead, didn't even get that.

What a useless, criminal waste.

It was rainin' here in Vegas to-day, and, were I a believer in the Deity, I might say that it was him or her sheddin' tears over those losses.

But, it was really Nature and co-incidence playing their parts in that.

Besides, there are more than enough human tears and lamentations to cover those losses and then some.

To the families of Ms. Parks, the 2000th GI, and all the others dead because of this stupid, useless war, may your loved ones Rest In Peace, and may they live in your memories for as long as you live.

My condolences go out to you.

Policy Change

Folks: Because of the spam comments that I've got thus far as a result of the open publishing policy on this blog, I've had to change the settings on Comments so that only registered users can now comment on pics or articles appearing here.

Don't know how the mechanics of registering on Blogspace work, but, it's the only sure way of ensuring that I'm not drowned in automatically sent spam comments here.

So, please, if you wish to comment on what you see here on this blog, register and go from there.

Sorry for this, Folks, but it's either that, or allowing only blog members to comment here, and, since there's only myself, you can imagine just how limited(Hell, non-existent)the quantity of comments would be.

The last pic from this new batch is this, "Coup de Grace 2".

More Bullshit

Sorry for the contentless post, and for this one as well. It seems that Google has to make sure that the posts arriving from my computer aren't spam.

Didn't think that there was any discernible(to me) reason behind it until I saw that I had an anomynous comment to the last figure pic I posted.

Very nice comment about this blog, it was, but can see, particularly since the vast majority of comments left behind on this blog thus far, have been both anomynous and have had little to nothing to do with the various posts here.

Quite a pain, really.

This is "Out, Vile Jelly 2", also from the "Night And The City" series.

Contractual Obligation Post

No worries, Folks. Just submitting the titular post, because Google's anti-spam software wants to ensure that I'm not spamming myself.

What idiocy.

One of my latest entries in the "Night And The City" series is this one, entitled "Finishing The Bastard 6". A grim little picture, to be sure.

21 October 2005

Of Toys, Girls, Boycotts and Symbolism

This is going to seem like an odd topic for a grown man to write on, but, that's never stopped me before.

The topic is the call for a boycott of the American Girls line of dolls by the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based Christian fundamentalist group headed by the the Rev. Donald Wildmon, whom you may remember for his bizarre 1988 charge that a scene in the Ralph Bakshi-produced New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, in which the title character was sniffing a flower, was really one in which MM was snorting cocaine.

Why the boycott of the American Girls line???

Because, according to the Rev. Wildmon, as well as the Pro-Life Coalition, a percentage of the profits from a set of bands or bracelets which can be purchased separately from the dolls, goes to Girls Inc, a 140 year-old organisation dedicated to promoting the physical, psychological and sexual health of girls, and which, on its web-site, states that it supports the right of girls and women to birth control and abortion, and isn't condemnatory of homosexuality, lesbianism or bi-sexuality.

Having looked at the pages on the Girls Inc site related to these topics, via the American Family Association's own site, where links to these pages are provided, I can see why the AFA would be upset.

However, they also miss the point that Girls Inc advocates an abstinence-first and sexual avoidance policy for young girls as well.

I won't go into those issues at this time, just simply because I want and need to keep on track here.

What that track is, you'll see in a moment.

The thing is that, according to the 3 articles I read about the subject, before doing a Google search on the toy line and the story about the boycott thereof, these toys were often proudly purchased by conservatives who saw them as being patriotic and wholesome before the whole issue about Girls Inc exploded.

Fine and dandy.

Hence, comes the point of this article, which is about the images that toys project, the kinds of symbolism they embody, or are seen to embody, and how toys reflect a given culture's ideals or fears.

Meaty stuff, eh???

Let's just hope I've the intellectual equipment and the Brass Balls to tackle it properly.

For the past four, nearly five decades now, there has been considerable debate and ink shed over the sorts of symbolism and ideals projected by the Barbie and Gi Joe toy lines in this country, and probably throughout much of the world.

What it can be crudely summarised as is this: Are Barbie and Gi Joe, in their actual and perceived symbolism and embodiment of characteristics considered desirable by this culture, and others, helpful or harmful to children in forming their views of the world and each other???

