31 October 2006

Here's Mud In Yer Eye, Mr Death!!!!

Was gonna leave the historically-based Hallowe'en pics alone, until I got an idea this afternoon, which was translated into the pics below, the "Here's Mud In Yer Eye, Mr. Death!!!" set, which fits in a bit more with the traditional Hallowe'en fare, while taking its own humourous turn on the whole damn thing.

Hope you like 'em, and Happy Hallowe'en!!!!

A Tri-Set Of Hallowe'en Horror Pics

Shot and edited this triple set of Hallowe'en horror pics yesterday evening, and posted 'em here just a few minutes ago, just in time for Hallowe'en.

Decided to take a reality-based, rather than the usual, tack in approaching this holiday, so the pics below are based on historical events, the first set being taken from Argentina's Dirty War against the left-wing Peronist Montoneros terrorists and the Trotskyist Ejercito de Liberation Nacional(National Liberation Army), but which also swept up thousands of trade unionists and others entirely un-connected with those organisations, between 1976 and 1978.

In those years, an estimated 10,000-30,000 Argentines and foreigners were snatched up by the Argentine armed forces, various Federal, provincial and local police forces, and right-wing death squads, "disappeared" into a network of "secret" prisons and camps, tortured and eventually murdered by the Argentine military government and its servants.

Others were detained, tortured, and, for one reason or another, released, but with no way of finding out why they'd been detained and tortured, and thousands more Argentines simply fled into exile abroad, rather than end up as just another member of the "disappeared".

By the time the World Cup was played in Argentina in 1978, the Dirty War, as this campaign became known, had done its work, and, while there were a few scattered Montoneros attacks in Argentina around that time, that group, along with the ELN(may have that name wrong, by the way), were spent, as were the trade unions, especially those connected to the left wing of the Peronist Party, and other organisations.

The regime's idea was to kill, kill, kill as many of its opponents as possible, and frighten any Argentines who even thought of dissenting against the regime and its project to re-create Argentina into a solidly Christian, anti-Communist state that would take a leading role as a defender of Western values and culture(These are exactly the sort of pretentions those folks had, People).

Well, it certainly killed and frightened enough people into shutting their mouths, at least in public, until the aftermath of the bungled Falklands/Malvinas War in 1982, and, in the end, it was outraged Argentine nationalist feeling at having lost a war, and having been lied, lied, lied to by their government all the way along about how well its forces were doing in the Falklands/Malvinas that brought the military government down.

In the immediate after-math of the regime's collapse, the Argentine military and its civilian supporters created a spate of laws protecting themselves from prosecution by the new civilian authorities by granting various military and police figures amnesty and the like.

This, along with the understandable desire of many Argentines to simply put the whole bloody period behind them, plus a couple of attempted military coups by ultra-right elements of the Argentine Army in the late '80's, effectively put the kibosh on any attempts to indict, prosecute and try the swine responsible for the Dirty War until the last few years.

Only now, have even some of those people begun to face justice at home and abroad, and, who knows, maybe many of them never will.

The other two sets, "The Emperor's Naked Army Feeds" and "Monkey Meat", refers to the utter collapse of the Imperial Japanese Army's supply system under the impact of Allied bombing, sinking of Japanese merchant ships, and ground attacks in New Guinea and the Phillippines in 1944-45, and the outbreak of cannibalism among a number of Japanese soldiers and sailors as they retreated farther and farther into the highlands of New Guinea and the Phillippine Islands, specifically Leyte and Northern Luzon, around that time.

The Imperial Japanese Army's supply network was never really very good, and, as stated above, collapsed under the weight of Allied bombings, torpedoing of Japanese merchant ships, and regular Allied infantry, New Guinean tribal, and Phillippine guerrilla attacks, and many Japanese soldiers and sailors found themselves starving to death on their retreat away from those forces.

Eventually, some of them turned to cannibalism to avoid starvation, and the term, "monkey meat" was a euphemism for human flesh, usually that of their fellow soldiers and sailors.

This set of events was documented in the 1955 Japanese novel, Fires On The Plain, which became a Japanese film in 1959.

The novel and film covered the Japanese collapse in the Phillippines, as both were based on the novel's author's experiences during the retreat into the mountains of Northern Luzon in 1944.

In 1986, a Japanese documentary, The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On, about an obsessed survivor of the New Guinea disaster's quest to expose those who'd participated in the cannibalism that took place during that retreat, and to make the Japanese public aware of what happened in New Guinea, was released.

I didn't see it until some six years after it was released, when I saw it in a Japanese film class at UNLV.

By that time, I'd read the novel version of Fires On The Plain, and had read about, but still have yet to see, the film version, so I'd some idea of what the fellow was talking about.

However one likes to put it, or not, what happened on these two retreats was, and remains, a rather horrific set of events.

Hence, my decision to depict them in the dual set of pics below the "Dirty War" ones.

A few last words in closing: I did these to make a point, which is that, for all of the various mythical and fictional terrors that we can conjure up, the most horrifying ones are those made by human beings, not really much different from you and me in any way, and that horror and terror can occur anytime, anywhere, and often does in broad day-light, as well as the gloom of night.

Also, for any survivors of the Dirty War and their relatives who may, however inadvernently, stumble across this site, my sincerest and humblest apologies go out to you.

It wasn't my intention to exploit this, or say, "Look'a that, Look'a that!!!", like those events which were, and remain, so very painful for you all, were so kind of bloody freak show.

It was, and is, however pretentious this might sound coming from a gringo who's never been to Argentina, and has only read about the Dirty War in books and on-line, to bear witness in my way, especially as the thirtieth anniversary of the coup that brought the military regime to power and the beginning of the Dirty War happened on 30th March of this year.

Like with the various other tragedies and crimes of the 20th Century(and, no, I'll not get into any debating contests about who suffered more than whom, as that's mental masturbation, period), the Dirty War, and what it did to so many Argentines should and must be remembered, and I hope that this will, in an extremely small way, spur people around the world to find out more about it, and to remember it, just as the other horrific events of the last century, and this one, should be known and remembered.

As for anyone out there viewing this who participated in those crimes, and their supporters, let me say that I hope that you WILL, one day, be arrested, indicted, tried, found guilty and imprisoned for your crimes, preferably for the duration of the rest of your natural lives.

That's a far better deal than any of you ever gave most of the people you victimised.

Anyhow, Folks, Happy Hallowe'en, and, please remember, ghosties, goblins, werewolves and vampires are all just fun, fun, fun fictions to give us a little bit of a jolt every now and then.

Nothin' wrong with that.

Just best to remember, though, that the real horror comes from the hands of one's fellow men and women.

On that Rod Serlingesque, Night Gallery note, I leave you.

Good morning, afternoon, or night, depending on when you view this, and take care of yourselves out there.