Monday, 25 January 2010

Well i've not been drawing too much, as my brother has been ill and I can't take all my pens back to my parents! But I have been looking at Hark, A Vagrant! pretty much obsessively, and I found a cartoon on one of Kate Beaton's affiliated sites that I thought rather captured my own creative process. Just substitute philosophical for historical, and the admiral guy for some dude in a toga.

I might try and get on twitpic soon, when I can make more than one cartoon a week!

becca xo

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

old joke, new pic

ladies and gentlemen,

the unbearable lightness of Being...


Monday, 18 January 2010

Alvin, Simon and Theodor W. Adorno

i only just realised how long it's been since i put up a post: sorry about that, it's partly cos i've been busy, partly because I've  been doing this cartoon in COLOUR which always takes ages...

The idea of this cartoon began with changing Alvin, Simon and Theodor (the chipmunks) into Alvin, Simon and Fyodor Dostoyevsky: but it ends up working better with neo-Marxist thinker Theodor W.Adorno, not only because he does look a little like a chipmunk, but also because you can change the words of the Chipmunk's classic Alvin's Harmonica to incorporate a reference to Adorno's co-author Max Horkheimer, AND a quotation from Adorno's Minima Moralia!:                 
  'Every visit to the cinema, despite the utmost watchfulness, leaves me dumber and worse than before. Sociability itself is a participant in injustice, insofar as it pretends we can still talk with each other in a frozen world, and the flippant, chummy word contributes to the perpetuation of silence, insofar as the concessions to those being addressed debase the latter once more as speakers.' S. 5             
                                                        Statements like these often do just seem a bit opposed to common-sense, but i think his idea is actually pretty interesting, although my understanding of his work is not very deep. The  general idea seems to be that our language originated under different economic conditions, and the objects it referred to then, no longer exist under the economic conditions of capitalism. Most importantly, when we attempt to identify the 'free subject' described by our language, we cannot point to a real example of such a subject. Capitalism, as an economic totality, already structures our choices, so we cannot make a choice that is totally free. Either we work to pay the rent or we go and live in a squat and risk continual eviction, but we stand in relation to capitalism, not outside it.

The idea that we can't escape a legal or economic system but that we always stand in relation to it is a common one: what is interesting for Adorno is that this is a problem rooted in language. As such, we can't truthfully even describe an alternative: this is why Adorno sees the 'chummy word' as participating in injustice. Our language itself separates us from each other, because it does not really refer to the world we experience, or the person we are attempting to address.

So he would probably hate the chipmunks... oops.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Nothing to lose but their....?

 This cartoon refers to the famous lines from The Communist Manifesto: 'the workers have nothing to lose but their chains. they have a world to win. workers of the world unite!' The idea that Marx might have been referring to a giant game of musical chairs seemed too humourous to resist, although I am beginning to realise how the humour of my comics is perhaps not quite so sophisticated as I once thought....!!!

You can read about the Communist Manifesto here, or better still read it in full here (it's not very long). That second site ( is a wonderful site with loads of texts by a range of different socialist and marxist theorists. Which reminds me, stay tuned for the next Being & Tim featuring Alvin, Simon and Theodor Adorno as the Chipmunks....!


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Throwing away the ladder...

In the Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus, the book where the young Wittgenstein claimed to solve all the problems of philosophy, he includes the following elliptical remark:

''My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) (6.54)''

Not hard to see how that led to this cartoon

The Tractatus is one of my least favourite philosophical texts, mainly because I don't have a particularly ''logical'' mind: however I remain intrigued by Wittgenstein, not only his later works, but the man himself. Not only is he also quoted as saying that 'A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes,' a motto I have modestly decided to adopt for Being & Tim (!) but also, 'I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves'!!! What a guy! (Those quotes and more can be found here)

I bet he did throw like a girl though.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Being Ready-to-hand

Being Ready-at-hand is one of Martin Heidegger's words to describe the way we interact with the world and what better way to commemorate it than with a visual pun!

Also I thought I'd experiment with shades of grey: initially this way because I thought it'd be quicker, but now I just think it looks a bit more stylised...

Another thing I have been enjoying is the most excellent historical comic Hark a Vagrant! Go and have a look!

Once again Happy New Year, I'm saying it every day until tomorrow, when I guess it stops being socially appropriate.
becca xo

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Hello and Happy New Year from Being & Tim! Sorry if there have been a few problems with the site over the last few days: too much mulled wine, and general technological incompetency! The ''exciting'' news is that Being and Tim will soon have their very own domain., but this blogspot address will still work fine.

Truly exciting stuff.