Animating Danger and Purity: Cartoon musings of the DOD on the Spirochete and the History of Contact with the Other.

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dug up by the Armed with Science blog which deals with science within the US Military, this cartoon  from 1973  (obviously inspired by a odd mixture of Chuck Jones and the motion/statis sensibility of Hanna Barbera production)  deals with the “Fourth Horseman” disease of Syphilis.  Personified by Count Spirochete, Verneral Disease as history and danger is recounted in detail by the Award-bestowing figure of Death the Reaper.

The Return of Count Spirochete (1973), Department of Defense, US

Though it would seem odd to mix Venereal disease with the Vampire allegory, while the other forms of  disease are represented as “reaper” figures, the metaphorically underpinning of the Dracula mythos (Bram Stoker, 1897), was motivated by the over-sexualized other (which was hetero-normative in that these vampires only seem to feed on the “opposite sex”), corrupted through the medium of blood, and was representationally indistinguishable from the exotic and ultimate foreigner.

Quite a mix to be harvested in the persona of Count Sirochete.

And some good old fashionBorellia burgdorferi spirochete in motion


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