doonesbury and the sumerian bushdingir icon over time


a preliminary glottopsychiatric analysis



Bush II -- First Term (AD 2001-2004)



Bush II -- Second Term (AD 2005-2008)




The evolution of the bushdingir over time roughly parallels the political trajectory of the Bush II Dynasty. Early bushdingirs are firm, erect, even cocky. The central stroke is almost always perfectly vertical, varying no more than five degrees to the right, and the lobes are fully-formed and globular. The accompanying double spheres highlight the motif of virility and youthful vigor. When the dingir is presented against a white matte background, the outline is carefully traced around the points of the asterism. By contrast the later bushdingir begins to reflect the aura of crisis which developed in the second period of Bush II. The strokes are sickly, elongated, and distorted, reminiscent of the lines of El Greco or Dali. Now the white backdrop is jagged, uneven and panicky. The penultimate dingir is rotated, or 'flipped', about 33 degrees off the vertical axis, signifying the impending demise of the regime. (Compare Late Assyrian Asterisk, below) In short, the handwriting is on the wall. The final dingir in the sequence is sloppily drawn, perhaps even appliqued from a stamp. In fact, some art historians are of the opinion that this represents not the original work of Trudeau but a later addition by the Doonesbury Studio. Overall the trajectory is one toward impotence and flatulence. The rats are fleeing the ship, and the glory, such as it was, has departed.


the penultimate bushdingir, c. November 2008





late Assyrian asterisk


for further reading:


Doonesbury and the Sumerian Dingir
Painting 70 Morningside
New Dimensions in Affective Modulation Regime
The Voynich Manuscript
In The Cathedral
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