For many on the Left, Barbie and Joe are harmful, because of, until recently, Barbie's generally un-realistic female anatomy, and emphasis on consumerist behaviour, and Joe's mindless war-mongering and participation(symbolic, that is)in the various depredations of American Imperialism abroad.

Don't know what kind of beef the Right might have with these toys, but undoubtedly some on the Right probably do have some sort of beef or another, especially with Barbie's being a young, physically attractive woman, who ain't married nor tied down with a passel of kids, and, in Joe's case, with the idea of boys playing with any sort of doll, even if this 'un's a fully articulated, taller version of the traditional toy soldier.

For me, the answers, and questions, are a lot more complex than just those, because, having grown up with Joe and friends(Had Megos, Big Jims, and any number of other such figures as a kid and adolescent. Hell, even collected some of the 3 3/4th inch Joes in my early 20's), am rather torn about all that.

On one hand, I can see where those on the Left who make the charges that they do about Joe and Co. have a point, especially in to-day's charged and radicalised political and cultural climate, about how toys like 'im help socialise kids into un-critically accepting a lot of the spoken and un-spoken cultural premises about the rightness and invincibility of American military power, etc, etc.

That charge was made against the toy line in the mid-1960's, just as American involvement in the Viet-Nam War was escalating by the month, and, ultimately, a backlash against the toy line is what drove Hasbro to re-create Joe as an adventurer, first in 1969, and then fully(Well, not quite, really)breaking with its military past with the creation of the Adventure Team line in 1970, with which Hasbro continued until the failure and demise of its Super Joe Adventure Team line(a line of 81/2 inch science fiction themed figures that ran from 1977-78)in 1978.

It is, in part, fear of a similar backlash, as well as declining profits for both Hasbro's 12 and 3 3/4th inch Joe lines that prompted the company to announce that it would be retiring both lines late last year, and replacing 'em with an 8 inch line of Joes, based on characters from the Gi Joe: A Real American Hero line, called Gi Joe: Sigma Six.

So much for that.

The point is that, whether in the case of Joe, or Barbie, which was based on a German novelty doll called Bild Lili, which was marketed at, and sold to, adult men in tobbaconist shops and the like, in late '50's West Germany, both sets of toys, and indeed, all toys embody some sort of quality, whether idealised, or, in some cases, the opposite, in a given culture.

To take Lili and Barbie, for examples, Lili was based on a popular female comic-strip character that ran in the Sud-Deutsches Zeitung in the mid- and late '50's. This character was like a Marlene Dietrich character come to life, in that she was a fairly sexy and cynical young woman, who dated older, well-off men for whatever she could get out of 'em.

Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler, and her husband, spotted the toy while vacationing in Germany, circa 1958, and decided to adapt Lili for little American girls.

At the time, the Handlers, and Mattel, the toy company they headed, knew that the dolls aimed at young girls were baby dolls, and there was nothing in the way of a young adult doll for girls whatsoever.

Barbie would be the first such toy of its type ever made, and Mattel made a killing, thanks in part to the adroit use of television commercials for the line, in jig time.

Bab's first incarnation, which continues, albeit in a rather modified form, to this day, was that of a carefree fashion model, with lots of disposable income, and, slightly later on, with a steady, but very non-threatening, boy-friend in the form of Ken.

Physically, the first generation of Babses bore quite a striking similarity to their German progenitor, and, it wouldn't be until the mid-1960's, that Mattel, and Babs, would substantially change her look, so that she didn't, to use a William Holden line from the movie version of The World of Suzie Wong, "a cheap European street-walker."

Actually, one could say that Barbie looked more like an EXPENSIVE European street-walker, but why belabor the point????

Over the decades that followed, Barbie has been, in response to both market and socio-political pressures, a career woman of various sorts, astronaut, airline pilot, even a politician!!!!

Still, her core identity remains that of an attractive, though her bust size is now more generally reflective of most real women's anatomies than before, carefree young woman, with pots and pots of disposable income, and no real great desire to do much more in life than shop with her friends, and enjoy all the latest perks, privileges, gadgets and goodies of a consumer society.

So be it.

