Brutally Honest Illustrations That Show What's Wrong With Today's Society

Entertainment | By Harriet King | October 16, 2017

Who knew it would take a cartoonist and his cartoons to show what's wrong with society today? Cartoons seem like the least serious thing in the world, but maybe that's a good thing. Sometimes the best way to get slapped with the hard truth of reality is by sugar coating it.

Gerhard Haderer is an Austrian cartoonist who does not shy away from controversial statements, at least not when he's drawing cartoons. These aren't the type of cartoons you want to look at with your niece or nephew though. Not unless you want to explain satire to a seven-year-old. Trust me, you don't.

What you'll see is that a lot of these cartoons are relevant to many different time periods, including the one we're currently living in. It's like we're living the same mistakes over and over again. Check out and see how many of these you can relate to. #46 is probably the most depressing illustration of them all, but it's so true.

1. The Future is Bright

This actually looks like a good idea to us. No more arguing about who's watching what, no more stomping off to the spare room to watch your favorite TV show because someone else won't surrender the television control. In fact, we're surprised no manufacturer has looked at this and taken the hint. Volume might be an issue though. We can't see any headphones in the image!

Haderer may have seen the future a little when he drew this, but he couldn't have foreseen the march of iPads and smart phones, otherwise it may have looked a little different. We'll give him half marks for his prophecy skills. The image also seems to draw a connection between obesity and spending too much time in front of a screen. That's hardly a new concern and goes to show that he also didn't anticipate the rise of workout videos on YouTube!

2. The Future of Justin Bieber

Personally, we feel this is a little harsh on young Mr. Bieber. He'd be thrilled to hear that Haderer thinks he's going to maintain his physique until a ripe old age, but we doubt that the 'Baby' singer is ever going to look so old in the face. He'd at least keep hold of his hair.

This image may be one of two things. It's either a prediction that face swapping apps would exist before they actually did, (have you ever done a face swap with a person much older than you? If not, go for it, it's like getting a hint of what you might look like years from now), or it's a comment on how fashion styles are changing. We're fine with that. If you're young at heart, why not be young on the outside, too? There are no laws when it comes to fashion! Plus, if we had abs like that in retirement we'd definitely be showing them off.

3. The New Relationship

Ah, yes. The awkward date. Or, in the 21st Century, the awkward date that both parties are simultaneously telling all their friends about on social media. Let's hope they don't have mutual friends who'll share it with each other. In all seriousness, we're all probably guilty of this occasionally. We forget the people we're with and lose ourselves in the world of the internet

Every now and then, we could do with a reminder to put the phones away and engage with each other. That's the purpose of this image. A park is a lovely thing to look at so long as you can take your eyes off the screens for a moment! Check the sports score later. That notification probably doesn't need looking at right now. Be more like the butterflies. They appear to be having a great time.

4. We'll All Be Swimming with the Fishes

Well, isn't there a lot going on here? Here we have a human delegation, who may or may not have gathered to mourn the passing of the last fish. That's one way of looking at it. Another would be to say that this is a gang of travelers who have come to see the amazing and inexplicable fish body which has appeared in the middle of the desert. Who put that there? A big cat? And why on Earth are these people wearing scuba gear if there's no water?

The thing about art is that it's open to interpretation. Doomsday myths for the human race vary. Some say we'll die of drought, others of flood, and many other reasons to boot. Perhaps that's what's Haderer is saying. Nobody actually knows. Scuba outfits might even just be the latest fashion craze in whatever future he's drawn for us!

5. Extra, Extra, Type All About It

Firstly, well done to Haderer for predicting the dawn of laptop cafe culture. Walk into any branch of Starbucks in a busy city around lunchtime, and this is exactly what they look like. Busy workers, checking emails and dealing with minor tasks whilst they're on the go. Smartphones and devices have made us free to work wherever we are. Because we're free to work wherever we are, perhaps we work when we shouldn't. We're still figuring that out as a society.

The gentlemen reading the newspaper, though, is old. Everyone looks at him with astonishment. Newspaper readers in cafes are now outnumbered - the last of a dying breed - and the picture may be a comment on the death of the printed press. That's OK, though. That's progress. You can't stand in the way of it!

