Jul 21 2011

#82 “The Night is Young”

As a child of the 1980s, a strong sense of nostalgia pulls me¬†towards almost anything that represents that decade. Fashion, music, television, celebrities, it doesn’t matter. If it’s from the 80s, it holds a special place in my heart. I believe that is why I love this particular illustration so much. There is simply something about this picture that takes me back to those Saturday mornings spent watching A.C. Slater call Zach Morris a “preppy” which would then transform into afternoons practicing hopelessly on my neon yellow skateboard and then morph further into nights of listening to REM on my Walkman.

The skateboard, shades and t-shirt slogan are the elements that speak most clearly to me, and while they may not necessarily be designed to intentionally suggest an 80s vibe, I feel that the spirit of these items undeniably reference that decade of pure excess in an understated (if not overt) manner.

Also, though, when I look at this wonderful illustration, I am reminded of a very modern video that I ran across just recently. The name of this viral vid is called “Carving the Mountains,” and it features a group of very talented young ladies called the Longboard Girls Crew. I know very little about this group of hardcore skater chicks except for the fact that they have completely mesmerized me with their breathtaking performance in the beautiful Madrid Mountains.

As you can see, the connection between the illustration and the video is somewhat obvious. The wolf appears to be riding a longboard, just like the “foxy” girls in the video; and based on the fact that the wolf is wearing high heals, we can only assume that she is female. Besides this, the fashion sense of the wolf and the ladies seems somewhat congruent, and clearly no one can argue that both are just about as “boss” and “radical” as they come.

The night may be young, but alas, I am not as young as I used to be. I guess my vicarious life begins now. Skate on, wolf. Skate on, ladies. Skate for me while you still can. Skate for me so I can remember…

Jul 3 2011

#64 “A new take on an old story”

From Derek in Goodlettesville, Tennessee

Children’s stories and nursery rhymes often hold a special place in our hearts. Whether these timeless tales revolve around bears and bowls of porridge or dwarves and sleepy princesses, we seem to take comfort in their dependability. While the rest of the world zips by at an amazingly speedy pace and is constantly changing, we can rest in the static nature of these time-honored stories from our youth and use them to transport our minds to a simpler time when heros were always brave and true and good always triumphed over evil.

In turn, though, when one of these classic tales is twisted or altered, it can strike us as shocking, grotesque and deeply disturbing. Take the wolf that is on display today for example. Upon a cursory examination, it may appear to be nothing more than a traditional rendering of The Big Bad Wolf dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. However, the more I examined this picture, the more that I realized that this was not an illustration that is true to the original tale. It is, in fact, a disturbingly twisted perversion.

The first indicator that something is off here is the fruit-adorned hat. Popularized by the sexy Brazillian actress Carmen Miranda in her 1943 film “The Gang’s All Here,” the fruit hat is in many ways a symbol of eroticism. The luscious foods that top the hat are swollen and engorged and speak of desire and temptation. They are sweet and their colors are bright and attention-grabbing. Many of the fruits can be perceived as phallic symbols that send our minds wandering into darkened alleyways of sexual fantasy. When you combine this with the piercing green eyes and seductive grin on the face of this wily wolf, you’ll notice a creature that is bent on abating a hunger that goes deeper than merely filling the belly.

Yes, dear readers, this wolf is an evil seductress capable of inflicting more damage than Jezebel herself. I know it may be tempting to wonder what lies beneath those sheets, but don’t be fooled. Don’t deem yourself morally strong enough to resist the temptation. Take one step nearer and you’ll be caught by those viciously enticing claws in an ever-lasting grip of lupine lust from which you may never return.

The thought of a wolf disguised as a grandmother and hiding in a bed to murder an approaching child is bad enough, but to witness one in the guise of a Chiquita Banana seductress laying in wait with a demonic sexual appetite to prey upon those easily led astray… well, that is an image that will stay with me for a long, long time…