I’m writing this blog while I’m trying (in vain I should add) to drink a cup of coffee with a totally numbed mouth. I just came from the dentist where I endured a deep cleaning. As I sat on the dentist chair, mouth wide open with an ultrasonic drill scratching away all the plaque I have managed to collect in the last six months, I am reminded of one of my favorite cartoonist’s famous strips. Growing up I was a serious groupie (who am I kidding? Still am) of Argentinian cartoonist Quino and his most famous creation, Mafalda. I have every strip he ever drew and to this day I delight in reading them. He had that uncommon ability to appeal to children as much as adults and be able to tell some very serious truths about the political and social situation in his country at the time and also the world in general. He was drawing these comic strips at a time when the war in Vietnam was still going on. I read them quite a bit later, but his truths were and still are true today.
Just as he was free with the sharp and biting political and social commentary, he was also amazing at articulating common truths, episodes or feelings that came straight from everybody’s life, no matter where you came from or how old you were. One of the funniest sayings of his (or hers, since most of these messages were being delivered by an elementary school girl, Mafalda and her friends) was that the dentist was yet another place where you go, you sit down, open your mouth to say nothing. I can concur 🙂
Mafalda, a precocious little girl who wants peace and justice for the world more than anything else, named her pet turtle “Bureaucracy” (Burocracia). In one strip she reads the definition of democracy in the dictionary and bursts out laughing when it says the government of the people by the people (see below).
I’m always amazed at how relevant she still is today. Mafalda is just a little younger than me (yes, I’m ancient) but while I age, she will always remain the six year old she was when Quino created her. Gotta love her!