Saturday, September 22, 2007

ode to laloux

The art of creation is older than the art of killing.
Andrei Voznesensky (b. 1933) Russian poet

this bit of wall art in cleveland's funky tremont neighborhood evokes memories of fantastic planet a wondrously bizarre animated sci-fi film made in the 1970s. although I probably haven't seen the film since the late 1970s, I remember f and I were totally mesmerized by it. along with its cinematographic beauty we found it's political message profoundly relevant. we had a group of friends who shared our passion for sci-fi and we would often go and watch the movies we thought were winners* repeated times. given that this was in the days before vcrs and dvds seeing movies multiple times was real commitment of love - or perhaps madness. however, back then it was fairly cheap to go to the movies and no one gave you a hard time if you smoked in the cinema - a vice a few of us had at the time - and you could bring your own 'treats' to the movies without having to smuggle them in! one particular friend jg was even more captivated with fantastic planet than we were, I think he might have had large passages of dialog memorized (no small feat since it was in french).

reflecting now about jg and his love for this incredible beautifully bizarre film I wonder if the film had any role in his exodus to live in newfoundland. jg moved to newfoundland in 1980 although I haven't seen him since; for years we kept up with the annual end-of-the-year letter and once while holidaying in halifax in the mid 1990s I found his phone number and gave him a ring. jeez it's been a dozen years since then and we have lost touch. I wonder how jg is doing I hope he is still happy up there in the land of puffins and I do hope he and his little oms have avoided the draags. unfortunately for us there seem to be are quite a few draags running amok around this part of north america. some day I would like visit newfoundland, I have a mental picture of the terrain there as somewhat otherworldly. I sure hope they have fantastic planet at the library - I think it's time for a little interplanetary travel.

*most notably star wars we saw star wars more times the spring it was released than I have fingers (jeez I'm such a nerd!)

picture: tremont wall art, cleveland, ohio


Colette Amelia said...

Hey that is one place that I can say I have been to! St. John's Newfoundland and let me say it was like visiting another country. Wonderful place. Wonderful people! I would visit again in a heartbeat.

Hey your mouse medicine clicked something in me brain. The founder of Canadian Medicare Tommy Douglas had a great little parable.


One of Tommy Douglas's most enduring pieces of oratory is the story of Mouseland. It has inspired generations of social activists and progressive leaders alike.

This is the story of a place called Mouseland.

Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played. Were born and died. And they lived much as you and I do. They even had a parliament. And every four years they had an election. They used to walk to the polls and cast their ballot. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. They got a ride for the next four years afterward too.

Just like you and me. And every time on election day, all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big black fat cats.

Now if you think it’s strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats. You just look at the history of Canada for the last ninety years and maybe you’ll see they weren’t any stupider than we are.

Now I am not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows; they conducted the government with dignity. They passed good laws. That is, laws that were good for cats.

But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much physical effort.

All the laws were good laws for cats. But oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it anymore they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse the polls.

They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats. The white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said all that Mouseland needs is more vision. They said the trouble with Mouseland is those round mouse holes we’ve got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouse holes. And they did. And the square mouse holes were twice as big as the round mouse holes. And now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn’t take that anymore they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. And then they went back to the white cats, and then to the black, they even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up with up cats with spots on them. They were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but they ate like a cat.

You see my friends the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cats. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats they naturally look after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends watch out for the little fellow with an idea. He said to the other mice. “Look fellows why do we keep electing a government made up of cats, why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” Oh, they said, he’s a Bolshevik. So they put him in jail. But I want to remind you that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

colette - thanks the story of mouseland is great!

more to come on mouseland on the mouse!

Anonymous said...

Like the art and the story.....must go steal the laptop from the men in my has sound.