Monday, July 20, 2009

Semiotic Desecration

Defamiliarized - try to read this first

Three roundish orbs dominate the picture plane. Two of the circular objects are jet black, empty vacuous spaces ready to pounce on an empty head. The largest shape is also circular and envelops facial like features. There are three black points cradling the features, each point is needle point sharp, ready to penetrate a flat face. The eyes are also vacantly black, over a nose-like oval with implied depth. Everything is plastic and fake looking finishing up with a red and black mouth. This geometrically contrasted face is surrounded by rays of golden light with a label in the upper corner. Never forget that this is not just any mouse, this is a corporate mouse with legions of followers.

This iconic picture is almost considered a photograph of a real entity. Worldwide viewers can immediately recognize the face and poster animal of cartoons. Without Mickey in the beginning we couldn't have grown from the Flintstone's into the Simpson's and so on. Mickey Mouse actually signifies something like this old cartoon clip (see below) in my mind, a tradition in physical comedy with adult themes. It can be easy to criticize America's favorite rodent because in some minds he can be seen as a pimp with a brothel of princesses, but this is not his true purpose. Currently the label of Disney uses a silhouette of the Mouse head, but this picture is specifically an older version reminiscent of his cartoon character as opposed to modern label. This is why the yellow, red, black and white can actually have a very positive connotation of nostalgia and a pre-princess porn empire. This picture is Mickey as a source of laughter and pure pleasure.

(All extremes aside I do love me some good cartoons. I was actually looking for the Jack and the Beanstalk giant clip, but this clip sparked a lot of ideas. Notice how the King is depicted, and how Minnie is treated as coin. I remember the giant smoking that hay and eating those pumpkins all too well- we won't ever find Elmo doing that- and I'm forced to think/believe that is a good thing)

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