Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Fit Two, Page 10, Panel 1
The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies —
Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face!
There are some who might say this artist's conception of the Bellman is a base and underhanded attack upon the same, suggesting as it does that the Bellman was literally birdbrained and furthermore, that his colleagues (depicted here and here) possessed the collective wisdom and general prescience of a flock of chickens on the way to the abattoir.
But this is not the case.
I put it to you that the English penchant for all things avian is well-known. I put it to you that Lewis Carroll populated his verse and prose with many avian and semi-avian portmanteaux (or portmantanimaux?) such as the Jubjub Bird and the Borogrove.
I put it to you that the Bellman has suffered the ill-effects of a Violent Unknown Event and that he has metamorphasized into an avian state common amongst avant-garde English cineastes. The wisdom on his face is actually the smug look of a sporting wallah who finally knows for certain which came first, the chicken or the egg.