The American Girls line, which is a subsidiary of Mattel, by the way, is rather a contrast to Babs.

These dolls, there are about eight of 'em thus far in the line, I believe, are patterned on young girls of various eras in American History, and are of various ethnicities, except for Asian-American and Pacific Islander(Pity, that), and physically and socially represent very young girls and their roles in their respective American cultures and points in time in the American historical time-line.

Having visited the American Girls site, and seen the dolls for myself, I can't say that I see anything objectionable about 'em. But, I see nothing of any great interest to myself, either.

Not being the progenitor of a young female off-spring, is one reason, and the second is, the dolls, at 18 inches, are too large to compatibly work with the figures and dolls that I use in my pics, which are 11 and 12 inchers.

What's interesting about the line, as well as Mattel's involvement in this, and with Girls Inc, through the profit-donation programme that's causin' such alarm with the AFA and other related groups, is the symbolism and values behind 'em(In this case, that of young girls being and acting confident and self-willed, while having strong, loving relationships with their families), and, I think, Mattel's attempt to end at least some of the flak they've gotten over the decades for the un-realistic, looks- and materialistic-orientation of Barbie, by creating and selling this line.

Ultimately, toys like these, and just about any game or toy one could care to name, reflect, on the parts of their makers, and the cultures of which they're a part, even in opposition, the dreams, hopes, fears and anxieties of those involved, whether as producers, parents or kids who play with the damned things.

Barbie and Joe both embody, depending on one's perspective, elements of both the American Dream and the American Nightmare, in that both are young(23 years old at very oldest, I think), physically attractive, "go-getter" types, who are determined and successful at whatever they set out to do, whether it's takin' an enemy-held position or scoring a sweet little number at the mall.

You won't ever, I think, ever see either Hasbro or Mattel produce versions of Joe and Babs, like the Homeless Vet Joe or Meth-Head Barbie, because, being producers of mass-market toys for children, as well as adult collectors, it would neither be desirable nor profitable for those companies, nor for any mass market toy company, to do that.

That is something for individual collectors, especially those who like to kit-bash(taking various bits and pieces of a figure or dolls, and modifying them into an altogether new figure or doll), or for smaller companies, especially those aiming at adult collectors, to do.

It's also something that artists of various sorts, and working in various genres, and sub-genres, of the arts have been doing, especially in the last 15 years or so.

I include my own humble efforts, many of which are featured on this blog, as part of that artistic and social interpretation and re-interpretation of these toys and the meanings and symbolism behind 'em.

I have seen, heard and read jokes and other forms of commentary about these toys, and have told my share of jokes and done my share of interpretation and re-interpretation of 'em as well, as well over the years, and, if anything, these artistic efforts, jokes and other forms of commentary point to, depending on the commentator's point of view, achievements or defects, not only of the toys in question, but of the social and cultural presumptions behind 'em.

A Crack-Whore Barbie or Nazi-Skinhead Joe joke says somethin' not only about the toy line, or type of toy it is by itself, but also about what our society, like any other, choose to embody in clay, wood, bisque, porcelain or plastic, and what it chooses to over-look or deliberately ignore in favour of, generally, a more favourable and idealised image of itself, its ideals and values.

This is why debate, interpretation and re-interpretation of these toys, as well as other objects, artistic or ordinary-use, are needed, and will always be needed, to come to a greater understanding of our cultures, ourselves, our roles in our respective cultures and sub-cultures, and our ideals and values.

But, in parting, let me add that there's one factor that we should never forget, and that is how children, who are, after all, the target group for most of these items, interpret and re-interpret these objects and the ideals and values embodied by 'em.

While this really depends on the life experiences, etc, of the individual kid in question, I would like to tell grown-ups, whether toy makers, parents, collectors, commentators, what have you, not to be surprised if the way in which the individual kids, or group of kids, look at, and play with, the toys.

One can just as easily play house with Crack-Whore Barbie or Homeless Vet Joe, as well as with the official versions of the products, and, in the end, the kids will arrive at their own interpretations of what those toys embody and mean.

Maybe not in a conscious way, but in their own way, and that I believe to be their right.

