Semi-intelligent cloud-abstracting cows…

There’s an advert on British television at the moment featuring two animated clouds looking for additives. One asks the other if he’s seen any additives, the other says he’s seen something that might be an additive. It looks like a cloud with legs. The other cow suggests perhaps it’s a sheep.

And it occurs to me that sheep do not look like clouds. But simplified pictures of sheep drawn by children look like pictures of clouds. We abstract them in the same way – but it’s only in this second order, in these abstracted images, that a connection is made. I find the advert troubling because it implies a whole culture of drawing cows performing complex mental transformations and yet being too stupid to understand what they’re doing. Stupid, confused man-cows roaming the countryside getting confused by their own reasoning processes. Freaks me out. Maybe if it was funny