6. Airports Suck

Haderer's skills as a caricaturist are absolutely on point here. Anybody who's had an uncomfortable time on a long-haul flight has either seen or pulled every single one of these facial expressions. Everything you recognize from flying is here. The surprising and unexpected conversation with a stranger a couple of rows back. The uncomfortable seating situation. The outright fatigue and obvious discomfort of the gentleman in front. Why do we put ourselves through it? Well, to travel of course.

We don't think there's a hidden meaning in this image. Haderer titled it 'Airports Suck', and it might just be the product of a bad journey he's had. Nobody likes to be stuck on a plane that's full of sweat and bad smells, they have nowhere to go and they just circulate around. If that's what prompted him to put pen to paper on this occasion, I think we can all relate to him.

7. Government House Party

We can't think of any political debate we've seen anywhere in the world that wouldn't be improved by introducing a hot dog cooker and a tennis net. Seriously, think about it. People who play together and eat together get along an awful lot better. A little recreation time might stop all that arguing and get a whole lot more done. We approve of this proposal. Can we put it to a vote?

We think a little word play might be at work here. Why are political parties actually called 'parties'? Where's the actual party? Haderer's had a go at visualizing one for us here, and we like his style. This is the sort of relaxed party where you can go for a nap if you want, put your feet up, or have someone draw your picture. What's not to like?

8. Is That a New Face Filter?

We're giving this shark a full 10/10 on its selfie pose game. The slight narrowing of the eyes, the coy little style - we think this isn't its first time in front of the camera. As for the person taking the picture - they're going to get a lower score. They're not even in the shot.

This picture strikes us as an exaggerated way to make a serious point. People have gone a little blind to their surroundings in recent years when they're taking pictures or using phones. There have been incidents of Pokémon Go players walking straight into oncoming traffic. So, do have a look around you before getting that perfect snap. Pay extra attention if you're near a cliff edge, close to animals or traffic, underwater or within a few hundred yards of a hungry shark. You'll thank us later.

9. Ghana With the Wind

This woman ought to be very proud of herself. She's almost sold out of her tomatoes and look how many that shop still has in stock. There must be hundreds. She's taken a major retailer on head to head, at an increased price, and beaten them. She must have a great sales technique. Either that or Ghana tomatoes are just a lot better than European tomatoes.

The comment we think Haderer is making is that there comes a time when too much of something becomes an issue. If you flood the world with European tomatoes at unbeatable prices, then everybody else is out of the tomato game because they can't make any money. It no longer matters if your tomatoes are better than theirs, they're cheaper so they win. Variety is the spice of life - or, in this case, the spiced tomato of life.

10. Money Hungry

This picture isn't going to win any awards for subtlety. The image of the bloated businessman gorging on money is as old as - well - money and businessmen, to be perfectly honest. Nobody goes into business without wanting to make money. Nobody who starts making money wants to earn any less of it. We're all pursuing more cash to a certain degree.

Although you could see this picture as an example of greed, perhaps it's a warning. Chase money too hard and you'll end up choking on it. You can deal with most things in moderation, but eat or drink too much and it will begin to make you ill. This gentlemen may think he wants all this money right now, but we're sure he'll be regretting it in an hour. Plus, he has no room for dessert.

11. The Not So White House

We're not here to lecture you on politics. You didn't come here looking for it, and we don't specialize in it, so we'll leave that alone. What we will point out, though, is how you can interpret this picture however you wish because of the way that Haderer has positioned the flies. They're not clearly heading in one direction or the other.

If you're a big fan of the current White House situation, you could see this as a picture of the flies being cast out as the current President cleans things up. If you're not, you could see it as a swarm descending on the famous old building as everything turns to... well, you know what. People from both sides could have this poster on their wall, and believe it means different things. Popular art is something that people can look at and apply their own interpretation to. Therefore, this is popular art.

12. What Came First?

We're pretty sure the long-necked look was a popular fashion trend among ancient Egyptians. We can't condone applying it to chickens, though. Joking aside, this picture is asking us to pause for thought about what goes into our breakfast. Or lunch. We're not putting limits on when you can eat eggs. Eggs are delicious. Eat them three times a day if you want to.

