Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nasty, snarkish and short



This stanzel is the only overtly political stanzel in the entire Hunting of the Snark and as such, affords us a rare glimpse into the political workings of Lewis Carroll’s mind. Unfortunately, the oddly menacing figure of the mono-eared Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh, is somewhat obscuring our political view of Carroll, who is shown here vamping as the White Knight doing an off-hand impersonation of Sir John Tenniel channeling the Bellman.

Concealment is the holy grail of all political discourse and as we’ve shown earlier, this stanzel is doing a splendid job in that direction. The Bellman’s offer of free booze to his constituency is in the jolly tradition of democratic alcoholism through the ages, whilst Van Gogh’s cue card is a splendid summation of the Pavlovian tendencies of the Common Man, and yet no one seems the wiser.

And how could we? How could the electorate get any wiser, in this, the most perfect of all possible political worlds?