Dogged Analysis

What if I told you C. M. Coolidge’s “Waterloo” (1906) is an illusion – a message hidden within a painting? Well it’s true. And that’s what this post is about – and it’s not about the “Coolidge Code” or some theory based on numbers hidden on the playing cards. Since making this discovery hours ago, I have been waiting to let the world know of my findings – a secret that has been hiding for a hundred years. I will tell you all about that shortly but first, a bit of background on the man…

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was an American artist, purportedly born in Antwerp, New York, apparently in 1844 to abolitionist Quaker farmers – or so they claim. Amazingly, he created cartoons for his local newspaper, despite having no formal training. He also invented those life-size cutouts that you put your head into to be photographed. People who work for NASA have used those …probably.

In 1903, Brown & Bigelow hired him to create a series of paintings of dogs playing poker for a cigar advertising campaign. Coolidge, however, had something else in mind. More on that later.

Now fast-forward a hundred years to this week, when I began to examine one of Coolidge’s famous paintings. Imagine my surprise when I found several figures hidden within “Waterloo”! Look carefully at this painting. Do you see them?

(click image to enlarge)

I found that the figures are more visible if you stand back 4 feet, jump to the left, step to the right, put your hands on your hips and bring your knees in tight. Do you see them yet? To make it easier for your untrained eyes, I’ve supplied this annotated version of the painting, with the figures highlighted and compared with similar images taken from archives.

Now you see them, don’t you? It’s much easier once someone with the proper training points them out to you. Now go back and look at the unannotated painting. They’re obvious now, aren’t they? What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Now, there are some who will dismiss this as pareidolia. But did you know artists sometimes intentionally hide images in their works? It’s true! Just look at this:

Therefore, all images found in paintings must be intentional. QED.

Imagine how I felt, upon discovering these figures for the first time: This means something. This is important.

But what could it possibly mean? The answer to that is in the figures themselves. Look at them. All references to popular culture. Modern popular culture. They all post-date the creation of the painting itself. The earliest reference, the Wicked Witch, occurred in film more than three decades after “Waterloo” was painted and five years after Coolidge’s supposed death. How could this possibly be? How indeed. The answer is obvious: Coolidge was a time-traveling secret agent, sent to warn us of… The Dogpocalypse!

Look at the symbols! The Wicked Witch hovering over the Cowardly Lion, Darth Vader lurking in the shadows beside Admiral Ackbar. It’s a trap! And the Joker? In a painting about a card game? What a giveaway! He even named the painting “Waterloo”! What more proof do you need?

And then there’s Flipper – by himself. Why? It’s obvious, isn’t it? Our Cetacean Comrades will step up (figuratively) and protect us from the Canine Overlords. …Or maybe Coolidge just really liked dolphins. One or the other.

I know what you’re thinking. Dogs taking over the world? That’s just silly. But did you know that a dog served on the elite team of warriors that killed Osama bin Laden? It’s true! Dogs have already infiltrated the military. It’s only a matter of time now.

You can’t argue with the evidence. You’ve seen it with your own eyes. It’s right there in black and white …and red …and quite a lot of brown actually. But the message is clear: Every dog must have its day and that day is coming.

There is no other possible explanation. None.

Of course, this isn’t all the evidence I have to support my claims. There’s so much more. But for that, you’ll have to wait for the release of my upcoming book…

Steve DeGroof

Steve consists of approximately 60% water and 40% organic molecules, arranged in a configuration that is, among over things, capable of describing itself in this manner.

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