Santa Fe New Mexican: Charting man's modernity

By Jennifer Levin
Santa Fe New Mexican

Body Modern (Michael Sappol)When you are felled by chest congestion and seek a remedy, chances are your mind conjures a gaggle of blobby little green men who represent mucus and might serve as spokespeople for the decongestant Mucinex. The hideous yet adorable creatures appear in television commercials as something like frenemies of the sick — unwanted guests who set up camp in your body and also explain your illness to you in gravelly Teamster voices. It might be more accurate to call these animated characters “spokes-homunculi.” Homunculi is the plural of homunculus, which is a big word for any very small humanoid creature, and artistic renderings of such beings have historically made their way into scientific and medical illustrations.

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