Tuesday, November 28

Stuck Up: A Strip

This is my favourite Cat And Girl strip. The general format for C&G is to make a snarky observation about dichotomies between naive expectations and reality, thereby commenting wistfully on the cyncism necessary to cope with modern life. Most of the time, the observation's accompanied by a pun, visual or written, on one or both of the sides of the dichotomy. In this case, the dichotomy's between the seminal Magritte painting's complaint -- the difference between image and reality, the so-called use-mention distinction -- and an addict's skewed view of their own addiction. Their refusal to admit that their addiction is problematic.

There are similarities to the two sides beyond the fact that they're both negative declarative statements, too. The addict really doesn't see his habit as a problem, even though he recognizes that it can be problematic in others, just like we all realize that even though the painting isn't a pipe, it is a painting of a pipe.

The fact that the comparison between the two sides is made in comic form -- a form that plays off the use-mention all the time, one that (from a semiotic perspective, at least) requires a deep understanding of Magritte's complaint -- makes the joke even funnier.

..well, that and the fact that paint is delicious.

[This edition of the Stuck Up series guest-written by Fraxas; Pharaoh will return with regularly scheduled updates soon.]

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