POST: 'The Offending Gesture' - straightforward in its absurdity
What's it about?
A look into the absurd circumstance of a Finnish dog (Jackie) doing the nazi salute, told through the true story of Hitler and his dog, Blondi.
What'd I experience?
I'd think the Nazis would be flattered at the thought of a dog being able to do their salute on command. But the Third Reich officials didn't take lightly to Tor Borg, a Finnish businessman, who had taught his dog, Jackie, to raise his paw in salute on command to “Heil Hitler.” It’s even weirder that such a narcissistic party would take offense to a gesture coming from an ally. I mean, didn’t Hitler love dogs?
Personally, I had never heard of this whole paw situation, probably with good reason since it so ridiculous. Really that was probably the reason why the use of dogs as characters was so fulfilling. The absurdity of having to interrogate a dog because he raises a paw, charmed the pants off me.
It was exciting to see a full female cast, in particular the actress (Layla Khoshnoudi) that played Noble Wolf - meaning “Adolf”. Her idiot-like Noble Wolf actually reminds me of a lot of some current and past world leaders (*cough* Chavez *cough*). The fact that a dog is able to convince its master to redirect plans of attack from Finland to Iraq over a dog trick, speaks volumes to how laughable the reasons for war can be.
Amongst all the laughter, there was a deep message in all the chaos. In the end, as a person that lives in a time where I wake up to the news of 40 some people dying in a bombing every morning, I guess I am not that much different than Blondi or Jackie. Just like a dog isn’t capable of fully understanding the motives behind a war, frankly neither can I.
Because I went to a theatre arts high school, I recognized that this play fell under the absurdist genre. So it's nature is philosophical, but it charmed me in its subtlety. It’s not rubbing any four page Plato passage in my face, it's straightforward in calling out how absurd the political world can be.