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Book of Life

Stanley Pinker

I am amused that that life could be reduced to this, a book with a signature that one has to present to move through the daily life. The underlying pattern on the painting is an enlargement of the watermark on the opening page of the book of life, or ID book as they now called. The little man beating the drum is someone who is slightly out of his mind. In a way he symbolises all the drones and the sheep who just submit to this stuff. Every one of us has to, and I also have to, otherwise you would have no identity. The slightly sinister black bird is a Witbosskraai, and with its white chest looks like a man dressed up in a dinner jacket, and is a reminder about the shadow side of all this control. The date stamp (the actual date is of no significance) goes on everything, the post office, officialdom, power. Identity has been reduced to a cipher and a thumb print. What about the rest?

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