Monday, February 13, 2006


Famous cartoon of the eternal shepherd. No crusade for freedom of speech - which is lovely, but kind of an abstract idea. "Without freedom of speech, I might be in the swamp"- as Bob Dylan sings in his ballad Motopsyko Nightmare. He is on the road on his motorbike and ends up with a very conservative farmer in the middle of the American bible belt. The farmer has a daughter called Rita, and she "looks like she stepped out of la dolce vita".

Before seeing Rita he has yelled at the farmer "I like Fidel Castro and his beard". - Just to be sure that he would get the hell out of the place. But seeing Rita the old male chauvinist understands that he "has to cool it with the Dad." So very useful freedom of speech can turn out to be.

Watch the kind of fickle facial expression that this shepherd - so sadly typical of many slightly obese welfare Danes - ain't worth looking at anyway.

But one should admire the artistic accomplishments in this drawing, the rather drab, predictable geometrical regularity (sun and beast - not the man, but what the man is holding on a leash - juxtaposed). Notice the sandals. The relaxed outfit. We're rather on holiday with a package tour operator than at work grazing sheep. The ideal Greek shepherd portrayed by drab Danish normality. So what is all the fuss really about? - Art or Fidel Castro's beard - or perhaps something much more sinister? No, not sinister! but rather the artistic punch that real art can inflict on the unprotected human mind.


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