Sunday, March 4, 2012

Simon Bar Sinister

Simon Bar Sinister is the old villain from the Underdog cartoon, popular many moons ago. He was "the wickedest man in the world" (says Wiki...). Now, I hadn't thought much about Simon in many years; but today,  I discovered and appreciated a little inside joke of the cartoon world hitherto overlooked by me. Apparently Simon was, literally, a little b---d--or at least, a son of one. Kids, of course, wouldn't get it, and probably most parents wouldn't notice it, but a handful would, and would enjoy a private little chuckle.

Well, it's nothing new, really. Cartoonists are smart, really, hiding these sly little tidbits for grownups amid the clanging, banging, zipping, and zinging that is necessary to hold the young'uns. If they didn't, the mamas would just turn off the TV.

I had looked up a passage in the Bible, and, reading it, happened across "Simon-Bar-Jonah" (Matthew 16:17). It hadn't caught my attention before, but noticing it, I took it as a titular version of a name, and suspected that "bar" meant "son of," as a quick reference check confirmed. Now, I also seemed to recollect from my flirtation with heraldry art, that the "bar sinister," as I recalled, was symbolic of illegitimate birth--and this, too, I quickly confirmed. I probably thought of "Simon Bar Sinister" the first time that I ever ran into the "bar sinister" in heraldic art. Somehow, today, though, it hit me anew and just had to blog this whimsical revelation.

"Simon Bar Sinister" (article) on Wikipedia

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