Abuse of Power: the more things change…

Just to prove the wisdom of the old adage ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same,’ I ran across some photos from an art show I had in Seattle back in 1995.

Pan Man: The Right Icon? 1995

The show was entitled “Pan Man: the Right Icon?” and featured a group of vaguely male-looking plaster casts covered in decorative bead work. Each of the 10 figures was graced with a large penis made from a variety of found objects ranging from pieces of rusted metal to a strange looking wood-working tool. The figures were inspired by a cartoon I did during the 1994 US midterm elections when Newt Gingrich and his fellow Republicans took control of Congress.

In the cartoon, a politician speaks through his penis–perhaps the ultimate symbol of male domination–a fitting artifice since it’s my belief that the machismo expelled by men in positions of power is merely a lot of dick-waving in the air. You know, the ‘mine is bigger than yours syndrome’ that’s so prevalent these days in Washington, DC and a number of other national capitals.

Cartoon by Henry Lewis 1994.

The Pan Man series was based on the idea that the deeds done by men in positions of power are (often) inherently selfish and evil. They were meant to represent not only politicians but all men who abuse their positions of trust and power.

Pan Man’s anatomy #1. Henry Lewis 1995

Pan Man’s anatomy #2. Henry Lewis 1995

The current list of Pan Man impersonators would have to include (but is not limited to):

Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moro

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

and…drum roll here…US President Donald Trump

Life can seem so absurd at times that words fail to convey our feelings and we must resort to using visual elements to make a point. I was compelled to adopt a visual approach then and it still seems relevant.

“Pan Man revealed”-Henry Lewis 1995


“Pan Man’s reflection”-Henry Lewis 1995

As I said at the beginning, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Now, almost 24 years later, it’s up to each of us to ensure that men who abuse their power are held accountable for their deeds.


Categories: Culture, PoliticsTags: , , , , , ,


  1. What goes around comes around!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting! Didn’t know you were an artist as well…in a former pre Tefl life. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a timely flashback to that cool art exhibit. The statement you were making back then is, in my opinion even more relevant today, which I think is the point of this article. It’s ironic how Trump, through his vulgar commentary about penises and through the publicity surrounding his sordid affairs, has become Pan Man. Not to draw attention away from other men who have also abused power.

    I’d like to note that’s it’s not only men who do this. Any person who abuses power should be held accountable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kristy,

      Of course, I also believe everyone who abuses a position of power should be held accountable. However, since the patriarchy still seems to be in firm control of things, it’s imperative that men accept responsibility and clean up their act. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!


  4. Bravo! Awesome post!
    I’m all for women’s rights but I don’t run around in a giant vagina costume😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bella,

      Thanks. I agree that running around in a giant vagina costume would probably be just a bit over the top. Best wishes in dealing with all your personal struggles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Henry, believe it or not, I’m as tough as a two dollar steak. I can’t do much about the crazy because according to my psychiatrist when I asked him when I would just be normal….his reply?? I’m sorry Bella, that ship has already sailed😊
        As far as the physical issues, I’ll tough them out like the salty personalitied hard head that I am. Your blog is awesome, I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done! You might enjoy my interview with my recommendation for the GOP Presidential nominee. https://petersironwood.com/2019/10/28/exclusive-interview-with-giant-slug/


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