Monday, April 28, 2008

On lost cockatiels. I'm quite glad now that I photographed Archie's little shrine because it is all gone now, except for a shiny strip of tape still clinging to the tree. I don't know if the people who live in the nearby houses were uncomfortable about having a cat shrine outside their house, or if the council got rid of it, or maybe Archie's owners had second thoughts and took it all away.

But something about the bathos of lost pet posters really gets to me, which is why I was intrigued by this poster for a lost cockatiel. These have been plastered to poles all around my neighbourhood, carefully encased in clear packing tape to protect them from the weather.

In case it's difficult to read, it says: "Missing since 26/03/08, Carlton area. Max is 4 years old. He is grey and has a yellow crest and orange cheeks. He says 'Good boy' and sings little tunes. If you have seen him or know of his whereabouts please call [phone numbers]."

But then last weekend I was reading the paper and came across the following Michael Leunig cartoon on the back of the A2:

Now, Leunig generally likes to purvey a kind of cuntish lefty cynicism, generously larded with whimsy. When this works, it comes across as humorous or poignant. But I can't really work out what the point of this cartoon is, apart from making fun of people who put up lost pet posters. I mean, the names of the cockatiels vaguely connote public figures (I instantly thought of "Alan" as Alan Jones, whom Crikey nicknamed "The Parrot"; "Kevin" and "Julia" are the PM and deputy PM; "Kylie" is La Minogue), so I read the descriptions looking for veiled comments about these people, but only the most obtuse jokes suggested themselves to me.

Also, it immediately struck me that Leunig surely must have seen the poster pleading for Max's return. Ugh, the thought of Leunig creeping around my neighbourhood... NIMBY! NIMBY!

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