Sunday picture: Silly Putty Pope

by Maria on April 5, 2010

Over at Henry’s place earlier today, I handled silly putty for the first time in my life. Great stuff, especially when it pops those unexpected little bubbles. Henry’s missus, Nicole, showed me a great silly putty trick; you squash it onto a newspaper and make an awesome transfer. The nearest newsprint to hand was the FT’s editorial page with a great cartoon of Pope Benedict, which I now share with you on pink silly putty. Happenstance being the best form of creativity, my phone’s picture of same included an unintentional shadow that looks like the jaws of a shark or similar closing on the pope’s head while he looks worriedly away. Happy Easter Sunday, y’all.

Pope Benedict on Silly Putty



Delicious Pundit 04.05.10 at 2:49 am

Now if you’d claimed that the Pope had appeared in the Silly Putty, you might have been able to scoop up some valuable pilgrimage income.


HP 04.05.10 at 2:51 am

Wow, you handled Silly Putty for the first time in your life, today? What an amazing thing to read. It’s like you just learned to ride a bicycle, or ate chocolate f0r the first time. I can’t stop grinning.


Substance McGravitas 04.05.10 at 3:05 am

It’s good stuff. There are thicker versions of it – Theraputty is the brand name I’m familiar with – for building up finger strength in physical and occupational therapy. Not recommended for Catholic priests.


lemuel pitkin 04.05.10 at 3:26 am

This is strangely brilliant.


garymar 04.05.10 at 12:03 pm

I think the shadow is the Devil’s horns, myself.


Salient 04.05.10 at 1:13 pm

So if you believe in the doctrine of papal infallibility and give this artwork a firm tug, are you literally stretching the truth?


Barry Freed 04.05.10 at 2:12 pm

Nah< it's the shadow of Ms. Pac-Man.


Barry Freed 04.05.10 at 2:15 pm

Unintentional yet strangely apropos angle bracket there.


MattF 04.05.10 at 2:48 pm

Technical Note: Silly Putty is the rarer kind of non-Newtonian fluid (‘dilantant’) that becomes more viscous when you apply a force to it– another example is a corn starch solution. The kind of fluid that becomes less viscous (‘thixotropic’) when you apply a force is actually pretty common (e.g., ketchup, yogurt, butter, paint).


P O'Neill 04.05.10 at 2:52 pm

Truly we have found a successor to Velasquez.


rm 04.05.10 at 4:26 pm

If the FT were owned by Disney, you would already have received your cease-and-desist letter for copyright violation. This is clearly a derivative work.


Glen Tomkins 04.05.10 at 4:41 pm

What will future generations think

Were that bit of silly putty to dry and harden, and be lost somewhere in such obscurity that it alone would survive the coming social and political Apocalypse as a testament to this one year of the long history of mankind — what would the archeologists make of it and this image?

It seems a pertinent question because, without all the limitations to interpretation those notional archeologists would face, perhaps because there are too many frames of interpretation, I can’t make any sense of any of it — not the systemic pederasty, not the Papacy, not the Church, not the journalistic response, not Silly Putty.

Oh, okay, perhaps that last bit was overreaching. The Silly Putty, alone in that list, makes some sort of sense, with or without context. Silly Putty probably is the only thing of that list that would survive the Apocalypse with any sense and meaning intact capable of transmitting to future generations.


(O)CT(O)PUS 04.05.10 at 6:59 pm

What I saw out my window this morning … a mockingbird molesting a scrub jay while a bright red cardinal, perched high on a tree, watched in silence.


AntiAlias 04.05.10 at 10:40 pm

Ratzinger, Pretty in Pink

(all my childhood years messing with the stuff, and I never thought about that newspaper trick!)


PK 04.05.10 at 10:45 pm

@P O’Neill: We need more than one?


Jon H 04.06.10 at 2:55 am

Oooh, it just occurred to me that you could use that to make an all-purpose voodoo doll: have a doll with a featureless head, and just make a silly putty transfer of a cartoon, and apply the putty to the head of the doll to give it the appearance of the targeted person.

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