Everybody's seen footage of battery farmed chickens. Everybody knows the difference between battery farming and free range. This picture is an open invitation to consider what level of cruelty your enjoyment of eggs is really worth, and a reminder to consider sources when you're buying. There are plenty of ways to enjoy eggs, meat and every other food type without making the life of an animal worse than it needs to be. Always read the label, folks!

13. I Feel Bad for You, Sun

You've got to love someone who can make a point about being actively present in the moment at the same time as dropping a Jay-Z reference. Well done, Gerhard Haderer. The people in this picture might have ninety-nine problems, but getting a photo of the setting sun isn't one.

Watching a sunset is as much about how it feels as about how it looks. There is poetry and emotion in the dying of the day. For some, it's a quiet time of reflection. Others find it romantic. Either way, it's something you participate in to feel, not to record. Whatever photo or video you take isn't going to replicate the feel of it on your skin, or the full beauty of it in your eyes. Sometimes it's good to remember that you're not making a documentary and put the camera down. Unless you actually are making a documentary, in which case, carry on.

14. There's No Time Like Screen Time

Does anybody else get a slightly Christmassy vibe from looking at this? We think it's the baking, and the stars, and the tree shaped cookie. Actually, that makes it pretty obvious. This picture is a blend between the old and the new. Singing carols and baking cookies might be something your parents did when you were growing up. If you have children of your own, the scene in the background might be more familiar.

Haderer clearly has a favorite theme to his work, and it centers around people missing out on real life by spending too much time staring into screens. He probably has a point. Christmas should be experienced, not live streamed. Nobody's ever going to remember that magic childhood Christmas when something great turned up on Instagram. That being said, we bet there are parents reading this who'd love their children to be this quiet when they're in the kitchen.

15. Bad Fortune

This fortune telling session is going to end badly for somebody. Or maybe it already has? There's not enough information here to know what's what. Is the noose intended for the fortune teller, or for the gentleman who's there to receive his fortune?

As with several of these drawings, there's a wide range of interpretations here. One is that if you knew your future today, you'd have no reason to go on living, so you might as well end it all. Another is that in these uncertain times, predicting what might happen in the future has become impossible, therefore fortune tellers no longer have a place in the modern world. Would it be worse to know your future in detail, or not be able to predict anything at all? What would drive you closer to the rope?

16. Dark Twisted Fantasies

There are things you want, and then there are things you think you want. There are things you have, and also things you want to have. Is this a man who's dreaming of owning a red car in some horribly dystopian future where colorful vehicles have been banned, or is it something a little more profound than that?

It seems to us that the car he's dreaming of is a little more expensive and impressive looking but wouldn't actually change his position at all. He'd still be stuck in all that traffic. So, is the message that when we dream of bettering ourselves, we should focus on those things that would actually improve our lives? Or is it just that being in a better quality of car would make the traffic jam more tolerable? Perhaps both are true.

17. Pencils of Color

You know that old saying 'The pen is mightier than the sword'? Well how about 'the humble pencil is more powerful than a trained militia man if there are enough of them'? It might not roll off the tongue as easily, but it certainly seems to be true seeing as the gunman in the middle appears to be petrified of them.

The emphasis on color - both in the title of the piece and the various shades of pencil - is interesting and probably relevant. Maybe it's there to tell us that a world of many colors is better than one that's black and white. Maybe the point is that when people from all walks of life get together, they can overthrow tyranny. Maybe there's something more profound going on. Or maybe they're just pencils. What do you think?

18. Peeping Drone

Would you tolerate someone jumping over your fence and taking photos of you in your own back garden? We're guessing that unless you're into some pretty weird stuff, the answer is 'no'. So why are we all so relaxed about drones? They're an increasingly common sight these days. They're also incredibly useful for capturing stunning photographs, performing light mail deliveries, and doing mapping work. They're quite the invention. They could also become quite the pest if left unchecked.

The message here seems to be a reminder that sometimes we give away our own privacy too easily in favor of embracing the latest technology. Nobody wants their life to become a mini Truman Show. Especially if they're not getting paid for it! Remember who ought to be in control of who sees you and your information, and when. And don't sunbathe nude in the garden if someone's pointing a camera at you.

