January 22, 2013
Teaching with Tentacles
By Donna Seger
I’m back at school for the Spring semester with the typical four-course teaching load, including a modern world history course that I have not taught for some time. So it is time to refresh my arsenal of Powerpoint presentations and maps. An interesting map can quickly catch a college student’s attention as easily as it does a blog reader, and after perusing my various digital collections a bit, I realized that I might be able to teach world history almost exclusively through octopus maps! Or at least nineteenth- and twentieth-century history: the creature does not seem to have been used as a metaphorical device before 1870. I searched in vain for a map or caricature depicting Napoleon as an octopus but could not find one, which is incredulous:few rulers deserve an octopus map to represent their regimes more than the little Corsican!There’s nothing too terribly original about this post: octopus maps have captured the attention of several bloggersbefore me (also see here), but I can’t resist putting my own take out there.
1870 marks a turning point in European and world history with the unification of Germany (as well as Italy):Europe was now “filled out” and further territorial ambitions could only be satisfied by global imperialism and/or war.The maps from this time forward reflect this jingoism and fear, but anthropomorphic satire dulls the edge. One of the first major octopus maps, FredÂ Rose’s “Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877″ shows Russia as the octopus-aggressor rather than Germany, even though the Crimean War had revealed the severe weaknesses of the Russian Empire (this is reflected on the map below by wound on one of the octopus’ tentacles–that which is located in the proximity of the Crimea). From the British perspective that this map represents, it’s a bit early to portray Germany as the aggressor, and so Russia becomes either the ferocious bear or the reaching octopus.
F.W. Rose, “A Serio-Comic Map of the Year 1877″, London:G.W. Bacon & Co., British Library; (an earlier Dutch mapat the University of Amsterdam upon which this map is based is identical except for the wounded tentacle).
A later Rose map, even more obviously depicting the British perspective, is “John Bull and his Friends” from 1900 in which John Bull (Great Britain) faces a continent full of hostile, disinterested, or preoccupied “friends” and an even more threatening octopus-Russia, reaching out in all directions. On the eve of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), a Japanese take on the Serio-Comic map shifts the focus decidedly eastward and portrays Russia as the “black octopus”. And for a completely contrary view, a Japanese print self-identifies with the octopus after the war commenced with the Battle of Port Arthur.
F.W. Rose, “John Bull and his Friends:a Serio-Comic Map of Europe”, London: G.W. Bacon & Co., 1900; K. Ohara, “A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia”, 1904; “Tako no asirai”, The Japanese Octopus of Port Arthur, 1904,Library of Congress.
In addition to aggression and domination, whether threatened or realized, the octopus is just the perfect symbol, visual metaphor, avatar of imperialism, and the period between 1870 and 1914 was the golden age of the “new” imperialism, in which Europeans divided up the world, eager to get their piece before Britain gobbled it all up. Consequently there are probably more images portraying John Bull as the octopus rather than John Bull confronting the octopus, like this famous American cartoon, which was published in PunchÂ in 1882.
Anonymous American cartoon, “The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters”, 1882:John Bull makes a grab for Egypt, initiating the “Scramble for Africa”.
The octopus was not just used externally to criticize an opposing or competitive nation’s policies but also internally on a partisan basis, particularly in America and Britain. This particular sea creature can symbolize greed just as well as territorial expansion, and this was a gilded age as well as an age of imperialism. Consequently we see octopuses portraying greedy capitalistic monopolistsand associated special interests, on both sides of the Atlantic. In America, Puck magazine illustrator Udo Keppler used the octopus to characterize Standard Oil in 1904 and President Wilson’s fight for “business freedom” a decade later, while in Britain its use was more literally land-based:as a Socialist critique of urban “landlordism” around London just prior to World War I, and to depict urban sprawl from a traditional planning perspective.
Udo Keppler octopus illustrations for Puck magazine, 1904 & 1914, Library of Congress; W. B. Northrup’s “Landlordism” postcard and book cover of Clough Williams-Ellis’s England and the Octopus (1928), British Library.
As the octopus was a well-recognized symbol of aggression by the time that World War I broke out, it was only natural that it would appear on several anti-Germany maps.The English and French maps below, from 1915 and 1917 respectively, both single out Prussian aggression, an indication that the militaristic reputation of the new Germany’s northernmost region was still relevant, and the second one (“war is the national industry of Prussia”)Â is explicitly racist, with its German “hun” looming very large indeed.