As for the Rev. Wildmon and his boycott, all I have to say is this: Boys and Girls, if you don't like Girls Inc and American Girls/Mattel's support of their efforts, fine. Don't buy the damned things if you don't want to. Just don't expect everyone else in the world to hop on your silly band-waggon. If you do, then you're even bigger idiots than I already thought you were, and I've thought you were a bunch of drooling morons for years now.

Just leave others in peace to purchase, or not, as they will.

Here Endeth The Rant.

18 October 2005

The newest entry in the "Night And The City" urban crime series, taken and edited on the same night as the last set of pics, is entitled "An Eye For An Eye 2", and I hope you'll forgive the horrible pun in the title.

The sixth and last photo in the sub-series, at least for now.

Fending Off A Rapist 5.

Fending Off A Rapist 4.

Number three in the sub-series.

This is the second pic in this sub-series, which is entitled "Fending Off A Rapist".

From the "I Was A Teen-Age Arsehole!!!" series, this is the first in a set of pics taken and edited on a rainy Las Vegas night, only last night.

Here's the newest member of the Rilea family in Las Vegas, Amigo, doing one of the things that cats do best, and with such gusto.

Have been posting figure pics for a while now, so I thought that a small break from that is necessary. Not for me, as I could post those 'til the Cows Come Home, but for those who view this blog. So, here's a recent picture of Annabelle Lee Rilea, sister of the late Sara Rilea and as beautiful a cat as one could ever wish to see or pet. For those with whom she is comfortable, she also delivers one Hell of a purr. Bless her little Kitty soul.

17 October 2005

The Viet-Minh, like their later counterparts the Viet Cong and the Vietnamese People's Army(aka the North Vietnamese Army), have kind of a faceless, anomynous quality of menace in the West, especially in the US and France. This picture, while not intentionally so at the time it was originally taken and edited, is my little attempt to correct some of those impressions. For those of you with sharp eyes, you may note that the character depicted here wears a French Adrian 1916 helmet, French webbing and carries a Berthier 08/15 rifle. While by the time of the battle of Dien Bien Phu in February-May 1954, most of the Viet Minh soldiery carried a mix of Soviet, Chinese, American and other weaponry, and wore home-made helmets made from palm leaves, there were those Viet Minh soldiers who still wore whatever left-over pre-WWII French uniforms, helmets, what have you, that the Viet Minh initially wore, as well as left-over Japanese and other items and weapons, between 1945-47. These would be supplemented over the course of the French Indochina War with American, British, Soviet, Chinese and other materiel, either supplied by the Soviet Union and Communist China(after 1949), bought on the international black market, or captured from the hands of the French and their Indochinese allies.

Every war, conflict, what have you, like any other human activity, leaves behind by-products and after-effects, and the Viet-Nam War was no exception. Here, this unfortunate fellow in the wheel-chair, while undergoing his initial recovery in Saigon, will eventually return to "the world", and from there, a far more difficult kind of transition.

From the Spartacist Revolt of January 1919, comes this picture of a Spartacist fighter engaged in battle in the streets of Berlin, Germany. For those of you out there who've never heard of the Spartacists and their revolt, the Spartacists were radical German Socialists(kinda the fore-runners of the German Communist Party), who rose up against the Social Democratic-led government of the new-born Weimar Republic. Named after Spartacus, leader of an ill-fated slave revolt against the Roman Empire in the First Century CE, the Spartacists hoped to overthrow not only the Social Democrats, whom they regarded as sell-outs, but the German political, military and economic establishment that had backed Kaiser Wilhelm the Second's plunging Germany in the First World War. Fierce street fighting, especially in the Berlin area, lasted for several weeks, before the Spartacists were crushed, mainly by right-wing militia bands known as the Freikorps(Free Corps) composed of recently-discharged Imperial German soldiers and officers.

Life or Death??? That's the decision that the character in this pic, Making A Decision, has to make, and one in which all of us, albeit in generally less extreme circumstances, have to as well.

16 October 2005

A bit of true Rilea-style bizarrity here, as this pic, Even Toys Practise Ethnic Cleansing, shows a firing squad of one type of action figures doing just that activity to a group of another sort of action figures. Just one of those notions that pops into my head at times.

