BRONTOSAURUS MILITARIS

Tim Crow, Cartoon in Peace News, 1937.

Cartoon in Peace News, 1937.

My grandfather was known to his friends as Tim Crow – and it was in this name that he submitted the above entry for a poster competition run by Peace News in 1937. It received an honourable mention by the judge, Arthur Wragg, who commented:

‘As a poster pure and simple it is by far the best submitted. It is simple, it is easy on the eye and splendid for reproduction.

‘Its chief fault is its obscurity of idea – the Latin slogan is too puzzling and too pretentious for a poster. Posters should never seem ‘learned’. Also the little man is too little for the hasty passer-by to ‘pick up’ and register, nor is he representative of the ‘little man’ (Peace News, November 13 1937, p. 5).

Mr Wragg seems to have missed the point here. The joke is in the contrast between the ponderous Latin at the top, contrasted with the simple ‘LOOK OUT” at the bottom.  Brontosaurus Militaris – representing the lumbering bureaucracy of the military Establishment – has a head looking loftily upwards. It seems the head doesn’t know (or won’t admit to) what the hands are doing.

In the end, the cartoon is a piece of wishful thinking. We all know what happened to the brontosaurus …

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love the poster. When my grandmother was in high school, in an obscure South Dakota town, Latin was a normal part of the curriculum. My grandparents were better educated than many college grads, today. Another thing that has deteriorated, is the Christian view of war. Just compare these quotes from a famous Baptist preacher in the 19th Century with today:
    http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/a
    my resource blog on pacifism:
    http://christianpacifismblog.wordpress.com/
    Blessings

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thankyou, Michael, for being the first to respond to my new blog. It’s interesting how Latin came to be regarded as an elite language – but you can see why the Peace Pledge Union might be keen to emphasise accessibility. Thanks, too, for the interesting links…

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