Martin Rosen, British cartoonist. Photo Credit: Alexander Williams –CC BY-SA 4.0
It has been 78 years since the Führer and Reich Chancellor committed suicide. His brain may have been reduced to inert fragments by a single bullet, but his spirit remains. His army was defeated. We know this because no SS tank fired shells at anyone. Hitler's mind, on the other hand, remains a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by the recent outrage over a cartoonprotectornewspaper.
Martin Rowson's cartoon shows Boris Johnson, who recently resigned as BBC chairman, alongside Richard Sharp for failing to disclose his work for Bowes Reece Johnson's role in providing an £800,000 loan guarantee, Boris Johnson as Prime Minister subsequently signed Sharp's appointment at the BBC. Really par for the course but you have to make sure these things don't get discovered and this one isThe Sunday Times.
That's unfortunate for the BBC chief. Unfortunately for the cartoonist, Sharp was Jewish, and the cartoon was angrily denounced as anti-Semitic by everyone who could be pissed off and quoted in the media.
It's not that the entire cartoon is faulty, it's that a small part of it is about 3% of the whole. The allegations were that Sharpe's face was caricatured in typical anti-Semitic fashion, that Sharpe was carrying a box containing gold coins, a puppet version of current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, but worst of all a squid, which It has previously been used as a symbol of the tentacles of a supposed Jewish conspiracy. cartoonist andGuardian'sAn editorial oversight must have gotten it wrong, but why?
The newspaper was not overly exhaustive in explaining that the cartoon "did not meet our editorial standards," and promptly removed its online presence. Presumably, paper versions are still in circulation. The problem with this cartoonist is that he is a political cartoonist not an anti-Semite, hence Mr. Sharp's "I never thought of Jews when I drew him". Mr. Sharp's Jewishness would not have crossed my mind, if not highlighted in anger. The cartoon was supposed to be about what it was always intended to be about, a political/financial scandal.
Rosen commented: "The lovable squid and the fairy are nothing more than a cartoon squid and a diminutive prime minister. I never thought anyone would see them as Sharp's puppets, another notoriously anti-Semitic trope." Has his own take on his adorable pink squid (pink is a lovely color, of course). Nazi anti-semitic conspiracy cartoon showing an evil, scary, seething octopus. If Rowson made an anti-Semitic gesture, he wasn't doing very well. Complex interpretations of Rowson's description might even see how absurd the symbol representing the tentacle charge is, indeed against it, but no one (not even Rowson) makes that point, although on reflection it seems to be A perfectly plausible explanation, a far more fitting symbol of world domination than the imaginary rubber toy squid.
So why is the squid in the box? One clue was that the container was marked "Goldman Sachs," Sharp's former employer, according to Matt Taibbi's article about the company in the July 9-23, 2009 issue. at this pointrolling stoneMagazine: "The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a vampire squid wrapped around a human face, relentlessly funneling its blood into anything that smells like money stuff."
To me, that sounds more shocking than a little pink squid (it's actually a bit different), but it doesn't seem to draw any major ire. Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words, butrolling stoneThe article is almost 10,000 words long. Or maybe times have changed in these fourteen years, and reason is now less fashionable than anger.
Another explanation, although I haven't seen a more advanced one, is that there is a slang usage of "squid" for "quid", which means a pound of British currency. The gold coin in the box is also considered another metaphor. Gold coins are a staple of piracy, Long John Silver, Yo Ho Ho, and ill-gotten gains. However, there are no gold coins. Rosen points out that the squid's yellow circle is the skin of a hydra, but we shouldn't let biological facts get in the way of our outrage. After all, the key issue is money. It will be interesting to hear how it should be represented.
Author David Rich said the cartoon was "perfectly in line with the anti-Semitic tradition of depicting Jews with outsized, grotesque features". He should go out more. Ralph Steadman and Gerald Scarfe in particular are proof that this is the comic book deal for everyone, let alone a TV animated puppet seriesspitting image.
The symbols in this cartoon are widely used without comment, but when applied to a certain Jew they have different associations - or rather can have different associations, for many people, This is their main, indeed only, association. With a different context, responses can be more subtle and exploratory. In this case, it is parochial and no alternative is tolerated or even considered. Or, if it is, people are wise to keep silent.
Given the history of anti-Semitism, this is understandable, though not necessarily laudable or helpful to society as a whole. Anti-Semitism (as well as many other prejudices of course) has a centuries-old history, but the huge shadow that overshadows most other considerations is Nazism and the Holocaust.
Anti-Semitism swept across Europe in the 12th century, fueled by the Christian fanaticism of the Crusades. In an infamous massacre on 11 March 1190 in which all 150 Jews of York died by suicide, fire or a mob attack, some saw it as a cancellation of a large fortune they had received from Jewish moneylenders. A form of financial loan. But that's not usually what comes to mind when anti-Semitism is considered. That place was occupied by concentration camps and gas chambers.
Anti-Semitism existed in Germany before Hitler: he exploited it. Anti-Semitism is widespread in the Western world, but exclusion from golf clubs and even political barriers, as in the case of Hore-Belisha, the British Secretary of State for War in 1940, make it difficult to compete with the Third Reich. T.S. Eliot was also blamed for this, much to his chagrin later, for including lines such as "The Jew crouches on the windowsill, master" in his poem "Old Age" (published 1920).
