Nazi Tentacles: The octopus as visual metaphor

i-8a98904599da0f2d3acae01a6f15f19b-Standard.oil.Octopus.7.18.1880.jpg

I recently stumbled across an interesting post (don't ask how I got there; how do you ever end up anywhere on the Web?) about how the octopus has been used as a propaganda symbol, from WW2 to Big Oil, to represent the terrifying Other. Fascinating stuff - read more here for starters, and here is an entire blog on the topic.

i-8b115b4bde05300e43e5b223323d69a4-5-02pic4.jpg

More like this

Artist unknown (National Zoo) Today I visited the Invertebrate House at the National Zoo, where I saw this remarkable churning, twisting portrait of an octopus. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the name of the artist. The painting looks like acrylic or oil, and is about six feet tall - very…
It seems that you can't go to a chic restaurant nowadays without encountering octopus on the menu. Like its cephalopod cousins, octotpus is best cooked according to the "two-minute or two-hour" rule. You can either grill the octopus quickly, imbuing it with a meaty smoke flavor, or you can braise…
According to news reports, a PR firm with close ties to oil companies has distributed a parody of "An Inconvenient Truth" on YouTube. In the corporate video, "Gore appears as a sinister figure who brainwashes penguins and bores movie audiences by blaming the Mideast crisis and starlet Lindsay Lohan…
If our mainstream political discourse is to be believed, the U.S. 'doesn't make anything anymore.' We should all become 'knowledge workers', constantly reinvent our personal brand. Manufacturing--and the engineering it takes to support efficient manufacturing processes--are anachronisms. Hell,…

Prediction: PZ's gonna have an egg case over the misuse of his beloved cephalopods :-P

See, I don't think most people appreciate that the octopus doesn't represent PZ - he IS an octopus. Wearing a college professor suit. It's how he blogs so much - eight tentacles... ;)

How bizarre. There seems to be a trend in some photography with models wearing dead octopi (and various meats). Not sure what that means really.

By Joe Leasure (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink