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June 19, 2008


The Modesto Kid

Your troglodytes seem more enthusiastically into the shadow-play than I ever envisioned them being. Thinking about it just in this moment it strikes me that you're probably right -- after all they think it is reality, and think so passionately enough to assault the man who tells them they should turn away from the screen. Before now I have usually pictured them as gaping an├Žsthetized at the screen, but that doesn't really fit.

(I think about the allegory of the cave a lot -- it is about all I really got out of my readings of Plato in college, but it has really stayed with me.)


Thanks, Modesto. Yeah, some people imagine them as more zombie-like. I actually already have one stock cave drawing - non Flora-style - in which they look more zoned-out. Neither fits perfectly. They are supposed to be chained. That implies passivity. Yet I think we are also supposed to think of it as a riotous scene, with shadows and lights - a big stupid festival of shadows.

ben wolfson

You don't need to chain people who are passive anyway.


that's true. Chains don't imply passivity but there's nothing in the story about how the prisoners are constantly struggling against their chains. They resist having them broken. You don't normally need to chain people who resist having their chains removed. Typical Plato. He's trying to complain about too many things at once.


I like that you've married the Flora style to this kind of Greek vase thingy. Was that intentional?

It reminds me of Mel-O-Toons somehow. Classic cartoons.



thanks ozma, I am kinda going for that flat vase look, if that's what you mean. Mel-O-Toons! Thanks! I hadn't ever seen that before, I think.


About chains. It seems to me their resistance to having their chains broken -- their current passivity -- comes from the fact that they've *always* been chained. I imagine they don't even recognize the bindings AS chains. It's all they've ever known, like the shadows. They literally can't imagine an outside to the situation -- so they can't see it as an inside either.

But this common-sense attitude of theirs comes from habituation, right? You have to have the prisoners always chained to begin with if you want them to become so used to the chains' presence that the things eventually go unnoticed.

And if I remember correctly, their "prisoners" reaction to the returned "escapee" isn't that they like their chains -- or that they're too passive to join him. They think he's just crazy. They laugh at him, his inability to see straight.

Oh... and the pictures are great! It's nice to see cartooning used to visualize and re-imagine (as opposed to just adding a jokey spin on things).

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