The “Prussian Octopus” (1915; University of Toronto) and “La Guerre est l’industrie Nationale de la Prusse” (1917; Library of Congress).
There’s an easy transition to the propaganda maps of World War II,when both sides used octopuses to put forward their points of view. Hitler is obviously an easy octopus, as the title and cover of a prescient book published by a correspondent for the Atlantic MonthlyÂ in 1938–just before the Germans moved into Czechoslovakia–boldly asserted.Henry C. Wolfe was trying to wake up the west and he used the octopus to do it.
Once the war began, the very clever German propaganda machine issued an anti-British poster from the perspective of France, which they had occupied:Winston Churchill as octopus reaches out toward French colonial possessions in Africa and the Middle East, echoing the imperial competition of the later nineteenth century. The bleeding tentacles–theÂ amputations– indicate that Germany is preventing an English takeover of the French empire, even as it occupies France itself!
“Have Faith”: German anti-British propaganda poster, Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
As you can imagine, when the real war is over and the Cold War commences, the octopus continues to flourish as a symbol of rampant (anti-American) capitalism and rampant (anti-Soviet) communism, as well as rampant consumerism, evangelical Christianity and Islam, and a host of other perceived threats. However, cephapodal cartography is not subtle, and I think it lost much of its resonance in the later twentieth-century world, after the very literal 1950s.
British Economic League anti-Communist pamphlet, Archives of the Trades Union Congress and Warwick University Cold War Archive.
Now octopuses are rather whimsical, rather than threatening. I superimposed one on a cropped frame of a beautiful 1771 map of Salem and its vicinity and found it charming rather than ominous:what would they have been afraid of then?Definitely redcoats and tax collectors.What are we afraid of now?
http://streetsofsalem.com/2013/01/22/te ... tentacles/
ROCKAFELLA SKANK & THE ROTHSCHILD OCTOPUS: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY? (Must be about the power or souls then)... Fatboy Slim
2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony London, DJ Fatboy Slim Rockafella skank2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony London, Rothschild family octopus2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony London, Rockefeller Standard Oil Octopus
2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony London, Jessie J Pricetag convertible
The set opened up in a psychedelic mood as Russell Brand came riding in on a psychedelic bus announcing he was going to open up your mind. After singing Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and I Am The Walrus from the Beatles he introduced the DJ Fatboy Slim whom the announcers said "had the whole nation under his spell in the 90s". The bus transformed into a huge octopus with eight tentacles as he played Right Here, Right Now and then followed that up with his hit Rockafella Skank. The octopus is a reference to the Rothschild banking dynasty from the 1890s to present day which includes the Rockefeller family and perhaps even something more sinister such as the tentacles of the parasite Archons that invade the mind. The following performers all rode in fancy convertibles. First was Jessie J singing Price Tag whose message "It's not about the money" seemed hypocritical.
German newspaper is accused of anti-Semitic propaganda worthy of the Nazis after publishing cartoon depicting Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus
Cartoon in influential German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung
Published after announcement that Facebook had bought Whatsapp
Zuckerberg resembles caricature of Jewish people used in Nazi propaganda
Newspaper has apologised and released an updated version of the cartoon
Süddeutsche Zeitung accused of anti-Semitism for another image last year
By Kate Lyons
PUBLISHED: 05:19, 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 05:20, 25 February 2014
The German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, has been accused of anti-Semitism after it published a cartoon depicting Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus controlling the world.
The cartoon was published in the newspaper last Friday after the announcement that Facebook had purchased Whatsapp. Two versions were published, one with the caption ‘Krake Zuckerberg’, the other ‘Krake Facebook’ – Facebook Octopus and Zuckerberg Octopus.
In the drawing, the 29-year-old Facebook founder is portrayed with a hooked nose, fleshy lips and curly hair, features ascribed to Jewish people in Nazi cartoons.
Zuckerberg Octopus: The cartoon was published in Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper last week and has led to accusations of anti-Semitism
The cartoon was ‘starkly reminiscent’ of anti-Semitic Nazi era cartoons, Efraim Zuroff from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre told the Jerusalem Post.
‘[I]f anyone has any doubts about the anti-Semitic dimension of the cartoon, we can point to Mark Zuckerberg’s very prominent nose, which is not the case in real life,’ said Mr Zuroff who added that he found the cartoon, 'Absolutely disgusting!'
