This took my attention because there seemed to be so many soft toys piled into one space. It's an amusement arcade machine, where you can manipulate a crane to grab the toy you want. I think most people don't manage to get anything at all. Clearly this is Mickey Mouse and it was only following a Disney dispute that he emerged as his own character, replacing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This gives me an opportunity to correct a mistake. Many works on symbolism only recognise mice as rats. In turn, rats are compared with their "fellow rodents" - rabbits. But rabbits, hares and pikas are lagomorphs, not rodents. That's lucky for rabbits since rats are regarded as unclean. Freud's famous tract, the Rat Man, gives an idea of what rats symbolise. These underground rummagers have connotations of both the phallic and the anal. At the same time, they are signs of money, wealth and plenty. The mouse that spreads pestilence is also a symbol of Apollo, who both sends disease and cures it. Symbols are ambivalent and perhaps Mickey Mouse is too. He's an excellent cartoon character, who's antics give me much pleasure. At the same time, he has become a symbol of a vast exploitation empire. Mickey is very protected in copyright terms, so I hope Mickey recognises my good faith.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Archäologische Institut. As archaeological digs continue to demonstrate, it's hard to get rid of a wall.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Follow the Wabbit. Although it's clear that it's a museum puma, killed and stuffed long ago, it was given some life and character by the taxidermist. Once I had a strange encounter with a puma in entirely the wrong place at the wrong time, but we both went our separate ways and I'm here to tell the tale. Shortly afterwards I came across this fellow - and like the taxidermist, I made him a character too. A puma is a cougar, a mountain lion, a panther or a catamount. Although it can be big, it is more related to the cat. So it gets the symbolism of the cat, not the lion. Cats are often regarded unfavourably in symbolism and many cultures see the cat as diabolic. But not in Islam. When passengers on Noah's Ark were disturbed by rats, Noah stroked the lion's face and it spat out a couple of cats. But whether it's a beast of good or a beast of evil omen, you can't ignore a puma. I chose to give this Puma a benevolent character and I made him a bit of a mensch. That's a Yiddish expression describing a principled, decorous and charitable individual. Puma is responsible and dignified - and even if he's a little old fashioned, he does what's right.