19. They're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

Here's another one that isn't going to win any subtlety awards, but has obviously been drawn to make a very pressing point about the world we live in. As with many of this artist's drawings, there's more than one way you could look at this, and no single correct interpretation.

On one hand, we have a couple minding their own business and enjoying their time, being approached by far more people in the water than could ever fit on their boat. If they all get on board, everybody's going to sink. On the other hand, you could see it as two very indulgent people living a life of luxury and paying barely any attention to the fact that there could be people drowning around them. If they give away the land they sit on, everybody drowns. If they do nothing, some people drown. Is there a happy medium? That's a question we're still wrestling with as a species.

20. Step Into My office

If the earlier picture of the laptops in the restaurant didn't drive the point home, this one certainly does. Thanks to portable technology and wireless internet, the world is now a workplace. You can buy a new car whilst you're on a train. You can finish a spreadsheet presentation in a park. Or, like these business folk, you could deal with matters while you're on the toilet. The choice is yours. We'd rather you didn't email us while you're on the toilet, but we can't stop you.

The title 'Step Into My Office' is interesting. Do we need so many offices anymore? Should people be working from home where they can? The workplace is changing, along with the hours we work and the way we think about what work is. The future may not be full of businessmen in toilets, but it may be full of office workers in their bedrooms.

21. Recycle!

When somebody puts an exclamation point on the end of the title of their work, they're probably quite passionate about the point. In all fairness to Haderer, it's a good point to be making. We live in an era where technology is progressing more rapidly than it ever has done at any point in history. The consequence of that, however, is that it's becoming more disposable.

If you buy a smart phone today, you already know it's going to be obsolete three years from now. You know the same about your laptop, and your new television, and your games console. That's great! It's good to keep moving. Just be more aware of how you dispose of the old stuff. Chances are there's someone somewhere who'd love to have it, and there's only so much landfill space we can shove the waste into. The parts might even be able to make something new, so give them the chance. Like Gerhard said, recycle!

22. The Clowns in Charge

Here we have a painting of the Chief Clowns of the Clown Committee, having a fine old time at the annual Clown Convention. Or at least, that's what we think is going on. Because if it isn't that, it's probably something satirical. Either that, or a collection of really avid supporters of Red Nose Day.

Let's be honest: Being a regular human being, and subject to decisions that are taken way above your pay grade, does occasionally feel like this. You get given an order, and you know it's a stupid idea, but you don't have the authority to change it. You're left sitting there, wondering what kind of moron even came up with the idea in the first place. Whether it's at governmental level, your bosses, or the head teachers at your school, most of us have the same problem. Clowns in charge of our lives!

23. Keep It Crispy

At the first hint of Summer, several things will begin to happen. Firstly, sales of Prosecco will spike. Secondly, fully grown, out of shape men will begin to walk around densely populated areas without wearing a shirt. Thirdly, barbecue season commences. And folks, not all of us were born equal when it comes to barbecuing skills. Every friendship group has an expert. If it's you, then we salute you. If it's not you, don't get involved. Let the chef do their work. It's better for all of us.

We're not sure what this individual is cooking on there. Smoke grenades, possibly. They're definitely doing something wrong. Perhaps the point is that all of us could be doing a little more to help the environment. Or perhaps Haderer's neighbors are just really terrible with barbecues. One or the other!

24. Let's Put a Smile On That Face

It is us, or is this one particularly creepy? The message is easy enough to follow - there are plenty of people walking around us who are putting on a fake smile. Some of them are doing it because they want to please us. Some of them are doing it as a show of defiance. And some - perhaps quite a lot - are doing it to hide the fact that they're actually very sad.

Nobody wants to live in a world where you're required to put a brave face on all the time. If there was such a thing as a smile shop, it would make all smiles redundant. So, if you are feeling a little blue, talk to someone. Don't throw money at the problem and get a fake smile from it as a result, like these people do. Take some time for yourself and work on getting your real smile back. Remember that it's OK to not be OK.

25. You Are What You Eat

You may have heard this phrase before, but you've probably never seen it represented in this way! Anyone who's had one too many pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, kebabs or cakes will have been told - probably by a parent - that they are what they eat. Eat too many burgers and you'll turn into one! That sage advice has been used in an attempt to keep many a McDonald's loving child in line. But here, it seems to have been applied to vegetarians.

