Standard Oil

One of the earliest references to the Standard Oil as an “octopus” was in an article that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, in March 1881. ‘The Story of A Great Monopoly‘: “So closely had the Standard octopus gripped itself about Mr. Vanderbilt [railroads] that even at the outside rates its competitors could not get transportation […]

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“Locataires ne vous laissez plus etouffer. Oui a la loi contre la speculation fonciere.” A 2000 poster urging tenants “to vote for a law against property speculation.” From an article on the use (and abuse) of animals in political poster campaigns (“Exploiting the animals we love to hate“, 6th Feb 2009, swissinfo.ch). Related to late 1800s/early […]

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Who you gonna call?

Just wanted to point you in the direction of this blog post by Rob MacDougall (Old is the New New).   Norris, Lovecraft, Ghostbusters, the Book of Enoch, Octopuses and Bldgblog. “But The Octopus, and the whole Gilded Age octopus thing, predate Lovecraft by a few decades. Maybe the influence went the other way. Could Lovecraft’s octopoid monstrosities be […]

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Octopus as Chimera

Just a few rough ideas based on hybridity in political cartoons of octopus and other in order to develop a nomenclature for the different types of “octopuses” that appear in political cartoons. With the exception of the human/octopus combination, hybridity only makes up a small proportion of monstrous octopuses in political cartoons. To dehumanise (i.e. […]

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Subterfuge

The octopus is often drawn as intelligent, mendacious and deceitful. The octopus tries to present itself as something other than an octopus. These include: appearing as the bearer of gifts in the Forty Thieves, as a Trojan Horse, misdirection in the “Hunting the Octopus” or as treasure on an island. This was a relatively common […]

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Arms Around the World

It is a staple of the octopus metaphor in propaganda and cartoons to plop an octopus on a globe to represent the threat to civilisation that group X presents. A selection: Circa 1938 a German cartoon (Seppla) showed Churchill as a Jewish octopus with his arms around the globe. 1945: A French cartoon in showed Hitler […]

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Arms Around the World Spoof (2008) (I told you there were fish in this thing)

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How Communism Works (~1938 ) Source: http://wpscms.pearsoncmg.com/wps/media/objects/1693/1733989/images/img_w066.html

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Of Maps and Octopuses

The following is a selection of octopuses with maps (or maps with octopuses). States are most typically represented as octopuses when it comes to maps, however, Landlords, Jews and Free Masons have also been shown as octopuses juxtaposed with cartography. I have excluded octopuses on globes for this selection, as the symbolism differs from a […]

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Les Monopoles (Carrère, P. ~1919, Published by: Chachoin for Union des interets economiques) The return of the red pieuvre: l’Etat monopole (state monopolies) or Etatiste (statist). I have included “l’Etat Monopole” beneath “Les Monopoles” to compare the two. Both with the red octopus, most of the figures are represented in both, they are, essential the same image. “LES MONOPOLES […]

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