Yes, this is totally random and has nothing to do with anything really. I was going through an old box of stuff and came across some photographs and felt the need to share this particular one (which has been hidden away for many years now). I shot it in Deir ez-Zour in the mid-90s while there visiting a friend. It’s the wall outside of a kindergarten with Jerry the mouse and Hafez al-Assad, the late Syrian president. Seeing this was a nice change from all the Hafez, Basil and Bashar imagery around everywhere at that time. And it’s a cute image for little school children in their blue smocks as they enter the school, right?
Well, I just went to Wikipedia to look up Tom and Jerry, the cartoon in which Jerry appeared. It says:
The short episodes are infamous for some of the most comically gory gags ever devised in theatrical animation, such as Jerry slicing Tom in half, shutting his head in a window or a door, Tom using everything from axes, firearms, explosives, traps and poison to try to murder Jerry, Jerry stuffing Tom’s tail in a waffle iron and a mangle, kicking him into a refrigerator, plugging his tail into an electric socket, pounding him with a mace, club or mallet, causing a tree or an electric pole to drive him into the ground, sticking matches into his feet and lighting them, tying him to a firework and setting it off, and so on.
Hmmm. It never dawned on me that there was so much in common between this cartoon character and the Assad clan.