Why does nobody poke fun at vegetarians for eating too much of the same thing? Is that hypocrisy? Or is it OK because they food they eat is largely better for them? Is the message of "you are what you eat" is that you should only eat what's good for you, or that you shouldn't eat too much of the same thing? We don't know the answer, we're asking the question. And so is Gerhard Haderer.

26. The Last Supper Sponsored by Blizzo

We're slowly starting to accept that subtlety isn't Haderer's strong suit, but since when were caricatures subtle? It doesn't take a genius to work out that the angle he's going for here is that commercialism often cheapens the event that it connects itself to. Millions of people around the world tuned into the most recent Royal Wedding. If it had been the "Sony Royal Wedding", or the "Royal Wedding brought to you by Fedex", it wouldn't have had quite the same air of dignity, would it?

That being said, if Jesus did walk among us in modern times, would he embrace sponsorship as a way of getting his message out, or would he speak out against it? How would many worthwhile companies and causes sustain themselves if it wasn't for sponsorship? As with many things, it's a double-edged sword.

27. More Monkey Business

Want to feel old? Here's what the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys look like now. They're all grown up, and they've gone off to work in the world of business. Big business.

The 'business' link is implicit everywhere in this image, from the sharp suits to the title of the piece. The implications of 'hear no evil' and 'see no evil' are obvious - many modern companies don't want to be told they're doing things wrong and will see no flaws in their practices when they're pointed out to them. 'Speak no evil' is an interesting one and might be a criticism of political correctness. All corporate commentary is phrased the same way these days, calculated to avoid any risk of causing offense. Is the modern world of business bland as well as ruthless?

28. The Future of Education

We'd love to tell you what's going on in this picture, but we can't. There's a fairly large and substantial wall in the way. Sorry about that. We'll give it our best shot, all the same. The key to deciphering this image is in the title. "The Future of Education". That's a pretty child-like ball that's up in the air, too. This would seem to be a commentary on the future of schooling, as we all become more concerned about threats to our children.

If we keep increasing security around children, and talk about putting schools on 'lockdown' with armed guards and regulated hours, how close are we getting to using the language of prison? And if children are treated with a prison regimen when they're young, how will it impact them as an adult? The picture is a clever way of saying a lot whilst showing us almost nothing

29. What's at Stake?

These men need to invest in better office facilities; the ventilation is where they are is wonderful, but it's never going to pass a Health and Safety examination. We're not sure we'd want to be cooped up on a window ledge with people who look that glum, either.

The key to decoding this image comes from the headline of the paper: "Börse", meaning "stock market". The "stake" in the title makes more sense then, too. The image encourages us to be sympathetic towards people who we normally aren't - stock brokers. We like to think of them as greedy, rich and ruthless, when in fact they're as human as the rest of us, and they're constantly one poor decision away from complete disaster. As the image points out, they live their life on the very edge. One step in the wrong direction and it's all over.

30. Working for Airline Peanuts

There was a time, while we were all growing up, that being a pilot seemed like the most prestigious job in the world. Everyone wanted to grow up and be a pilot. Pilots made a lot of money, got to see the world, and generally lived a glamorous lifestyle. In recent years, that perception has changed somewhat.

We may not yet be at the point depicted in this image, but the boom of budget airlines has shifted the perception of affluence somewhat. As prices continue to race to the bottom, with budget airlines pushing each other lower all the time, something has to give. Part of that 'something' is the wages of the people doing the work. Everybody loves a bargain, but occasionally we need reminding that very low prices usually mean somebody's suffering for our benefit.

31. The Perfect Vacation

Things don't look too bad in this picture. Everybody's relaxed and having a good time. Someone's even cooking sausages (we keep coming back to sausages in Haderer's work. He must really love them), and the sun's out. The only issue is that we appear to have gone on vacation to a traffic jam. Even if the weather's great, we can think of better places to spend our time off.

There are a few things we could take from this image. One of them would be to remember to actually go on vacation when we can - if you're still getting stuck in traffic jams, you haven't got anywhere. And perhaps it's also a nudge to look beyond the obvious for vacation destinations. This traffic jam might be caused by everyone trying to go to the same place, at the same time. The world is wide and wonderful, and it's always sunny somewhere. Look further afar!