This pic was done as a private joke for a friend about another friend, who is both of African-American extraction, and is interested in German World War Two history, militaria and the like. The pic's title, "Voof, He Darker Den Us", is taken from a Mel Brooks line in his '74 flick, Blazing Saddles, in which Brooks played an Indian chief who remarks, upon seeing the African-American hero's famiily, that very line.

From another photo series devoted to the less glamourous aspects of military life, comes this depiction of a US Army bugler circa WWII, entitled All Tapped Out At Day's End 2. Yes, the pun IS obvious, thank you very much.

15 October 2005

This little scene depicts a French Second Army patrol under sniper attack during street fighting with German holdouts in Nice, south-eastern France, in August, 1944. The French Second Army, alongside a number of American and other Allied units, invaded southern France only a few days after the Normandy landings on 6th June, 1944, and saw hard fighting against various German forces in the area. As for the blend of American, British and French uniforms, helmets and personal equipment on the figures in this pic, the French Army had been re-equipped with, mainly, American and British materiel over the past year and half since the Anglo-American landings in French North Africa in November, 1942, after which the bulk of French forces in that region went over to the Allies. Whenever possible, French troops retained what they could of their French Army uniforms and equipment, but, particularly as time went on and available stocks of French uniforms and equipment dwindled down, they took whatever they could get from the Anglo-Americans.

This photo shows two Vietnamese paratroops in French service during the French Indochina War, circa probably about 1952-54, when many of the French Union Forces' units in Viet-Nam, Cambodia and Laos were increasingly made up, in some cases, up to around 50% or so, of locally-recruited troops. Additionally, all three governments of the nominally-independent State of Viet-Nam, Kingdom of Cambodia and Kingdom of Laos had their own armed forces deployed against the Viet-Minh, Khmer Issara(Free Khmer, or Free Cambodians)and the Pathet Lao(the Laotian Communists allied with the Viet-Minh). In that regard, as well as a number of others, the French Indochina War was as much a civil war inside those three countries, as it was a war of anti-colonial liberation, similarities that it shares with quite a number of various wars of independence over the centuries, including our own American Revolution.

This pic commemorates a forgotten chapter in Sino-American relations, at least by most Americans, and that is our participation, alongside Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia and Japan,, in the relief of the various foreign diplomatic legations besieged by Chinese Boxer rebels and Imperial troops in Beijing and Tianjing China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.On their way to the relief of these legations, however, members of the expeditionary corps, especially the Russians and Japanese, became notorious for their brutality and rapacity towards the Chinese civilian populations they met along the way.As for the troops depicted in the pic itself, they are US soldiers who made up a part of the Tianjing Expedition, taking a break from marching on the city.

The Korean War was the first time that African-American troops served in entirely racially-integrated units in American history. Before 1948, when President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order officially integrating the US Armed Forces, African-Americans had traditionally served in segregated units, which were generally led by white officers. While many African-Americans during the Korean War still served in predominantly-, if not entirely, African-American units, a fair number served alongside their European-American, Asian-American, , Latino,Native American, and Pacific Islander counter-parts. It would be during the Viet-Nam War that racial integration throughout the whole of the American Armed Forces would really be seen.

Australia was another contributor to the UN forces during the Korean War, and this pic depicts two members of the Royal Australian Regiment resting after combat during the summer of 1952.

The Korean War, or, as it's officially known, the Korean Conflict, while mainly a US-led show, had troops of 15 other UN members in the Korean Theatre of Combat, and Canada contributed its share of them. The Canadian POW in the pic is located on the left-hand side, while the the POWs in the centre and on the right of the pic are American. Added a bit of film grain to this 'un to give it the feel and flavour of what a similar pic of UN prisoners of war would've looked like in a Chinese Communist or Soviet publication of the era.

This pic shows our protagonist a few years after the end of most of the various civil wars in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union, sharing the fate of many ex-soldiers throughout the history of civilisation, abandonment and poverty.

This is entitled La Grognard, and depicts a hardened female veteran of the various civil wars that racked and ruined much of the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union during the early and mid-1990s. The term Grognard is a Napoleonic-era French Army term for a hardened veteran of many campaigns, and, from the looks of her, this 'un's seen her share.