Saturday, January 28, 2012

#22 - WTF

The sentence in the first panel means "Give, I'll grind (the grain), you rest". It is the earliest recorded example of the Polish language, written in a monastic history book in the late thirteenth century. (Details here.) It is a phrase known to almost all Poles.

The joke is that the man, whose short hair identifies him as a lower-class, uneducated person, not only can't understand his own culture, but expresses his incomprehension in crude foreign slang. Cultural colonization by the Anglosphere continues apace.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

#21 - Cow thought

Not much to say about this one except that I find it gets funnier each time I look at it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#20 - Left and Right

Man with microphone: Who do you love more, daddy or mommy?

As mentioned in the previous post, Raczowski often portrays amoral drunks and rigid pietists. Here he puts them together to draw a humorous contrast. The child, as so often in his work, is put on the spot. This is one of the first cartoons of his I encountered.

Raczkowski must have liked this image because he used it again:

Child: What's that mean, "left wing" and "right wing"?

I have no idea which version came first. Note that the clouds are different. This version makes the point explicitly political: from a simple, honest point of view, that of a child, the left are selfish slobs, the right, crazed religionists. Again, a joke made about Polish culture that is relevant in many, many other countries.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#19 - Feast of the Three Drunks

There is a Polish custom on Epiphany in which people chalk the letters "K+M+B" and the year on their front door as a sign of religious faith for the coming year. The letters stand for the traditional names of the three Magi who visited Christ in the manger: Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Raczkowski contrasts the pious person with his neighbour, who has chalked instead the formula for ethanol (drinking alcohol) on his door. Portraying piety and alcoholism as two dominant tendencies in Polish society is a familiar Raczkowskian trope, and the next post will feature one of his funniest renditions.