32. Che Whateva

Now this really is a mysterious one. The text on the back wall, as far as we can tell, says "This room is only for the use of the official bodies serving here". No clues there. We have a rather portly office worker, who's enjoying a fast food lunch, hiding behind a poster of legendary mercenary revolutionist Che Guevara.

The poster will be a familiar one to anyone who grew up as a teenage rebel - it was probably on your wall. There could be a lesson here about people who present themselves one way when they're in fact another. It could also be a commentary about how not all revolutions actually bring about real change. Or it could just be the plain old fact that all of us think we're rebels when we're young, and then we get older and end up working in an office like everyone else. Actually, let's not believe that last one, it's too depressing!

33. Space Trash

We don't even want to think about how much it's going to cost to get a refuse collector up there and get this mess tidied up. But then we suspect that's the point. Although it doesn't quite look like this, there is far more trash floating around the Earth in space than most of us realize.

Broken satellites, pieces of old rocket launches, broken up fragments of abandoned space stations, even tools dropped by astronauts - it's all still up there, spinning around at thousands of miles an hour. If you drop something in orbit it doesn't drift out into space, it just becomes a tiny satellite, whizzing around forever more. Some scientists are worried that the density of space trash will one day become a hazard to communications satellites, as well as new rockets trying to get through the mess on the way to the stars.

34. Dogs Allowed

If some of Haderer's work is full of warnings for the future, some of the rest of it might be considered visionary. Look at this adorable doggo at the table. Who's a good boy or girl then? They are! They must be quite the important pooch as well, given how nervous the chef looks. Then again, a dog that could use cutlery would probably be a pretty big deal.

As luxury goods for pets become more and more of a boom industry, we're surely not far away from widespread and bespoke pet restaurants. You can already buy gourmet pet food, but who says your best friend doesn't deserve the five-star treatment? Maybe we'll even be able to book a table for two for us and our pets! Wouldn't that be nice? Unless you're allergic to dogs. In which case stick with the human restaurant options that already exist.

35. Global Warming

Whether or not you believe it's man made, there's no way to disagree that global warming is real. Temperatures are changing, storms are getting bigger, and the weather is generally becoming something of an enemy to humanity. The issue is that, in a lot of people's heads, global warming looks a bit like this picture.

If you just think that global warming means exactly that - everything gets warmer Summer will be fantastic and we won't be as cold in Winter - then it's easy to see why you can't see the issue. In reality, if temperatures get too high, ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and it all goes a bit disaster-movie. You may well one day be able to stand in your garden and cook a steak, so long as you don't mind your garden being on fire whilst you do it.

36. Evolution

We're not sure this is actually how evolution works, but wouldn't it be brilliant if it did? There would be monkeys and apes slowly becoming more like humans and picking up habits like catching a train to travel, and paying into the zoo to see their cousins. It would be wonderful. Occasionally violent and maybe a little terrifying, but mostly wonderful.

There's probably a point to be made here about not keeping intelligent creatures in cages. Gorillas in particular are very clever. They can be taught sign language and have fairly expansive conversations with humans. They can also communicate emotion and understanding of the world around them. In short, they're probably more like us than they are many of the other animals in the zoo. So, should we be caging them and giving them a feeding time, or letting them live and eat the way they'd prefer to?

37. It's All the Same

We seem to have hit upon another one of Haderer's favorite themes here - the importance of variety. The image is easy enough to understand - a bunch of well suited, booted and dressed up men and women who, aside from a few minor distinctions, look exactly the same. Not even great wealth can save you from conformity.

If everyone who can afford it wants to wear Versace they can, but there are only so many unique dresses Versace can make. Equally, if we all model ourselves after our favorite celebrities and their styles, we're all going to largely look the same. You only have to look to see how many minor celebrities these days look like a lower league Kardashian. It's great to look at someone and take a few style tips. It's less fun to steal their entire look. Also, men need some formal attire other than tuxedos. It's been hundreds of years. Give them something new!