But it is the image of Hitler, his thoughts and his actions that takes center stage and forms the backdrop for the current cartoon debate. Don't take my word for it. I respect former UK Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, he must know what he is talking about. "Today's @guardian cartoon wouldn't look out of place in a Nazi newspaper," he tweeted.
Encouraged by this allegation, I revisited some Nazi images. I have to say Rowson's grades were pathetic (as was Javid). A fundamental feature of Nazi depictions of Jews was the large, aquiline nose. Sharp is not shown. Ironically, the depiction of Boris Johnson's nose is more appropriate in the cartoon. They are the two main characters in Scandal and comics. It will be interesting to see the reaction (if any) if their descriptions are reversed, with Sharpe holding the money bag on a pile of feces and Johnson clutching the squid in the box. I suspect the accusations of anti-Semitism will be just as intense.
I can provide a handy visual aid to distinguishguardianCartoons and Nazis and the live difference game below. Hint: the black and white image is a Naziized image of a Jewish banker hanging a German businessman in the 1931 version (and an octopus in the 1936 version)forward, the newspaper was edited by Julius Streicher, an unrepentant Nazi who was hanged in Nuremberg in 1946, notably not for his actions but for his words. In contrast, Martin Rosen was just left hanging out to dry.
Find the difference game.
There are countless cases of anti-Semitism, but we know who is the main character, and it's not T.S. Eliot. Hitler is dead, but his being is alive. The horrors he committed continue to haunt and warp our collective psyche. As Sajid Javid demonstrates, the real reaction is not against cartoons, but against events that happened long ago, although they are still alive in people's memory, like flashbacks that occur during PTSD, or People with GAD are triggered into overreacting to something in the present, which may be harmless but evokes past trauma. When Hitler can no longer elicit such a reaction, we will know that he has finally been defeated.
Cartoonist Martin Rowson doesn't think Hitler was dominant, and if we're to believe him, I see no reason not to. I'm more inclined to believe him because I almost fell into a similar trap in 2005 during a Stuckist presentation of the Turner Prize outside Tate Britain, when we were emphasizing the Tate's purchase of work by its own trustee, Chris Ofiliupstairs room, an installation of 12 monkey paintings depicting Christ's disciples from the biblical Last Supper, led by a painting of an elephant. (This depiction of Jews as monkeys seems to have gone unnoticed.)
To me, the most obvious and appropriate thing is that we should use the demonstration with the monkey mask as a striking visual identity and an obvious reference to the painting. My colleague Edgeworth Johnstone was horrified, pointing out that Chris Ofili was black and the monkey metaphor was used as a racist slur by football fans. I don't know anything about football fans, and I don't know of such usage elsewhere, but I downvoted it as highly inappropriate considerations. We put on an elephant mask instead: so far, the elephants are safe. Maybe Edgeworth should be hired as an editorial consultantprotector.
Rowson has been found guilty by a jury, but we might as well hear from the defense, some of which are above. It can be found in full on his website. The latest version I just archived is here:https://web.archive.org/web/20230502053536/https://www.martinrowson.com/As he rightly points out, the target of his attack is not Richard Sharp (who is a running dog "), but Boris Johnson, if there is any, how does Sharp become Johnson "casually, if All consumption is vulgar and selfish".
Rishi Sunak is not in the box as a puppet of a Jewish conspiracy that runs everything, but simply because he works for Sharp at Goldman Sachs. In any case, there's nothing to prove that he's a puppet and not a miniature. Again, any suggestions for how the close bond between the current Prime Minister and Sharp should be represented in a cartoon? This description seems to me to be a common practice among caricaturists.
Now we read Rosen's greatestMEA fault: "I like to make intricate cartoons full of incidental details, partly because it allows layers of nuance to be added to the overall image [sic], and partly because it is from Hogarth and Gillray, via Giles and Pont The great tradition of British comics." Sorry, Martin: we don't live in an age of nuance. We live in an involuntary knee-jerk reaction where the mob is looking for any excuse to smell blood in a just cause, which of course is the habit of the mob, no matter how right they really are. Besides, as is always the case with mobs, they need a victim, and this time it's you.
Sharp's "Jewishness was never on my mind when I drew him, because it had absolutely nothing to do with the story or his actions, and it didn't play any conscious role in how I twisted his features from the standard comic book script." Rowe Rowson is certainly right about getting "into stupid ambiguity" because you can guarantee that if any ambiguity can be interpreted in the worst possible way, then it is. As is required of such violators, he punished himself severely, apologizing repeatedly, and then apologizing again, because the apology was not enough, or the apology was done in a completely accepted way of apologizing.
By the way, I want to make it clear that I am not rating this cartoon to condone or condemn it. My interests are current cultural context and background issues and values.
If you want another example of Hitler's insidious cultural triumph, you need look no further than the swastika, which has been used for decades in many cultures as a symbol of good luck or divinity, especially in Hinduism and other Indian religions. When these traditions are seen as the true owners of the swastika, it will be another sign that World War II was finally won by the right people.
In an almost comical but certainly ironic epilogue, Boris Johnson did not miss an opportunity to capitalize on the controversy and take a shot at exonerating himself, claiming: "Frankly, whoever commissioned and printed this article was guilty of more than Richard De Sharpe's Worse Mistake" As Mandy Rice-Davis said of Lord Astor's in Stephen Ward's Profumo "Well, he will, won't he?" when he denied wrongdoing during the incident's trial. Time for another cartoon?