No, no regrets…

This cartoon is a wonderful example of the way in which the nature of what we understand when we see something can be gradually transformed by a series of minuscule shifts in representation. If you could find anyone in the enviable position of never having come across Bush or Blair in what’s fondly termed real life, I wonder if they’d recognise from photographs these wonderful caricatures that, to us, are such strikingly accurate portraits of the two mean vicious little men they represent. They’re accurate because we’ve been brought here, step-by-step, distoirtion by distortion, by Steve Bell, for me the most visually inventive political cartoonist working in Britain. It would be instructive to trace the history of Blair the poodle from his first appearance, some years ago, to this appalling creature panting slavishly beside his impatient master.

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2 Responses to No, no regrets…

  1. Chancelucky says:

    At least your lap dog isn’t prime minister any longer. We still have another year to go with the ape-like creature. I do think Bell’s portrait of the President is sort of insulting to apes though.

  2. I wouldn’t worry — it’s unlikely that apes read the Guardian. It’s hard enough to find a copy in the English suburbs, let alone Africa.Something else that’s struck me about Bush is the ears. They’re incredibly similar to the way the ears of Andreotti are represented by cartoonists. (You can find an example of Andreotti elsewhere on this blog.) Among the things Andreotti and Bush don’t have in common, of course, is intelligence, but they’re both, er, believers…

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