Archive for the ‘Pop culture’ Category

Smoke signals

September 17, 2014

Today’s Bizarro:

Piraro has contemplated smoke signals on other occasions, in particular in the cartoon in my 6/3/12 posting “Balloons”, with two sets of Indians at a distance from one another. A pair, with one saying “Smoke signals. Can’t quite read ‘em.” And another Indian, about the speech balloon for the first speaker: “Who are those guys with the balloon?”

Bizarro followup

August 29, 2014

Posting yesterday on that day’s Bizarro, with only minimal commentary on it. Now a follow-up on two topics: what you have to know to make sense of what’s going on in the cartoon; and what makes it funny.

The cartoon repeated here:

 

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Hybrid art

August 28, 2014

From the MUU Galleria in Helsinki, Finland, this recent sculpture “My Little Tom of Finland” by Mari Kasurinen:

The figure is a hybrid of two (very oddly assorted) creations from popular culture: the cute My Little Pony toys (favored by young girls) and the hypersexual characters from the graphic artist Tom of Finland  (favored by gay men). It’s one in a large series of My Little X sculptures by Kasurinen, playfully (and critically) combining the little ponies with characters from popular culture or famous iconic people (“superstars”, as Kasurinen puts it, “presented to us as examples, ideals, even as authorities”).

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Neon Vegas

August 9, 2014

Today’s Zippy, with Griffy and Claude at odds on sources of information:

(#1)

The setting for all three panels is Neon Las Vegas in its heyday.

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Bunnies run amok

July 5, 2014

(Only a bit about language.)

Xopher Walker wrote on Facebook a couple of days ago about the plague of rabbits in his yard and garden (which his dog Dolly was doing her best to address), and cited the absurd monster flick Night of the Lepus:

Night of the Lepus, also known as Rabbits, is a 1972 American science fiction horror film based on the 1964 science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit.

Released theatrically on October 4, 1972, it focuses on members of a small Arizona town who battle thousands of mutated, carnivorous killer rabbits. (Wikipedia link)

The movie belongs to the large genre of horror/suspense movies (and fiction etc.) — think of Hitchcock’s Psycho — about human evil of one kind or another, and embracing ghost stories, as well as the subgenre of monster movies (and fiction etc.), where the creepiness comes from humanity gone awry in some crucial way, and indeed to the subsubgenre of “natural horror” movies (where natural means ‘having to do with nature’):

Natural horror is a sub-genre of horror films “featuring nature running amok in the form of mutated beasts, carnivorous insects, and normally harmless animals or plants turned into cold-blooded killers.” (Wikipedia link)

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Diner postings

June 24, 2014

Continuing my project of bringing lists of postings and other resources from my private stash (in Word documents on my computer) to publicly available materials (notably, in html documents on this blog, especially in Pages), I’ve added a Page (under Lists) with information about postings on diners, indebted especially to Zippy the Pinhead. This blog takes me to some odd places.

As with other Pages, this one will be regularly updated as new material comes in. Soon to be added to the “Plants postings” list, one on privet / ligustrum (to which I turn out to be significantly allergic).

goldilocksian

June 10, 2014

Several correspondents have written to compliment me on the content and organization of the “About (academic)” page on my website (here). One went so far as to refer to the goldilocksian mean — not too small, not too big, and (though this isn’t in the Goldilocks fairy tale) “everything easily discoverable”.

These nice comments inspired me to spend yesterday adding to the “Handouts for conference papers” section of the page, adding links to handouts from four Stanford Semantics Festivals.

And then there’s the nice derivational formation goldilocksian ‘just right’, a useful (and, given that you know the fairy tale, easily comprehensible) innovative adjective, moderately frequent (on the order of 6k ghits, dupes removed) but not in the OED.

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May-June turnover

June 1, 2014

A One Big Happy from yesterday (May 25), on conversational organization; and then three from this morning’s (June 1st) crop: a Bizarro with an ambiguity introduced by truncation; yet another meta-Zippy, this time on reports of Zippy’s death; and a Rhymes With Orange with a pun from the Black Lagoon.

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Self-awareness and a milestone

May 29, 2014

Self-aware cartoon characters come up here every so often — most recently, in a Scenes From a Multiverse strip (#2 here). Today’s Zippy brings us to self-aware diners:

With this posting, we reach a milestone: this is the 4000th posting in this blog. No wonder I have trouble remembering what I’ve posted on here!

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Five for Friday

May 18, 2014

Five items, several of which lead to more complex topics: a Harry Bliss cartoon that I caught, reprinted, in the Funny Times for May; a Zippy on art forgery; a One Big Happy with a kid eggcorn; a Zits with alliteration and rhyme (and the sexual marketplace); and a Rhymes With Orange on consonants and vowels.

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