Sunday, October 30, 2016

cocking a snook at ye kynge

Is it a painting or a political cartoon? In the tradition initiated by Daumier ad followed by George Grosz, and Bob Crumb it's both.

As a depiction of the structure of contemporary neo-feudalism, & the way living under such a system feels in the first world, it's accurate. The third world is represented here too, with the 6 tiny figures at the bottom of the page standing in for the billions of India, Africa, Latin America, and all he various places on earth where the people feel as if they're the property of North American and/or western European corporations.

And most of these billions are cooperative, at least on the surface. Only in the far right bottom corner do we see the initial sign of rebellion, as a boy of 10 or 12, of undeterminable race & nationality, disobeys the instruction to salute and instead cocks a snook at the king.                                                                       

The King, sitting baby-like on his throne with feet dangling above the floor, is as far removed as possible from the billion or so children dying of starvation in his realm, all of them represented by this one insignificant figure who is nearly squeezed out of the picture, & to a lesser extent by the tiny waif clinging to her mothert's saari near he middle of the line of neofeudal serfs we used to call "peasants."


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