38. Your Music Sucks

Take a good, hard look at this picture. The bands may be different, but this is going to be all of us when we reach retirement age! The children of the 60s who grew up with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones may be a little older now, but they still like what they like, and it's still part of their identity. Swap "Beatles" and "Stones" out for your favorite bands or artists, and you could be looking into your own future. That could be you, in a comfortable armchair, debating the merits of Katy Petty and Taylor Swift forty years from now.

This drawing serves as a reminder that very few arguments are new, and some of them last forever. We'd all be well served to remember that, rather than getting hung up on them when there are better things we could be doing with our time!

39. What's New is Old

Everybody eventually reaches the stage of technological redundancy. If you're in your 30s, you probably remember a time when you had to set the timer for the VHS player in your parents' house, because they had no clue how to. You wondered how anybody could ever fail to learn something so basic. And then one day, someone invented a brand new smart phone, and you had no clue how to use it. Technology is aimed at the young, and one day it'll start to pass over your head even if it hasn't already!

Older people can get some revenge, though. Try showing a young child an old-fashioned TV, like the one in this picture, and asking them to turn it on. Even better, show them a cassette player and a hi-fi. Tell them it plays music and watch them try to work it out. It's fun to get your own back! Just keep them sweet. You might want to borrow their iPad later.

40. Down the Toilet

Do not waste time. That's a message we should all hear louder, and more often. All that time you spend worrying about the future is actually causing the future to move on ahead of you, whistling past your ears whilst you procrastinate about it. And if these words aren't driving the message home for you, how are you with in-your-face metaphors about time literally being flushed down the toilet?

Memories only happen if we make them happen. Plans only succeed if we act on them. If we sit still and do nothing, nothing will happen, and opportunities will pass us by. This poor woman looks like she planned for a holiday at one point. She even packed a bag. She just never got around to doing it, and then the moment disappeared. As Eminem warned us all in 8-Mile, you get one shot and one opportunity at most things. Carpe diem. Seize the moment.

41. The Real Story

There's a lot to be said for someone who can lose both feet and still be smiling. Especially when those feet are still right in front of him on the pavement. Maybe he's in shock. In fact, given the way he's staring right at us, you almost miss the detail that his friend around the corner is missing a foot, too. In many ways, we suspect that's the whole point.

The person missing both feet is getting showered with money, whereas the one who still has a foot is getting nothing. People have decided that needs of one are greater than the other and acted accordingly. In reality, both people probably need help, and suffering shouldn't be a competition. A person shouldn't have to be in the worst possible state in order to receive human kindness. We all need and deserve that.

42. Strong Stream

Say it quietly, but the Russians might not be playing fair when it comes to athletics. There have been a few quiet hints placed about it here and there. Things like a massively successful movie about it, and the banning of Russian athletes from major sporting competitions. These are all tell-tale signs that let you know something isn't right.

If all of that was too subtle for you, though, perhaps this drawing will help. We can probably safely assume that this is a urine test at an athletics event. This athlete is so strong than they can actually destroy a bathroom via the power of urine alone. Remind us never to enter an arm wrestle with him. Especially if he hasn't washed his hands first. Thank goodness it's only urine they want a sample of, and not anything else.

43. More of the Same

Here's an entry into the 'variations on a theme' category. Remember the picture earlier on, of the guy in the traffic jam, wishing he had a better car? Here's someone in an office job - an office job where someone needs to pay the bills and get the lights turned back on - dreaming of being on holiday. Only he's not enjoying himself on holiday because he's still really at his job.

So, what's the lesson here? He'd like to go and do the same job somewhere a little more tropical? He's wishing for things that won't change his life? He's doomed to be stuck in his current role forever? Or have we missed the point completely? Maybe a change of scenery isn't always a change in circumstances. We don't know. We don't have all the answers. You tell us!

44. Most Magical Place on Earth

Oh, Haderer. Is nothing sacred to you? Disney, and Disney World, market themselves as the happiest places on Earth. They do everything possible to live up to that reputation, too. The shows are incredible. The staff never stop smiling. Everybody who works there does everything within their power to make sure you have an incredible time. But we suppose the party has to stop somewhere. The people in the character costumes eventually have to switch off, go home, and experience the same human boredom and concern as the rest of us.

