Why Throw Down Your Guns?

Charcoal drawing of old jack

2013-06-14 Update: I have recently updated the web site and changed the domain name from ‘throwdownyourguns.com’ to ‘guychapman.net’ so the sentiment of this post still applies but the name has changed.

A few people have asked me about the name of my Art Portfolio web site ‘throwdownyourguns.com’. Why Throw Down Your Guns? Well, why not? It’s my small statement for world peace – not sure if it’s working yet but I’ll keep trying. Imagine if we all stopped shooting each other and started painting, I’d be happy about that.

Throwdownyourguns – it’s an imperative, I know and I’m not one for telling other people what to do. In fact that’s the whole problem; people who insist on telling other people how to live their life, people who want me to be just like them. Usually the same people who are fearfully deifying their ignorance. In this case though, I can live with an imperative… **Throw down your guns!** I can live with a command like that. I could live with us generally not killing each other quite so often. So, trust me, I won’t shoot, throw down your guns and come on out with your paint brushes raised. But hell, why would you trust me? How could you be sure I wouldn’t whip a backup-piece out from under my poncho as soon as your six-guns hit the sand? Perhaps I already have the thing aimed at your chest. Well I wouldn’t and I don’t. In fact I think in this case rather than the imperative it’s in the jussive mood.

In 1983 Australian Crawl implored less Reckless behaviour saying…

Meet me down by the jetty landing
Where the pontoons bump and spray
All the others reading standing
As the Manly ferry
Cuts it’s way to circular quay

Hear the Captain blow his whistle
So long she’s been away
I miss our early morning wrestle
Not a very happy
Way to start the day

She don’t like that kind of behaviour
She don’t like that kind of behaviour

So throw down your guns
Don’t you be so reckless
Throw down your guns
Don’t you be so…

It’s a different context, I know – he’s almost mumbling to himself about screwing the relationship up to the point-of-no-return – but I quote it because it’s about relationships and the same principles apply.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers used the term too…

All you slingers and fiends
hide behind your rocks
put down your guard
I’m not here to box
this is no showdown
so throw down your guns
you see it doesn’t matter
where you come from
you could be from park ave
or from a park bench
you could be a politician
or a bitchy princess
but if you’re lookin’ for a fist
and you’re lookin’ to unite
put your knuckleheads together
make a fist and fight
not to your death
and not to your grave
I’m talking about that freedom
fight like a brave…

That first verse is great – a mash-up of various images… anyway, about art… Throwdownyourguns is The Art Portfolio of Guy Chapman. Given the surname, you could in fact, consider this site a Chapbook of sorts, it may even laps into being correctly classified as bum fodder at times. Have a look around, take your time, see what you think.

Charcoal drawing of old jack
Charcoal drawing of old jack

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