Sunday, February 28, 2010


I agree that the amount of attention behind King Philipon's pear-anoia intensified the connection between himself and a pear. In a sense if he had possibly ignored this more it might not have been such an issue. Because this comical image created a stir it attracted more attention. The shape of a persons face, in this case Philipon's was subject for ridicule. Even though his face really does not have any connection to a pear and a pear has really no stand alone offence on the King. George Bush faced similar scrutiny through comic after comic of his face being replaced by a monkeys. The difference between these two is the seriousness of it. I think if Bush had taken these images to court he would have faced even greater destruction through an uncontrollable world of imagery. I think the fact that King philipon was basically taken down or shall i say pear-ilized by a pear is probably the most comical part about it. I think the best defence at times against these kinds of depictions is to either laugh along with it or to not make a big issue out of it.

In a way the shapes of our faces seems harmless, trivial and why care, but to some the shapes of human faces seemed enough to be incriminating. Back in the early 19th century scientists thought that the shape of our skulls had something to do with the way we processed information through our brains. They thought that specific kinds of activity in certain areas of the brains would cause our skulls to form differently. Employers where told to look for certain facial features in relation to job placements. This seems like a bunch of hooey until you look at some court statistics which find that members of jurors will respond to the facial features of the defendants and witnesses. Some studies show that babyface person might be more likely convicted of a negligent crime instead of intentional. Even today some policemen swear that they can identify a criminal by the look on their face. This idea of making relations with facial feathers and criminal intent has seemed to become less prevalent in the US, but still apparent in other countries. The way our minds are set it seems to be in human nature to judge based upon looks. We are hardwired to make assumptions and connections right down to being effected by the color of a room to being able to tell if something has a negative feel. The trusted saying " trust you gut" may apply here. If you find your self alone with a sketchy person your instincts might tell you to get away from them, but if you found yourself alone with an Innocent looking person you might even stay and start up a conversation. Making assumptions and stereotyping is in our nature, thought doesn't have to stay that way.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree with the first part of your statement that the king being so offended by the pare picture was more comic than the picture. The fact that he made such a big deal about it gave the caricature and caricaturist more power. If he just ignored the picture everyone would have had a good laugh, but forgotten all about it eventually. But now it has been used multiple times throughout history as an universal symbol for a corrupt ruler.
    Looking back at history I wonder why anyone bothers to censor anything. It always seems to have the opposite effect than desired. Things that are censured make people interested and consequentially the material becomes more popular.