Three cartoons for today: a Dilbert, a Bizarro, and a Mother Goose and Grimm:
Archive for the ‘Pop culture’ Category
Passed on by Rod Williams on Facebook, this image from Radio Nova 100
A pair of interlocked puns: Fleetwod Macchiato, a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) combining Fleetwood Mac and macchiato, plus the allusion to Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” (from the Rumours album) in the form Foam your own way. Impressive: easy if you have the sociocultural knowledge, but impenetrable otherwise. (Another piece of cleverness I doubt my 10-year-old grand-daughter would get.)
Fropm the recent comics crop, two Bizarros (one old, one new) and (via Arne Adolfsen) two recent New Yorker cartoons, a Roz Chast and a Tom Cheney,
Sunday was an amazing day for language-related cartoons. A crop of five:
In today’s Zippy, we return to the Poindexter bar bat; see “The Poindexter bar bat, or barbat”, here, with extended discussion, including material from the Zippy archives and an analysis of bar bat. From that posting:
Poindexter bar bats: Poindexter is just one of those names that entertain Bill Griffith because of the sound; but what about bar bat? Like many things in Zippy, this is surely meant to be absurd but suggestive.
Now we have the extended plaid Poindexter bar bat, which Muffler Bunyan enjoys because of its sound. A little festival of bilabial plosives ( /p p b b/ ), and tetrameter, the dominant English folk meter.
Today’s Rhymes With Orange, packed with cultural allusions:
[edited later on 2/25, to move the Batman theme from a comment (by Dave Kathman) to the body of the posting]
From Victor Steinbok, who found it on George Takei’s site, this cartoon:
A festival of pop-cutural allusions in the speech balloons, plus some language play.
An assignment for the Stanford students in the Language in the Comics course involved the Zippy the Pinhead cartoon on the brain here. The students didn’t like this cartoon; they didn’t understand it (well, Zippy specializes in the absurd). It turned out that at least part of the problem was that the students had no idea who Joan Rivers was. Once again, the necessity of background knowledge!
For some time now, I’ve been waking in the morning with a name stuck in my head, usually a name from show business or television: Laura Prepon, Frank Gorshin, Sada Thompson, Danny Pino, etc. (you can look them up). Usually just one day each (though Prepon had a three- or four-day run). Not extraordinarily famous, and I’m not sure why they pop up: they don’t figure in my dreams, and I don’t recall having heard something about them in the days before their names appear.
It’s sort of like being given crossword puzzle clues in the morning:
Laura of That ’70s Show
Prepon of That ’70s Show.
From this site (Sad and Useless), this still from an animation:
Ordinarily, I’d unpack this image, but in the Linguage of Comics course at Stanford this quarter, Elizabeth Traugott and I have been asking students what sociocultural knowledge is required to understand a cartoon (this isn’t technically a cartoon, but it’s a similar visual joke) — imagine you’re trying to explain it to a Martian or a child — and why it’s funny. So think of this as an at-home exercise.