Saturday, November 24, 2012
I'm real confused.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
As for the Union Pacific stock, it should probably be remembered that a few months before this cartoon came out, in October-November 1907, there was a major bank panic which caused stock prices to fall dramatically. Union Pacific, being a bellwether stock, suffered heavily. Between May, 1907 and June, 1908, there was a fairly serious recession. Any outbreak of peace would be good for stock prices, including Union Pacific. Union Pacific, of course, was one of Los Angeles' largest companies.
There had been fairly serious, just-below-the-surface tensions with the Japanese empire about this time -- there had been anti-Japanese riots in San Francisco just months before; the Great White Fleet visit was a show of muscle (the fact that we could send a fleet around the world and have it in good nick, unlike the Russians during their recent war) beneath the good will. Hence why there's a lot of "peace" imagery here.
The fleet, by the way, hit Yokohama in October of 1908, some months after this cartoon.
The opera had its world premiere in 1904, and had its U.S. premiere in 1906. The last revision, creating the standard version, came in 1907. Thus, the opera would have been well-known at the time of the cartoon.
Wow, admitting my dumbitude in this post paid off really well! Thanks fellas for your very interesting explanations of this (to me) highly inscrutable cartoon!