In a discussion on ADS-L recently, the wonderful technical term ithyphallic came up (so to speak), and I realized that this was another case (of many) where English doesn’t have a word for something, in any useful sense of to have a word for.
Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category
Annals of phallicity (and transgressive art). This giant statue in Paris:
(Hat tip to Arne Adolfsen.)
From the Wikipedia page on the artist, Paul McCarthy:
In October 2014, he unveiled his statue “Tree” in Place Vendome in Paris. It stands 24 feet tall and resembles a large green butt plug. This has caused controversy among citizens, who believe their historic square has been sullied.
After I posted a Bizarro in “No stinkin’ budgies” (here), Chris Hansen wrote in puzzlement over the stick of dynamite in the cartoon. I replied that this was just one of Dan Piraro’s “hidden symbols”, with no meaning in the context of the cartoon (or in the wider culture). I thought I’d posted the full inventory of these, but apparently not, so for reference here’s the list from the Wikipedia page on the strip:
Most Bizarro cartoons include one or more of these devices hidden somewhere in the cartoon:
an eyeball (the Eyeball of Observation)
a piece of pie (the Pie of Opportunity)
a rabbit (the Bunny of Exuberance)
an alien in a spaceship (the Flying Saucer of Possibility)
the abbreviation “K2″ (referring to his children Kermit and Krapuzar)
a crown (the Crown of Power)
a stick of dynamite (the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences)
a shoe (the Lost Loafer)
an arrow (The Arrow of Vulnerability)
a fish tail (The Fish of Humility)
an upside down bird (the Inverted Bird)
Piraro indicates how many symbols are hidden in each strip with a number above his signature.
The cartoon in “No stinkin’ budgies” has two symbols: the Dynamite of Unintended Consequences, and also the Eyeball of Observation. Over the years I’ve noted other hidden symbols from this list in Bizarro cartoons. (The Pie of Opportunity and the Bunny of Exuberance are especially common.)
(Annals of phallicity, gift division.)
Back on my birthday, earlier this month, Kathryn Burlingham sent me congratulations and added: “The package is in the mail”. At the time I thought this was a little joke, a kind of echo of “The check is in the mail”. But then the package arrived, with this amazing piece of stitchery (by Kathryn and her friend Nandi) in it:
(Photo by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky.)
A friend (male and straight) was greatly entertained by the cushion, noting to a woman friend on his cellphone (with photo) that the design could be used for a handbag. Or, I added, a briefcase. Use your imagination.
Passed on by Arne Adolfsen on Facebook, who found it on the Dangerous Minds Facebook page:
A masterpiece of phallic material, starting with the classic banana. But this is surely a paste-up job, with the frame taken from an actual Kellogg’s ad and the outrageous image pasted in. Kellogg’s ads have often been playful, but not this playful.
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?”
A Mexican acquaintance reminded me that today is Mexican Independence Day (commemorating September 16th, 1810), and I was moved to an appreciation of the Mexican flag:
The flag of Mexico (Spanish: Bandera de México) is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country’s War of Independence, and subsequent First Mexican Empire.
… The central emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of the Aztec empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island… A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed several times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. (link)
A fine flag: the customary few bands or stripes of color, making it easy to recognize (though not necessarily easy to distinguish from other national flags); plus the dramatic coat-of-arms scene in the center, involving the eagle, the serpent, and the nopales.
In a continuing series, more food with a rainbow theme, this time from the sizable Flickr site Rainbow Sugar, which says:
Anything that is rainbow color and sweet, belongs in this group
(The comma between subject and predicate, marking a breathing point in the sentence (especially with a complex subject), once very common, is now treated as non-standard punctuation, an error.)
(Hat tip to Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky.)
Two examples: rainbow cookies and rainbow (jelly) fruit slices (with only part of the rainbow shown here; we need purple and blue at the left end):
Huge numbers of rainbow cakes, of course, ranging from the subtle to the garish.
(Not really about language. Warning: the image, involving a statue with prominent male genitals, might be offensive to some.)
Bulletin from Vancouver BC, “Raunch Devil Statue Suddenly Erected Outside SkyTrain” by Lindsay William-Ross:
A large red devil statue with a very prominent feature has shown up outside a Vancouver SkyTrain station.
The statue stands about eight to nine feet tall, and was set on a pedestal near the VCC/Clark Drive SkyTrain station in Grandview-Woodland. The statue is at Clark and Grandview Highway.
Commuters have definitely taken notice, not only because of the statue’s size, but because the male figure is depicted with a large erect penis.
An artistic statement, but about what? Why a red devil?
The statue was quickly removed by city crews.
[Added a bit later: Tim Evanson suggests on Google+ that the statue is of Hellboy. From Wikipedia:
Hellboy is a fictional character, a superhero created by writer-artist Mike Mignola. The character first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (Aug. 1993), and has since appeared in various eponymous miniseries, one-shots and intercompany crossovers. The character has been adapted into two live-action feature films in 2004 and 2008 that starred Ron Perlman in the title role, and two straight-to-DVD animated films, as well as two video games – Asylum Seeker and The Science of Evil.
A well-meaning demon whose true name is Anung Un Rama (“and upon his brow is set a crown of flame”), Hellboy was summoned from Hell to Earth as an infant demon on December 23, 1944 … by Nazi occultists (spawning his hatred for them). He was discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). In time Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned man with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind the signature circular stumps on his forehead), cloven hooves for feet, and an oversized right hand made of stone. He has been described as smelling of dry-roasted peanuts. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to demons, and has a strong sense of humor.
(with unfiled horns)).
It originally came to me through Chris Hansen on Facebook, in this remarkable two-part image:
along with this story (by “Happy Gilmore”) from August 12th, reporting:
Welsh Fried Chicken Brand Defends Logo: Food Company defends its controversial new logo after customers complain about its phallic and unusual design reports Walesonline.co.uk
The owner of the Dirty Bird Brand has stated that the logo was just a unique way to change the “B” and the “D” look like a small rooster.
… The food company has also started using posters that state ” Touch My Thigh” and “Touch My Breasts” … Although, Dirty Bird owner Neil Young has backed his statements that these were not meant to be obscene.
Dirty Bird let http://www.metro.co.uk know that the images were in no way meant to upset their customers … They wanted a fun way to portray a rooster. That’s all.
Those in doubt should check out the artists tumblr page – Mark James