I’m such a nerd. It seems I’m the only one in the editorial department who can compare the rowdy Flambrarians enraged over a recent hike in property taxes to a famous cartoon drawn in the lead up to the American Revolution:
Nobody seemed to know about the cartoon I was talking about, even though I’ve seen it replicated all over the place, in t-shirts
, wood carvings and tacky tapestries – the kind you see being hawked at U.S. state fairs. A really great HBO miniseries on the life of John Adams
just wrapped up opened each segment with panning closeups of this cartoon accompanied by stirring drumbeat. The above cartoon is based on one which appeared in Ben Franklin’s newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754, according to Early America.com
. It appeared as part of an editorial by Franklin commenting on ‘the present disunited state of the British Colonies.’
The woodcut drawing entitled ‘Join or Die’ pictures a divided snake in eight pieces representing as many colonial governments. The drawing was based on the popular superstition that a snake that had been cut in two would come to life if the pieces were joined before sunset. The drawing immediately caught the public’s fancy and was reproduced in other newspapers.
In my strange view of the world it made for a natural application to the situation in Flamborough. It follows a gathering of a thousand or so angry citizens who packed a hockey arena to vent about the City’s decision to take the revenues of a Flamborough casino. It didn’t run. It appears as though the Join or Die part might only make matters worse. If people around this aren’t going to know what I’m talking about then it’s hardly going to prevent the Flam-bumpkis from wondering out loud.