Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trojan Footfalls

Annotated Critical Version of Trojan Footfalls

Due to popular demand and some apparent misunderstandings of the cartoon, here is the authoritative gloss.

Panel 1. Business as usual at College of Goats and Sciences. Goats are dancing. The references are to popular songs "I Feel Good" (James Brown) and "Mustang Sally" (Wilson Pickett). No additional meanings. These goats like to dance.

Panel 2. Goat #1 sees something and says in surprise (Gott in Himmel), which means roughly, "Oh my God." Idiom expressing surprise. No other religious or social meaning

Panel 3. The something is a stuffed armadillo, a sort of white elephant souvenir that tourists used to sometimes bring back from Arizona. Sometimes these things are gifted and re-gifted, like many purchases that seemed like a good idea at the time.

Panel 4. Goat #2 issues a warning. The something seen might be a "Trojan Armadillo"--a reference that anyone should be able to understand, alluding to the famous Trojan Horse--the hollow wooden horse by which Greeks gained access to the City of Troy. By means of the Trojan Horse subterfuge, the Trojans, unbeknowst to themselves carried the hidden inside Greek warriors into the City of Troy. The Greeks exited the Horse that night, opened the gates of the city to admit the Greek army, and the city of Troy was destroyed thereby. This is called metaphor. It is the only metaphor in "Trojan Footfalls" and refers to the Arizona State model, (hence the Armadillo) as a Trojan Horse, a strategic device that could through subterfuge lead to the sacking and destruction of the College of Arts and Sciences, Specifically--what is hidden within the ASU model that the College may rue?

Panel 5-6. Goat # 1 does not understand the Trojan Armadillo metaphor. He is confounded and thinks only of the modern day meaning of the Trojan shown in panel 6.

The cartoon refers to no person whatsoever, anywhere, at any point. Nor is there any other metaphor hidden within it. Attempts to impose other metaphors are unauthorized.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I don't see anything but goats here and a kind of oblique warning about the ASC model.

Hail Brian Patrick said...

Wait a minute... are only Brian Patrick toadies and cronies allowed to post fawning comments?

Brian, your wit is ever so sharp! Bravo! Bravo!

Sigh said...

Once again this blog steps in it at exactly the wrong time. Now we'll be debating the attitudes of this blog toward women for the next week and a half.

The Collegian will do a story about it on Thursday to bring it up again and buried in the discussion will be the very serious issue of Arizona State and reorganization.

Your insistence on these flights of fun, Brian, is having a negative impact on the discussions we're having regardless of the fair or unfair way this blog is being positioned. And each time this happens, we lose a few more people who may have taken other arguments in this forum seriously.

Anonymous said...

Sun Tzu’s
The Art of War
Strategy #20
(Confuse your enemy to attack unexpectedly):

“Means that you have to confuse your enemy first by doing unusual, strange or unexpected things. That will distract your enemy and then you can attack with a surprise and that leads to victory.”

No-Sigh said...

I see goats

Anonymous said...

Were any armadillos harmed in the making of this cartoon? I sure hope not.

sir lawrence said...

what is the gender of the armadillo? for that matter, what was the gender of the trojan horse? that might be a good thesis topic in ancient literature!

Bloggie said...

In German: Armadillo = Gurteltier and the gender is neutral.

We might have to convene an international conference.

The Horse is even more problematic.

Anonymous said...

Good question Sir Lawrence and right on-topic! Let's first consider the gender of the TROJAN ARMADILDO. Turns out the goat was on to something.

Establishing the gender of the TROJAN HORSE is not so straightforward. However, historians, long following the logic of Pausanius, have argued convincingly that the TROJAN HORSE was actually a BATTERING RAM with a horse's head on its business end, and thus its gender can be deduced through metaphor as form in search of function.

Moreover, Homer is said to have penned

"Odysseus commanded
his favorite battalion,
'Build me sweet lads
a Trojanean Stallion!'"

as a marginal note in a rare first edition of The Odyssey. This would seem to ascertain its gender for all time. Unfortunately the last extant copy of the first editions was checked out of the Library of Alexandria in the second century BC and never returned.