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" C L O N I N G "

by Andrea ALOI *

By my good luck, only once in my life I felt something deeper and more overwhelming than fear. It was a sort of a total and immediate thought blankness: it happened when - on Ponza's little plaza, during summertime - I met myself.
He was not simply somebody who looked like me: he was really an exact replica of me, of that ego which, as long as you're alive, you're never given to see from the outside…
He was wearing clothes similar to mine and which indicated common tastes; identical also were his fairly long hair, his eyeglasses, body size, and gesture; in other words, identical was that way of approaching every day's life that every one of us considers an exclusive and sacred property.
Yes, a clone, but not the outcome of a lab.
All the 1900's arts have already given us a taste of the supreme and perturbing horror of a man mutating, either by instantaneous metamorphose or slight fading, into his unknown, wild and cruel double; a journey into psyche's Id where one is, may be by a small and imperceptible part, still a reptile or where one may potentially become a vampire (have you seen Dreyer's movie?).
At the century's dusk, it is science's and his oligarchs' duty (or, better, the Technique world government's, a geometric and autonomous power which creates and destroys nature laws, in a total and guilty distraction) to make us discover the last anguish (last because it appears impossible to overcome): it's the virtually infinite reproducibility of the same living being.
Condemned to a death-life, to an indescribable non-life. This may seem a very strange and fierce introduction to an exhibit which comes to light under the "FanoFunny" banner, right?
Yet, the strength and pictorial effectiveness of a Saltykov, Kos, Basotov and of all the others, does not reside in raising a loose or harsh laughter. But in stinging by uneasiness' pin.
It's an umpteenth confirmation that the above mentioned artists belong to the rare category of true satire makers, a noble and impossible to clone breed, very different from that of the countless pay-per-strip humorists who have taken over the time-space dimension of television and press.
If laughter does not spring from the last ones, their very reason to exist fades out.
The lack of the usual humorous line does not harm the first ones instead, but makes them stronger.
Weird people, used to picking up appearance's stones and counting the worms underneath them. Unique people.
God (if it exists) bless these pencils, enemy of the puppet-like System and protected by Randomness.

*Founder and ex-chairman of the Italian satirical magazine "Cuore"

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II Cartoon Fax Festival 1997

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