Englisch & Sport am Gymnasium ... und ein bisschen Tango


LK Abitur 2010 Auf­ga­be I Com­po­si­ti­on Topic 4: Descri­be the fol­lo­wing car­toon and com­ment on it.

Dank an Max Mül­ler für ver­schie­de­ne Kor­rek­tu­ren und Verbesserungsvorschläge.

Trotz der expli­zi­ten Anwei­sung „Descri­be“ möch­te ich natür­lich, wie immer KEINE rei­ne Beschrei­bung haben. Wenn ein Schü­ler die Anwei­sung befolgt, hat er aber natür­lich auch kei­nen Nachteil.

The dys­to­pian sce­na­rio of the car­toon is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by ubi­qui­tous CCTV sur­veil­lan­ce that reminds one of Geor­ge Orwell’s “Big Brot­her Is Wat­ching You”. The grim-faced poli­ce­man in the back­ground is loo­king for evil­doers through a pair of bino­cu­lars, while sit­ting on top of an enorm­ous tank fit­ted with anten­nae, all sym­bols of total con­trol by the sta­te. Like in Huxley’s “Bra­ve New World”, peo­p­le are divi­ded into “cas­tes”, which seem to have dif­fe­rent rights (cf. the cas­te-spe­ci­fic cur­few hours). The unhap­py expres­si­on on the left man’s face con­veys the mono­to­no­us exis­tence within an ubi­qui­tous sur­veil­lan­ce sta­te, an impres­si­on that is rein­forced by the rather ste­ri­le choice of colors and shapes. Ever­yo­ne wears the same uni­form clo­thes, with no dif­fe­rence in shape or color. The state­ment of the man on the right strikes one as rather ridi­cu­lous, as the­re is obvious­ly not the sligh­test chan­ce for anar­chy to deve­lop under such an oppres­si­ve regime. You can also tell by the man’s facial expres­si­on that he feels inti­mi­da­ted by the sur­veil­lan­ce came­ra trai­ned on him. Not dar­ing to utter any cri­ti­cism of the sys­tem, he par­rots the govern­ment pro­pa­gan­da line about fight­ing anar­chy ins­tead. The bru­tal machi­nery of total sur­veil­lan­ce shows that even harm­less citi­zens are trea­ted as poten­ti­al sub­ver­si­ves, which inten­si­fies the men­acing atmo­sphe­re of a mer­ci­less tota­li­ta­ri­an sta­te bent on total control.

In my opi­ni­on the cartoon’s mes­sa­ge is to warn against an all-powerful sta­te. Intru­si­on into people’s pri­va­cy has beco­me ubi­qui­tous in recent years, e.g. in Bri­tain almost every public place is moni­to­red by came­ras. In the US the noto­rious “Home­land Secu­ri­ty Act” has also made snoo­ping on citi­zens much easier. The car­too­nist pro­ba­b­ly wants to point out that we should resist any new laws that might lead towards such an Orwel­li­an sur­veil­lan­ce state.

(295 words)


Alea non iacienda est

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  1. Max

    Erstaun­lich fand ich, dass die­se Kari­ka­tur nicht nach 9/11 ver­öf­fent­licht wur­de, son­dern aus dem Jahr 1968 stammt. Cobb ist ein erstaun­lich weit­sich­ti­ger Künstler!


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