Stalin was a hypocrite.

The Movember 19th cartoon is of a Communist leader Joseph Stalin. The statesman who sacrificed all in his quest for the ideal State. He expected the ultimate commitment from everyone but himself.

Joseph Stalin

Things that are far from nice look nice from afar. As humanity gets further away from the Second World War it has become lulled into a false sense of security and idealism. So much so that it has begun to flirt with the idea of Socialism again.

Marx expected that Socialism would take root in the lower proletariat working class. But he was wrong, it took root in the lowest serf class in rural Russia. Now middle-class leisure politics has spawned a new era of hypocritical, lazy, virtue-signalling socialists.

They will not do anything to change the less fortunate people’s lives but rather than sacrifice their middle-class comforts and amenities, they look to the State to fix social inequality.

This selfishness runs through human nature. Even Socialism and Communism suffered from the effects of Greed, Power and Self Interest. The greatest Communism that ever lived didn’t hesitate to force others to pay the price for his ideological goals.

C.S Lewis said: “The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”

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Frank Zappa: A mother Of Invention.

Frank Zappa is the subject of my Movember Illustration for November the 18th. An enigmatic genius that blew my mind in my college years!

If you’ve listened to Frank Zappa and had not been blown away, you’re missing something. As a keen young musician at college, I heard Frank Zappa’s ‘Joes Garage’ for the first time whilst on a project day trip with other fellow students and it blew me away.

I had never heard such musical mastery in such creative and violently original ways. As an aspirant drummer I focussed intently on the percussion or the rhythm section and the drumming was amazing. One of my great drumming influences is Vinnie Colaiuta who played with Frank for many years. He recalls how difficult it was to audition for Frank Zappa and I now understand why. Frank Zappa chose to surround himself with alternative genius talent to match his own. I doubt anyone less inspired and insane could have cracked that gig.

The fondest memory of discovering Frank Zappa was actually the return trip in an Alfa Junior Sprint . There were far too many students piled into one small car and a spectacularly beautiful girl called Elizabeth sat on my lap for about 2 hours. I fondly remember that album with the halcyon days of being a carefree student. Pushing the boundaries and trying out new things. Precisely Frank Zappa.

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Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame.

Dr. John Watson is the sidekick to the famous Sherlock Holmes and the subject of todays’ Movember 17th moustache cartoon.

hound, dog, hunter, magnifying glass, Edwardian, detective, doctor, face hair, sideburns, beard, learn, discover, undercover, uncover, reveal, expose, determine
Dr John Watson. I actually know a real John Watson, and he is every bit the rugged old War Horse and true gentleman that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle imagined him to be.

In the fictions, Dr. Watson is Sherlock Holme’s closest ally and partner in the great detective’s endeavours. Watson is rugged, dependable and always ready to pitch in and sort things out. The good doctor is often misguided and makes mistakes. The older man is a great counterpoint to Holmes’ incisive and observant character. Sort of like your trusty old hound dog

Dr. Watson reminds me of a typical Labrador. I tried to make my Dr. Watson look like an archetypal ‘dependable hound’. He is enthusiastic, reliable, tough, true and forthright.

I practice building nemonic triggers into characters as a means to create archetypes for Dave Snowden. He has developed a methodology to unravel and understand human behavioural and complexity. This is named ‘Cynefin‘. Dave or Sonja Blignaut can explain what this framework means. This framework I believe exposes complexities and designs interventions to help companies improve their situation and culture. If you recognise problems in your corporate culture you should give them a call.

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Movember 13: Poirot

Hercule Poirot not only is Agatha Christie’s greatest creation, he sports an immaculate moustache. Perfect subject matter for Movember.

To be a detective you can’t afford to be wrong. If you miss the mark just once it could have terrible consequences. An innocent person might be put in jail. The weight of that responsibility must heighten the senses of someone like Hercule Poirot.

I’ve always admired the detective, fictional or otherwise. I wonder how they piece together all those seemingly innocuous bits of information and arrive at the correct answer? I’m insatiably curious. I love to ferret out information but I often find that I have misunderstood something.

My bias is my enemy in this regard, I frequently trip over my own assumptions. I am learning to ask the right questions and building on what I know to be true already is the secret of successfully navigating reality.

As a cartoonist or an artist, observation is everything. When you are searching for something you have lost you find things faster by understanding what you are looking at first. Slow, deliberate, conscious observation defines everything far more clearly.

You learn about things faster if you take time to grasp and digest your discoveries. Then add that new information to what you know and understand already. Build a pyramid of knowledge.

We often don’t see the wood for all the trees. Keen observation encourages us to live in the moment and see things much more clearly. Living a more productive and efficient life is all about thinking like a detective.

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Movember 11: Hitler

No collection of moustaches would be complete without the most evil moustache of all time.

Hilter’s Moustache
Hitler

The profile of a maniacal mass-murdering incompetent crazy man. One ‘nazti’ little crittur. People today fear the rise of the right and they falsely assume Conservatism will cascade into fascism.

Youths opposed to fascism believe they are pushing back the possibilities of the reemergence of Nazi (National Socialism) ideology.

I find this astounding. Antifa who claim to be anti-fascist seem to behave in a typical fascist fashion. They demonise and physically attack their political opponents with typical Manichaean intolerance: Them vs. Us, Black vs. White, Evil and Good. Such dualism is a prerequisite to fascist behaviour. The irony is that Antifa act precisely like the evil they seek to overcome. They consequently provoke intolerance and division.

Perhaps we all have misunderstood the term. Maybe the term should be AnteFa? 😉

Movember 10: Remembrance Day

Those that survived the great wars are old now, but we must never forget the price paid by millions of men. It is a privilege to live in a free world.

The Old Soldier.

My dad Robert Henry Hooper flew in WW2. He flew dive bombers. Kittyhawks, Typhoons, Hurricanes and Mustang P-51’s. He rarely spoke of those times, but when he did he spoke highly of his enemies and gave them credit for their skill as anti-aircraft gunners. He almost didn’t make it home on a couple of occasions. Once he got hit by shrapnel that went straight through his under seat armour and got embedded in his parachute. On the other occasion he nursed his plane home with ammo boxes exploding and huge holes in his wings and fuselage. A lesser pilot wouldn’t have made it home. He was apparently very, very good. What a guy. I am proud to be his son. What shoes to fill!

Movember 09: Rasputin

The evil Rasputin was the downfall of the Romanovs but I experienced a wild-eyed zealot who changed my future for the better.

Tallie van Rasputin

In my youth I knew a man called Tallie van Aswegen who most reminds me of the Russian Mystic Rasputin who was operating about the time of the fall of the Royal House of Romanov. They look similar and both had deep convictions.

He was charming with an infectious smile, bright eyes with an unruly beard and moustache. He wore shabby tracksuits & beanie and was constantly monologuing, including some very memorable sayings (You better flippin’ believe it!) and drove around in his ‘Tribulation Wagen’ – a clapped-out old VW Beetle which endeared him to me. This modern-day Rasputin differed in his hospitality. His home was an endless stream of young people, dialogue and cups of rooibos tea. He loved music too and always had great new music to share and exciting things to discuss.

I am certain he hasn’t changed. If not (and we are to assume an afterlife) he is definitely resting in Abraham’s bosom. Unlike Grigori Rasputin who is most likely in the other place. 😉

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Movember 07: Shakespeare.

Shakespeare has always captivated me and inspired my cartoonist’s imagination. He was a witty and incisive writer who pulled no punches.

I’m sitting working at The Royal Shakespeare Company today, and I thought I’d give the old geezer a nod. Those old guys sure knew how to rock a ’stash. So here is Will in all his glory, I think his enormous forehead suggests he had quite brain on him. It comes as no surprise then that William Shakespeare defined English and literature for the eons to follow.

There is a lesson to be learned here: Shakespeare was crafting popular narrative for his day. He seemed unconcerned about the effect he would have on literature for the rest of history. Perhaps we all need to understand there is no such thing as a sense of greatness or historical impact. Rather that we simply keep plodding away and doing our best.

Let future generations decide who and what we are – we have no agency there. That is the best we can hope for in life.

It’s intriguing how differently Shakespeare appears in all the renditions of his face. In some respects it seems Steve Lukather of Toto might be his reincarnation!

Follow me on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to see more of my Daily Movember doodles and other cool stuff… 😀

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