The cartoon depicts Mr Zuckerberg, who was raised Jewish but now describes himself as an atheist, as an octopus grasping at computers around him. In one of his tentacles he holds the logo of Whatsapp, the instant messaging service his company recently purchased for $19billion.
Jews were commonly depicted as octopuses, spiders, vampires and devils in Nazi-era propaganda, such as this poster from 1938
‘The nefarious Jew/octopus was a caricature deployed by Nazis. That was used pretty much as a staple by the Nazis in terms of their hateful campaign against the Jews in the 1930s. [An] exaggerated Jewish nose removes any question if this was unconscious anti-Semitism,’ Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre told Algemeiner.
‘Mark Zuckerberg is fair game for the media, including German media, but no German should deploy such caricatures,’ he said.
The cartoonist, Burkhard Mohr, apologised for the offence his cartoon caused in an email to the Jerusalem Post on Monday.
‘Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies which are totally foreign to me,’ he wrote. ‘It is the last thing I would do, to defame people because of their nationality, religious view or origin.’
The newspaper took to Twitter on Monday to address the issue, writing simply: ‘We apologise for the cartoon.’
Mr Mohr released an updated version of the cartoon this week, replacing Zuckerberg’s face with a blank rectangular hole.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung came under fire for publishing a cartoon that seemed to depict the State of Israel as a ravenous monster.
The cartoonist Burkhard Mohr apologised for the offence he caused and released an updated version of the cartoon without Mark Zuckerberg's face
The cartoon as it originally appeared in the newspaper last Friday. It bears the caption 'Krake Zuckerberg', or Zuckerberg Octopus
Cartoonists have often used the image of an octopus to portray a global power taking over the world, such as this poster showing fear at the reach of the U.S. and this cartoon from 1994 depicting Microsoft's expansion
The image dates back a long way, this cartoon depicting the colonial reach of England was published in America in 1888
A Japanese cartoon shows the fear at the reach of Communist Russian into Asia
"A little sinister!!" The story behind National Reconnaissance Office's octopus logo
"It's really neat to me. It's kind of saying the enemy has nowhere to run."
by JPat Brown - January 19, 2016
When the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced the upcoming launch of their NROL-39 mission back in December 2013, they didn't get quite the response they had hoped.Ready for launch? An Atlas 5 will blast off at just past 11PM, PST carrying an classified NRO payload (also cubesats) pic.twitter.com/ll7s0nCOPg
— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) December 5, 2013
That might have had something to do with the mission logo being a gigantic octopus devouring the Earth.
The logo was widely lampooned as emblematic of the intelligence community's tone-deafness to public sentiment. Incidentally, an octopus enveloping the planet also so happens to be the logo of SPECTRE, the international criminal syndicate that James Bond is always thwarting. So there's that.
Privacy and security researcher Runa Sandvik wanted to know who approved this and why, so she filed a FOIA with the NRO for the development materials that went into the logo. A few months later, the NRO delivered.
The 15-page file clears up a lot of questions surrounding the logo approval process - rather than simply being somebody's bad idea that just didn't get squashed, it turns out the octopus had made it across many, many desks before that final OK.
As for the question of "why a giant octopus," the NRO offers up these two clunky paragraphs, written with all the verve of a ninth-grader who only made it two-thirds of the way through the book.
If that imagery comes off as somewhat forced, there's a reason for that - an article for what appeared to be the ODNI's internal magazine reveals the "secret origin" of the octopus, which has less to do with an admiration of mollusca and more with a faulty component called an "octopus harness."
That article draws from a speech made by the Mission Manager - a full transcription of his remarks are included in the file, and they expand upon NRO's capabilities with a charming obliviousness to just how terrifying all this sounds.
So, we now have have some context as to how the octopus was selected, as well as the type of people doing the selecting. But one questions remains - did anybody, at any point, make any mention this might not be a good idea?
The only reservation expressed in the file is right there on the first page, written in blue marker - "A little sinister!!"
You think? Also note that right above is the final "Ok" that approved the logo, so they must draw the line at three exclamation marks. NROL-39 just made the cut.
Read the file embedded below, or on the request page.
Wombaticus Rex » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:19 pm wrote:I really need a T-Shirt of that badge, though.
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