02 February 2009

A Good Offense

No, this is not a post about the Steelers. In a strange departure, this post is actually a shout-out to a truly offensive artist for a cause, Oleg Volk.

Now, I am a registered Dem and a true liberal among Mormons. That last fact, of course, does not necessarily make me very liberal at all. And I confess, I am ultra-conservative in one cardinal respect. I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, or RKBA in proper rightwing nut job lingo (the right to keep and bear arms). Many Mormon friends, who fear for my liberal soul, take great solace in the fact that I believe everyone has the right to pack heat.

To use a phrase like "everyone has the right to pack heat" is of course flippant. It would be seen as offensive and inflammatory to RKBA opponents. Most RKBA advocates take both the right and responsibility of gun ownership very seriously, and certainly I do. But at the same time, advocates love to use zingers like that, not privately (firearms are no joking matter), but rather publicly. At least in the right company. Mostly because they love to offend RKBA opponents. It's tail twisting.

But of course offense and humor have long been used to advance rights and causes. Since it is usually liberals who are activists, pretty much by definition, one does not encounter it so much in connection with conservatives. But done well, I think it is a rich role reversal.

So, Oleg Volk. Next to whack-em-n-stack-em Ted Nugent (even I detest him), he would surely be at the top of any anti-RKBA hate list. Volk is the founder/owner of The High Road, a massively popular gun and RKBA forum, and an emigrant from the USSR who knows something personally about oppression and defenselessness. He also produces pro-RKBA advocacy ads that are widely seen on the Interweb, especially on forums. At first I thought that most were in just shockingly bad taste, and more likely to retard than advance public opinion. But I think I've come to better appreciate the hyperbolic genre he is working in. Of course he wants to provoke, and even offend, and that he does. He even makes me uncomfortable. But I guess the best defense is . . .

Many examples of Volk's art and ads can be found on A Human Right. Here are a few mild ones:

No comments: