#2. Crop Dusting the Amazon with Agent Orange
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military spit toxic chemicals all over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the form of "Rainbow Herbicides," thus dethroning Enola Gay and Little Boy as the most friendly sounding weapon every to kill and maim nearly a million people. Of all the Rainbow Herbicides, Agent Orange ended up being the most detrimental, killing all the plants it was designed to kill and then overachieving and killing around 400,000 people as well. It wasn't a one-time killer either. Agent Orange had a way of sticking around like radioactivity, hurting over 500,000 kids in generations following the war. Despite its benign name, Agent Orange remains one of the saddest glossary terms in American History text books.
But there are still a lot.
And now it's back in use. Ranchers in the Amazon have illegally acquired vats of Agent Orange and are using it to level sections of the rainforest for cattle grazing. The old "slash and burn" technique is much harder now because of laws and regulations designed to protect thousands of species of flora and fauna. But dropping Agent Orange from a plane is harder to detect and it requires less time to decimate entire swaths of land. Plus, the ranchers don't have to hire tree-cutters or pay for machinery; they only have to hire a pilot with loose morals. What's worse, the chemical doesn't just kill the pesky trees and vegetation; it also kills all the birds and insects and mammals and everything else that happens to be in the drop zone. It's a shortsighted and brutal repurposing of one of the most devastating weapons ever used in war. With any luck, we'll at least get to see some surprising animal mutations that- ugh, I can't even finish that joke. I warned you that some of these would be all-around awful.
#1. Making Music with Weapons
Since the first war-issued assault rifle was invented in 1915, the world has had the answer to the question, "What if I'm too far away to reach something with scissors, but I still want to cut it in half?" Since then, it's been a staple of any large-scale conflict, evolving into the AK47, the M16 and just generally becoming a stronger, more accurate cutter-in-halfer. Even today it's still one of the most effective weapons to come out of the industrial age.
But a Colombian musician has found a new use for the gun. In 2002, Cesar Lopez saw a soldier in Bogota holding his assault rifle slung over a shoulder with one hand on the barrel and thought, "Hey, that kind of looks like a guitar." Except he probably thought it in Spanish. Lopez quickly realized with the help of Alberto Paredes how easily he could disassemble an old automatic rifle and convert it into a goddamn electric guitar.
Solos will never be the same.
Since then, he's made several guitars out of inoperative guns and they have quickly become symbols of peace around the world. UN headquarters in New York, Vienna and Paris all have their own gun guitars on display.
However, no one seems to be taking into account the inherent danger of combining the awesome power of a machine gun with the sexual magnetism of an electric guitar. Those two things were never supposed to belong together. This opens the door to teenagers everywhere, stumbling their way through the first three bars of "Smoke on the Water" on an M16, and every girl within listening distance bursting into lusty flames. It just seems irresponsible.
No, Kofi! Not Sweet "Child O Mine," you'll kill everyone!