This could be a metaphor for people you know. Just because somebody seems permanently bright and cheerful when you see them doesn't mean they are when nobody's watching. Always remember that you never know what anyone else is going through, and also that nobody knows your story unless you tell it. Never suffer in silence. Even if you're a cartoon mouse!

45. The Bravery of Hunting

Where these drawings have been open to interpretation, we've made sure they've stayed that way. We're not here to tell you how to feel, or what to think. Besides, part of the fun of looking at art is to take your own meaning from it, right? There's a lot of ambiguity in this picture or title, though. We think it's probably fair to say that Haderer isn't a big fan of hunting.

He's at least taken the opportunity to have some fun with his social commentary, though. These hunters are so wrapped up in using high tech hunting equipment that they haven't noticed their prey is right in front of them, relaxing, without a care in the world. Perhaps that's true of all of us - we rely on technology so much that we sometimes forget to trust our own natural instincts.

46. Pippy Long-life-stocking

It was Newton who once said that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, because the image of an elderly Justin Bieber with a young man's body exists, so does this depiction of Pippi Longstocking as an older woman with a youthful face. If it hurts your eyes, blame physics.

Perhaps this picture is telling us that no matter how old we get, we still feel the same way inside as we did when we were young. Or perhaps it's saying that when we care about someone, they always look the same way to us, no matter how much time passes. Think of someone you love but haven't seen for a while. Are you imagining them as they are now? Or are you seeing them as they were years ago, when you first met? Strange, isn't it?

47. Happy Holidays

Presents are wonderful. Great presents are even better. But presents aren't everything. This couple haven't even bought each other bad presents - he looks better for his shave and a comb, and she really suits her lingerie, but the point is they're not actually doing anything different. They, like so many people, seem to be waiting for the magic of Christmas to happen to them.

Christmas doesn't just happen. Nor does any holiday. The day might occur, and the calendar will keep moving by, but if you sit there and don't take part in it, you'll never feel any different. Life will happen around you, but not to you. This is one of the repeated messages of Haderer's work. Do more now. Stop waiting. Stop wishing. Grab hold of life before it passes you by. You don't get a second go around!

48. Hot Dog!

We find it interesting that Haderer has only used exclamation points a couple of times when titling these works, and when he has, he's used it when he's referring to environmental concerns. It must be a subject that's close to his heart. All good caricaturists use exaggeration to make their point. He did that earlier on when he had people frying steaks in the open air to highlight global warming. Now, this woman's taking a walk in the shade whilst her dog evaporates in the heat.

If the environment changes, we as humans can protect ourselves against it. We can change the way we dress, or the way we live, or even where we live. Many - probably even most - animals will not have that choice. If it's too hot for them to live, they will simply die. It's not just ourselves we have to take better care of the planet for. It's the ones who can't defend themselves, too.

49. You Win Some, You Luge Some

Between this, and the cartoon about failed urine tests, we can probably assume that Haderer isn't a huge fan of Russia and/or Russian sporting policy. You may recall before the Winter Olympics and the World Cup that there was some debate about Russia's record on gay rights and homophobia. That's the issue on display front and center in this picture.

We don't want to get too graphic, but Putin (that's him with the comically oversized nose) is disgusted by the first picture because there a lot of men lined up behind each other. When the entire luge is rearranged and they're side by side, he's happy again. It doesn't take a genius to work out what Haderer's suggesting - Putin is disgusted by anything that could be interpreted as even slightly gay. Other nations will have the last laugh, though. There's no way that luge is aerodynamic anymore.

50. All Eyes on Baby

Anybody who regularly uses Facebook, and has friends who have recently become parents, knows exactly what this picture is all about. New baby coverage is relentless. Every millisecond of the new arrival's life is chronicled, uploaded and shared everywhere. We don't even know how this affects a baby's development yet. When they get older, they may not love the fact that their earliest and most embarrassing moments were shared with the world. Would you want the first five years of your life to be online and searchable?

Everybody loves a cute baby, but they don't need to be on display all the time. Put the camera down every now and then and spend some one on one time with them without your social media followers watching in. That's how important bonds are formed. After all, you don't want your child to start thinking your iPhone is its mother.



Copyright © 2024 CultureHook