Manufactured in Liege, Belgium c.~1893 by Henri Pieper for the Mexican Rurales. 8x50mm Pieper seven-round cylinder, Nagant-type gas seal, Pryse rebounding hammer, swing out double action with star ejector. Mexico had a very discerning taste for firearms.
We came to this country to look for a better life, because opportunities in our home countries weren’t good. My dad was born in an adobe home in rural Mexico with no lights, air conditioning, or a door. My mom lived the first few years of her life in a house made of broken pieces of wood, cardboard, and glue. They were brought to America because there was nothing left for them in Mexico. No chances, no opportunities.
But in America, there were opportunities. For my dad’s family, there were open jobs for farmhands. For my mom’s family, jobs in canned food factories. Jobs that were quickly becoming unpopular as more and more Americans started going to college and moving up the status line. So my grandparents on both sides, and my parents, filled up the blue collar jobs.
For the first time, my parents could receive Christmas gifts. For the first time, my parents could afford food, clothes, and toys. For the first time, my parents got to experience electricity. For the first time, my parents could go to school, college.
These are things I grew up from birth, I’ve never known any other life. I’ve always lived happy and comfortably. But still my parents always remind me of the life they came from, and where my grandparents came from. America is not a perfect nation, but it offers so many blessings that most Americans take for granted. People around the world dream of those blessings, and that’s why they come.
Manufactured in Belgium for the Mexican Rurales, serial number 112. 9-shots cylinder, 8x50mmR Pieper caliber. The Pieper revolving carbine, unlike any other of this kind - usually spelling their uselessness, used the same gas-seal system as the Nagant M1895 revolver designed in 1886. The 8mm cartridge’s brass was very long, encompassing the whole of the bullet, and the cylinder pushed it forward on firing, creating a sealed bridge with the barrel when it expended. This allowed the fitting of a suppressor on the handgun and the use of a front grip on the carbine.
Among the most peculiar of all electronic releases this year was American Drift
by Elysia Crampton, an artist with roots in Bolivia, Mexico,
California, and rural Virginia. All figure into the dense and cryptic
mythology at play in an album that mixes drifting synths with lashing
laser sounds, rumbling drums, snarling crunk samples,
and spoken word that binds the personal with the geographical. The
impressionistic swirl of it all is singular, to be sure, but Crampton
shares allegiances with much else in her milieu. She works closely with
Juliana Huxtable—she made the music for a recent performance of
Huxtable’s at the estimable Museum of Modern Art—and she professes
adulation of Total Freedom/Ashland Mines, who she sees as an envoy for
so much going on in club culture now.
For Crampton, matters
related to her transgender identity are mystical as much as material. “I
can’t confront and explore my own trans-ness without touching on a
bigger trans-ness: trans-humanity, trans-thing, trans-subject,
trans-etc.,” she told me. “It’s a kind of education. Terms float as
taglines and become embedded. But it’s neat how algorithms push you
together with other artists too.”
Music, for her, allows and
even creates space in which different states of being and becoming can
be as accepted as any other. “In this language, a person can’t come to
be because the language is so binary,” Crampton said. “Or maybe they can
but it makes it that much harder. In music, you make a dimensional
space where certain identities and certain ideas can be born and perhaps
thrive. Music has always been that for me. When it plays, you can feel
your chemistry changing. If it’s something you really like, it’s like
gene methylation—you can feel a genetic change.”
The motion and
progress implied in music of whatever kind—electronic music
especially—makes a good analog for transition as she conceives of it
“Trans is becoming. Trans is the difference between the
universe being frozen and the universe moving forward,” she said. “Do we
still have the ability to imagine alternate futures for ourselves? Or
have we all just become apocalyptic?”