Sunday, April 24, 2016


To employ a line of thought typical of The Shadoks themselves, ignorance is to be desired in that it increases the occasion for discovery.

Thus, it has taken me fifty-two years to encounter this Parallel Universe of brilliant invention. At last! 

Appropriately, the DVD box set I ordered from Amazon France was subject to Shadokesque absurdity. Fearing the package would be too large for the letter box thereby necessitating a visit to the Post Office to collect, I cleverly (or so I thought) drew a little diagram indicating an alternative - the adjacent television room window sill behind the flower box & railings. I stuck the piece of paper into the letter box & drove off to work. Arriving home, according to TaxiPost delivery had taken place on Friday afternoon yet there was no sign of the brown cardboard pack. 

Exasperation/ irritation/ bafflement/ etc. all in quick succession. 

The various explanations were worked through before I plucked up the courage to contact Amazon itself. 

To cut a long story short ... putting out the rubbish this afternoon (Sunday) what do I see down beneath pavement level & just about visible but the very package on the cellar window ledge. 

Why? How? 

Perhaps it was a Shadok itself on delivery duty. 

Whatever. The main thing is I now have several hours' worth of Shadokism to enjoy, a 3 minute dose of absurdity to be taken daily. 

If you've never heard of The Shadoks (my own misfortune until recently) then you should know they were a regular feature on French television in the late Sixties on into the Seventies. The drawings remind me of animated Paul Klee with something of the Pink Panther cartoons thrown in. Production values are sub-Roobarb & Custard yet none the worse for that. The limited technology available seems to have only thrown crazy invention into relief. 

Watch just two episodes & you begin to sense where the writing is coming from - Jarry & Pataphysics for sure, plus Situationist critique. (I reckon Gilles Deleuze must have watched them with glee & recognition.)

'Je pompe, donc je suis' - a Shadok saying - leads to a pretty clear attack on Capitalist mindless overproduction. Shadoks spend their days pumping away to no particular purpose. There are pumps for Big Problems, pumps for Small Problems, even pumps for No Problem At All. The Shadoks just keep on pumping - at least it offers some sense of security. 

'Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué?' is another maxim & one that seems pretty accurate in terms of most Administrative decision-making. Don't you think? 

Vive les Shadoks! 

No comments:

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...