Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4th 2012

Awww. Ronald Searle died. I loved his mischievous, witty, loving, edge of a nightmare, slightly hysterical but somehow wise cartoons.

His images were very much a part of the zeitgeist of the 60's in New York
and were frequently on the cover of the New Yorker or in the magazine.
Sometimes I mixed up Ronald Searle's cartoons with those of Ralph Steadman
Today I learned when Ronald Searle's wife, Monica, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1969, he made an illustration for each time she went for a chemo. The illustrations were of a charming mole, tender and heartfelt. I love the little breasts he drew on the mole. Monica lived until 2010, a year before Ronald's death, December 30th 2011.

47 jewel-like drawings by Ronald Searle made for his wife, Monica, each time she underwent chemotherapy. On New Year’s Eve 1969, Monica Searle was diagnosed with a rare and virulent form of breast cancer. Each time she underwent treatment, Ronald produced a Mrs Mole drawing ‘to cheer every dreaded chemotherapy session and evoke the blissful future ahead’. Filled with light and illuminated in glowing colours, the drawings speak of love, optimism and hope. Like the mediaeval illuminated manuscripts such as the 15th-century Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, to which the title of this book refers, the 47 drawings are on an intimate scale and were never intended for publication.
When asked about the drawings, Searle said, “I have only my talent for drawing, so I drew.” Here’s a little more about them:
Prior to the cancer shock the couple had bought a decrepit house in the south of France and, despite her illness, Monica continued to devote her time making this house a home. 
Devastated with his wife’s diagnosis Ronald did the only thing he knew how to do to cheer her up. .. draw. 
Before every chemotherapy session he gave his wife a painting. Monica was depicted as a mole, a very happy mole celebrating life in their new home. (The Mole idea came after their discovery of a large celler that they made into a cosy room)
‘Everything about them had to be romantic and perfect,’ says Ronald. ‘I drew them originally for no one’s eyes except Mo’s, so she would look at them propped up against her bedside lamp and think: “When I’m better, everything will be beautiful.”

Love the cartoons he did that are on this tribute blog, dedicated to Ronald Searle.

Likable ambient sound. BirdsongRadio.

Mindboggling and quite a bit disturbing thinking that the Pentagon has this. 

My supposed relative, Luther Burbank, would be proud: Renegade arborists creating forbidden fruit in San Francisco

I never thought of deceit before as something used as a tool in order to prevail; a primordial arms race between deceit and deceit-detection, so interesting that.

Why We Lie

Trivers calls deceit a “deep feature” of life, even a necessity, given genes’ brutal struggle to prevail. Anglerfish lure prey by dangling “bait” in front of their jaws, edible butterflies deter predators by adopting the coloring of poisonous species. Possums play possum, cowbirds and cuckoos avoid the hassle of raising offspring by laying their eggs in other birds’ nests. Even viruses and bacteria employ subterfuge to sneak past a host’s immune systems. The complexity of organisms, Trivers suggests, stems at least in part from a primordial arms race between deceit and deceit-detection.

Buddha - I want to have your peace...
your wisdom, your serenity, 
your divine nature...your acorn hat!
Love, Squirrel.

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