By James Duesing


Dog, HD Video loop derived from a GIF, 2014

James Duesing’s animated GIF shows a grinning hot dog character twirling a gun as a substitute penis. “Hot dog” can be slang vocabulary for male genitalia but is commonly used to describe “one who performs showy, often dangerous stunts,” – stunts we might find in westerns with gunfighters squinting into the sun.

The equation of guns with derring–do and manhood is exploited in the entertainment and gun industries alike. For example, an advertisement for the Bushmaster AR-15, one of the three guns used by Adam Lanza

in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, directly appealed to men’s machismo with its catch line:"consider your man card reissued.” In Duesing’s comical rendition of machismo, the sunglasses worn by hi gunslinger are but one form of ridicule that undermines such messages.