Solar Ricardo

Solar Ricardo

Friday, July 23, 2010

The World's Deadliest Meme

excerpt  from OBSOLETE! Magazine #1...


The AK-47

In the movie “Lord of War,” the protagonist Yuri Orlov, played by Nicholas Cage lays it all out:“Of all the weapons in the vast Soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the world's most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It'll shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy, even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.”

Designed by a wounded tank commander and aspiring agricultural equipment designer named Mikhail Kalashnikov, the AK-47 is perhaps the quintessential product of the 20th century. In an earnest attempt to create a weapon that would defend his Communist homeland from the aggression of fascist Germany, Kalashnikov unwittingly invented one of the key elements in the blueprint for Soviet expansion. By making the AK-47 design a sort of “open source” technology, the USSR licensed the  manufacturing of AK-47s to facilities in Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria, China, North Korea, Egypt, Iraq, and others. Today, it is estimated that there is a one Kalashnikov-style rifle in use for every 66 people on earth.

As Yuri Orlov points out,  the very image of the AK is a symbol of revolution worldwide, and a symbol of the business of revolution.  It is the world's deadliest meme. In another Hollywood film, “Jackie Brown,” Samuel L. Jackson’s character Ordell says: "AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.” 
image by Terror Worldwide